The Nvidia Shield set-top box is about to become the “first all-one Plex box” as Plex announced today the Android TV-based device will gain full media server support later this month. That’s in addition to the Android app offering it currently has and will make the Shield the first device other than a dedicated PC, Mac or NAS with full support for the popular Plex Media Server.
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The big difference between just running the Android TV app and having the full Plex media server built-in is support for hardware-accelerated video transcoding and 4K video @ 60fps.
As you might know, we’ve had a lovely Android TV app for quite some time now, and it’s getting better all the time. But the NVIDIA SHIELD, with its 8-core 64-bit CPU and massive GPU, allows us to make it extra special by letting you run the entire Plex Media Server directly on the device! You read that right: the SHIELD is so powerful that it can not only run our Android TV interface better than just about anything out there, it can also run the full media server, including support for hardware-accelerated video transcoding (H.264, MPEG2 and HEVC)!
As far as storing all that 4K content, Plex points out that the Shield comes with 500GB built-in for storage and users can add more over the air or via USB. The company says the feature is made possible by Shield’s “extremely powerful CPU/GPU,” but it does confirm that it’s evaluating other devices and platforms for the media server and hardware-accelerated transcoding features.
The Plex app for Shield will gain the media server feature later this month alongside a firmware update to the device. You can check out our original hands-on video with the Nvidia Shield from last year here.