N2 vs. 2019 Nvidia Shield


For Christmas, my wife got me the latest Shield. She wasn’t aware I recently purchased an N2, which is currently setup as a dual boot CoreELEC (eMMC) and ATV (uSD).

Before I send it back, I wanted to hear your input if there are any benefits to keeping it? Is there anything the 2019 Nvidia Shield can do that I won’t be able to do with my N2?

I don’t play any games and I currently use my TV’s built in apps to watch Dolby Vision Netflix/Amazon.

Only thing that i would miss on my older Shield is it’s ability to work as an Emby Server and it can Transcode files to Emby Clients .
Not sure if the N2 can do that ?
My N2 packed up before i tried.

You got rid of your N2?! Why?

Never mind, I just realized the N2 warranty thread was your box! Sorry to hear.

If you use your TV for streaming and don’t play any games, then you probably should return the Shield. The N2 with CE is superior regarding media playback given the issues with new firmwares on Shield (more on that in Kodi forum’s).

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Shield TV Pro will get you UHD HDR Netflix, Prime Video and a whole bunch of other OTT pay services, but if you only want to watch media from within Kodi, then the N2 is probably a better bet.

The Shield TV Pro has had some firmware issues with regard to Rec 709/Rec 2020 range switching (though the Rec 709->Rec 2020 range conversion isn’t that bad if your TV supports SDR Rec 2020 correctly)

HOWEVER - the Shield TV will almost certainly have a much better warranty, and the N2 does have some reported reliability issues (mine, running CoreElec, is occasionally suffering from video drop outs - over an HDMI path that is fine in UHD HDR for every other UHD HDR box I own) If you are in Europe and buy from a European supplier then you should get better warranty terms than the terrible Hardkernel 4 week coverage.

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Thanks for the input guys. Yeah, it’s going back!

The N2 has done right by me, so far. I’m in the USA and bought from Ameridroid so I believe warranty is only 4 weeks.

I haven’t experienced any HDMI video drop-outs during playback. The only time I do get any is if I try to physically move the N2. I guess because the HDMI cable moves a bit… ? But then it immediately come back on.

Yes, but ameridroid allows you to purchase various replacement / elevated support plans for 1 year. However, I think only when you purchase it, as they need to record the board’s number:

See also here:

Thanks for the information as I will definitely be buying more for my family and friends. I’ve only had it a few weeks so need more time to fully test and give it the green light before I buy any more.

It’s like asking which Ford do I want to drive, Mustang or Pinto.

The Shield has more power, capabilities under the hood, better long term manufacturer support (including more direct affiliation with associated hardware/software vendors), huge consumer support and has a great history of being reliable, lasting more than a manufacturers projected 4 weeks/2 months etc.

Where there may be firmware issues, you can guarantee that a lot of effort will be put in to resolve because it matters to sales and profit margins if nothing else.

The success of so many Asian Android boxes and SBC’s is often in spite of, rather than because of manufacturers such as AMLogic.

The Shield is of course more expensive but if you can afford it, it should, for the purposes of media playback, be mostly a no brainer.

The problem is that AMLogic is prohibited by ARM from releasing anything but Android firmware unless they pay a substantial license fee. ARM is ultimately the problem that will not go away.

Nvidia develops its own graphics subsystems and drivers, which avoids ARM problems, but they still use closed source drivers which are not Linux complient. If you stick within the Nvidia ecosystem then performaqnce is superior, but if you stray outside it then it will be worse than the community support offered by projects like CE for the AMLogic chipsets.

So The shield is only better in specific limited ways.


Sorry but the N2 has more horsepower under the hood than the Shield does-I know from conducting my own tests between my Shield and N2. That’s why I decomissioned my Shield after 2 years of use and sold it. The N2 is a superior device in almost every way compared to the Shield.

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The graphics on the shield are far better. This makes a difference when running shield apps.

No idea what you’re using to test the Nvidia against the N2 to come up with a statement like that ??
The Nvidia is still a very powerful piece of Hardware and will do a lot of Graphics intensive tasks that the N2 cannot.
For those without a smart TV the Nvidia with Google Certification will give you the best Android experience using all the subscription streaming services.
Horses for Courses.


The only way the Shield is better is because it has a more sophicated graphics section-but that’s only relevant if you’re doing CAD on it. Understand that I only use my N2 for local playback off an attached hdd, no streaming, webbrowsing, NAS or any other such shit. Fot that it blows the Shield out of the water. And with Coreelec there’s none of the android/google bullshit to deal with unlke the Shield.

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CAD on a Shield?

I know of nobody who would ever consider use of such an application in the first place.

How does the N2 blow the shield away for local playback when the shield (yes the GPU can very much matter) when the shield is proven to be stable, with wider range of video playback capability and with less glitches than you see with the AMLogic platform as a whole, even under an Android base?

The fact is that the very power of the shield and it’s capabilities means that nothing can match it’s overall capabilities.

The deal breaker for me was that the Shield (all versions) does not support VP9 Profile 2. Which means that you will never be able to play YouTube in HDR. Hell even the YT app in my smart TV supports it.
Just watching some of the HDR10 demo videos on YouTube while switching between my Shield and my N2 made me pack the Shield up!

It doesn’t support HDR10+ either iirc, which several $40 devices do.

For me the N2 just works better than the Shield-if you think the Shield is better than the N2 then that’s your opinion-not mine. I’m done.

I was getting video dropouts and trouble waking up after the 9.2.1 update. Turns out that the default UI framerate switched from 60Hz to 59.94Hz, which apparently didn’t play nice with my projector. After a couple weeks of frustration, I found the setting had changed, switched back to 60Hz, and it’s been rock solid ever since.