AirTV Mini Does What Nvidia Shield TV Hasn’t

Beyond dropping the dime on AirTV 2, SatelliteGuys.US has also uncovered the upcoming AirTV Mini. This Android-powered 4K dongle will replace the original AirTV Player, coming in at a lower price ($80) and more compact presentation. DISH’s timing is ideal, as access to an authentic, affordable Android TV stick with full Google Assistant and Google Play capabilities is long overdue… in a form factor that Nvidia continues to ignore and an experience that Amazon can’t provide via Fire TV. As a DISH product, the AirTV Mini can boot directly into Sling TV, but also has access to all the apps we know and love. Sadly, the company has dropped the USB port — meaning there will be no external OTA tuner or DVR drive capabilities. AirTV Mini will be available in June.

18 thoughts on “AirTV Mini Does What Nvidia Shield TV Hasn’t”

  1. DISH is doing something Nvidia has yet to, despite their qualifications, in introducing a sub-$100 Android TV streamer in a package the competes with Roku and Fire TV Sticks. The market is hurting for that and frankly the Android TV platform needs it as well. Even Google indicates Chromecast is on the downswing.

    Please look around the site. We always keep it real. And I’ve bemoaned the lack of a Shield TV Stick well before this news hit. If we were going after cheap clickbait, Tesla and PS4 hot takes would surely drive more traffic than niche streamers (although we obviously love this niche.)

  2. Sure, a stick/dongle form factor won’t have the same capabilities as a larger, more powerful box. But we need to think big picture. Android TV would benefit from a broader footprint. Cheaper products are how you grow. Even if you own a Shield, there are often multiple TVs in a home also in need of a streamer. I’m still hoping Nvidia expands into this space. Great opportunity despite lower margins.

  3. Yes… HD Homerun will work too, it just won’t seamlessly interface into the Sling TV guide.

    Another thing is can do (which I don’t believe the Shield can) is display 4K from YouTube. The new chipset supports VP9.

    I got to play with it a bit and its running the same version of Android TV that the Shield currently running. It ran as good as a Shield as far as speed goes.

    I was also told the older Air TV will get an Android OS upgrade in about a month or so, but it will be one version behind what the Air TV Mini will support.

  4. My only problem here is the author seems to be ignoring who Nvidia originally was: the company that invented the GPU (at least, so they claim), and revolutionized pc gaming and computer graphics in general, and are revolutionizing AI deep learning now. They’re not “ignoring” anything, they’re staying true to their brand: power and performance. If anything, it’s a good thing Nvidia is staying in their lane, at least for a capitalist economy; I’m sure they could dominate lower price tiers if they wanted, but it could get them in legal hot water.

  5. Nvidia’s chore business is GPUs for gaming and CAD. They just took a financial hit with the collapse of the coin mining market. They also have released a couple of GPU to a tepid response. Extra R&D money isn’t there… But if they did why would they she horn the excellent tegra into a little form factor where it would likely overheat? Shield TV is competing with Apple TV not the army of TV stick makers. I’ve tried a few of them, with really only Amazon and Minix making decent models, but they fall short of shield even before we talk about gaming. But then there is gaming, Nvidia is a company built by gamers dollars. They have innovated the game controller like no one else, not Microsoft, not Sony, not any of the 3rd party suppliers, like Logitech, come even remotely close. You want them to stuff a tegra into a little box and desert the gaming aspect? Zatz not making any kind of sense at all…

  6. They miss the point. The Shield TV is the power House of Android TV. Because of that it requires more power that a standard 5v 1 amp tv usb port can deliver. Hence why it has a dedicated power ports that is not USB.
    I hope NVidia does NOT try to go with a scaled down version to appease others like this. Leave that market to them. I want Nvidia to stick with making the absolute most powerful device they can.

  7. Not sure why the form factor matters. It’s not like you pick it up and move it around. Who cares about that?

    IMO, key factors here are cost and performance. The ShieldTV is way too expensive and cheaper AndroidTV boxes like the MiBox have performed terribly.

    AndroidTV needs hardware priced under $100 that you’d actually want to _use_, their equivalent of the Roku Streaming Stick+ or Fire TV Stick 4K.

  8. Nvidia has a GPS function not sure about the air mini but that is key when your doing cord cutting. Because without that you can’t get local channels if you are using YouTube TV and direct TV apps. Because your internet provider might not be based by were you live so certain channels won’t be available for that reason.

  9. just to correct a previous post, the shield flawlessly displays 4k @ 60 fps from you tube and any other content provider.

    Also I’m one of the few that agrees with the author, that a cheaper Android stick from Nvidia would be a good move. I’m sure they can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  10. The price point is pretty cool if you have extra TVs. The thing I love about the Shield is that my buddy got one to replace his gaming PC he lost since his money has been tight lately and we can finally play PC games together and hardly realize he’s not on an actual desktop. The game streaming service just works so well.

    I do also agree however, cheaper devices need to be made.

  11. I don’t see how that is Nvidia’s job to build the compromise device. If anything Google should be critized for not commisioning the device you want. Any of these other OEM’s could build it. If this device is any good there is no need to bring the Shield’s name into it. Can a quality unsubsidized device even be profitable at $90?

  12. *I’m* pining for that price point and form factor from them. Upsell me a gaming or extension service to offset the slim margins. And if that Android TV ad test on Sony televisions moves forward, they could opt into that for additional revenue. And, like I said before, the platform and Google would benefit from a legit offering under $100, so why not Nvidia. If it doesn’t make business sense for them or the streamer market was a passing fad, I get that too.

  13. I’m using an AirTV now (Classic I think it’s referred to). I suspect running the Mini stick and Sling TV on my network will allow integration with the Classic as an OTA feed.
    And Paul T: “Not sure why the form factor matters. It’s not like you pick it up and move it around. Who cares about that?”
    Why the heck wouldn’t you care about moving something around from TV to another TV or a hotel TV if you could? Form factor matters – it always has and it always will.

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