Let’s face it: finding the best Android-powered Kodi TV device is hard work. The best ones cost a good chunk of change, while the cheap ones either flat out don’t work, or are of such poor quality that it’s almost not worth using them at all. In comes the Nvidia Shield TV. While this device is definitely on the high end of the price spectrum, its functionality beyond just streaming makes it a worthwhile purchase. Considering you can install Kodi on Nvidia Shield TV in mere seconds as well as use the device for high-powered gaming, you may find yourself increasingly interested in this one.
If you’ve just made purchased a Nvidia Shield TV, or you’re trying to decide whether it’s worth it, this guide should help you install Kodi on Nvidia Shield TV, as well as help you explore why we consider the Nvidia Shield TV the best Android TV box on the market.
Before you proceed
You can get the most out of Kodi using a Nvidia Shield TV. That said, in the past, some Kodi users have received DMCA-related copyright notifications from their ISPs after streaming through Kodi. This is not common, but it’s a good reason why many Kodi users utilize a virtual private network (VPN) while streaming through Kodi. Among the many available VPN services out there, our primary recommendation is IPVanish.
IPVanish makes user anonymity a priority. The company keeps no logs, while also utilizing highly encrypted servers that ensure your viewing habits remain private. Furthermore, IPVanish has a large number of high-speed servers located all over the world, opening up access to geographically-locked content as well.
We’ve tested out several popular Kodi VPN services, with IPVanish ranking the highest after rigorous testing. Finally, IPVanish has an easy-to-install and user-friendly app that you can download onto your Nvidia Shield TV from the Google Play Store.
How to Install Kodi on Nvidia Shield TV
The Nvidia Shield TV utilizes the Android TV operating system. While this is somewhat different than the Android version you’ll find on your phone, it’s for the most part almost exactly the same. That being the case, installing Kodi on your Nvidia Shield TV can be done in just three simple steps:
- Go to the Google Play Store from your Nvidia Shield TV home screen
- Type in “Kodi”
- Download and install Kodi
We’re not kidding when we say that it’s literally as simple as that. We’ve reviewed the installation process for a number of Android-based devices and other devices. Android TV boxes are simple, and that includes the Nvidia Shield TV
What Else Can the Nvidia Shield TV Do?
The Nvidia Shield TV is not just popular as a streaming device. What really makes this one special is the fact that you can play a load of games on it. We’re not talking just Android games converted over to large-screen playability. Nvidia has its own game streaming service that’s similar to steam that allows you to play a large number of AAA games found primarily only on PCs and dedicated gaming consoles.
Some of those AAA games currently available for Nvidia Shield users include:
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Just Cause 2
- No Man’s Sky
- The Witcher 3
- Hitman: Absolution
- Sniper Elite V2
As stated, however, you’ll also have access to a large number of Android-based games. Using your Nvidia Shield TV, you can play a large number of Android mobile games on your TV. As Nvidia Shield TV comes with both a remote control and a high-powered A/B/X/Y controller, you’ll be able to get more enjoyment out of some of the mobile games you’ve played on your phone or tablet.
How Does Nvidia Shield TV Stack Up Against Other Kodi TV Boxes?
In our research piece, Best Kodi TV Boxes, Nvidia Shield TV came out on top of a long list of other Android-based TV boxes. In that research, we used the following criteria to rank the devices:
- Online rankings from multiple websites
- Personal user reviews
- Device specs and features
For multiple reasons, the Nvidia Shield TV ended up as the clear winner for us as a powerful Kodi streaming device. One of the primary reasons for that was just how much power Nvidia packed into this device. Spec-wise, the Nvidia Shield TV boasts all of the following:
- Nvidia Tegra X1 Processor (256-core GPU, 3 GB RAM)
- 4K HDR-ready
- 1080p playback
- 16GB storage (500 GB with Shield Pro), supports 128GB USB flash drives
- Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Android 7.0 (Nougat) supported by Android TV and Chromecast
For the controller:
- Hands-free voice support and mic
- Headset jack
- Dual vibration feedback
- IR blaster
For the remote:
- Mic for voice search
- IR blaster
With those specs, the Nvidia Shield stands heads and above other devices that we researched. That also means that yes, the price is much higher than many other devices also designed to run on Android and streaming through Kodi. That said, the Nvidia Shield utilizes a UI that’s clean, efficient and fast. The hardware helps create a fast and stable experience that supersedes not only other Android-powered Kodi TV boxes but also beats out Apple TV.
Is It Difficult to Install Addons?
For those new to Kodi, the process for installing new addons is very different than actually installing Kodi. While you can simply download Kodi from the Google Play Store on the Nvidia Shield TV, you’ll have to install addons from within Kodi itself. While you’ll be able to do this the easiest if you’re using a dedicated laptop or computer, you can actually do it far easier with the Nvidia Shield TV than with most other Android-powered TV boxes. The real reason for that is the inclusion of the gaming controller.
Still, it’s going to be a bit of a slog to install new addons for Kodi on your Shield. This is because the process often involves typing in a sometimes long web address to add the plugins. For example, here’s the process you would follow to install one of the most popular Kodi addons, Exodus:
1. Open Kodi, navigate to the “System” menu. Hover on “System” and click on “File Manager”
2. Click on “Add Source” then select “None”
3. A pop-up window will emerge. Type http://fusion.tvaddons.ag and select Done.
4. In the text box below, type “Fusion” then select Done.
5. Select OK, then navigate back home.
6. Click on the “System” menu, then select “Add-ons”
7. Select “Install from zip file”
8. Select “Fusion” then choose “start-here”
9. Select “plugin.program.addoninstaller-x.x.x.zip” (at the top of the page)
10. Wait for add-on enabled notification. If installation fails, go back to Step 6 and repeat.
11. Open Kodi and open up the “Programs” menu.
12. Select “Add-on installer”
13. Select “Featured Add-ons”
14. Select “Exodus”
15. Click on “Install Exodus” and confirm when prompted by a pop-up window
16. Wait until the “Success!” pop-up window appears
17. Navigate home, then to the Videos menu, and select “Add-ons”
If that feels like a lot of steps, that’s because it is! Initially setting up Kodi on your Nvidia Shield TV can be time-consuming, especially if you intend to install a lot of popular addons. To make your life easier, we suggest you do install the Fusion Installer listed in the steps above for Exodus. The Fusion Installer pulls for a large number of third-party repositories, so you’ll be able to find the most popular addons being by other people within the growing Kodi community.
How Do I Get Third Party Add-ons On Kodi Version 17.0 “Krypton”?
The XBMC Foundation, the key group behind designing and rolling out new versions of Kodi, recently released a new and updated version of Kodi: Version 17.0 “Krypton”. Unfortunately, Krypton is not very popular within the Kodi community right now, partially because installing third-party addons requires an extra step, at least at first, while the version also does not play well with some of the popular plugins currently available for older versions like, like 16.1 “Jarvis”. There’s a reason for this, of course.
Third party applications are not approved by the XBMC Foundation, as a good many of them are conduits for illegal streaming activities and copyright infringement. Still, many third-party addons are perfectly legit, but Krypton still makes the installation process a bit difficult.
To install third-party addons on 17.0 “Krypton”, do the following:
- Click on the “gear” symbol on the top left (this is the Settings option)
- Click on System Settings on the right
- Click on Add-ons
- On the right, click on to enable Unknown sources
Your 17.0 “Krypton” will now allow you to install third-party addons available from unofficial repositories and plugin addresses.
Can I Install An Older Version of Kodi On Nvidia Shield TV?
Yes, you can! However, when you download and install Kodi on Nvidia Shield TV through the Google Play Store, you’ll be getting the newer, although slightly unpopular version of Kodi. There’s no way to install the older version of Kodi from the Google Play Store, but you can still download the more popular 16.1 “Jarvis” onto your device.
In order to install 16.1 “Jarvis” onto your Nvidia Shield TV, do the following:
- Download and save the Kodi 16.1 “Jarvis” APK file onto a flash drive (click here to download the file)
- Plug the flash drive into your Nvidia Shield TV
- Go to your Settings on your Shield TV
- Scroll down to the bottom and click on Security & restrictions under Personal
- Click on Unknown sources to turn this open on
- Go to your Google Play Store and download ES File Explorer File Manager
- After ES File Explorer, open it up. On the left, click the USB folder
- Find your Kodi apk file and select it to install Kodi
Do note that this may require you to uninstall version 17.0 “Krypton” from your system first, or it may ask you to overwrite Krypton in order to install 16.1 “Jarvis”. You can always easily install Krypton again if you want or need to.
Nvidia Shield TV Is Kind of Pricey. Are There Other Options?
If you’re still trying to decide whether or not to purchase a Nvidia Shield TV for Kodi streaming, you might be looking at the $199 price tag with no small amount of apprehension. While we believe that the price of this device is worth it for what you’re getting, we also realize that some Kodi users looking for a dedicated Android TV streaming device that’s on the cheaper end.
Although you’ll want to avoid the cheapest devices out there, there are some good Android-based TV devices that you can use as an alternative to. Here are a few alternatives which you might want to consider:
Amazon Fire TV/Stick
The Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick is a good alternative if you’re looking for a good Android-based streaming device for a far lower price. An Amazon Fire TV will cost you $90, while a Fire TV Stick will set you back $40. You’ll be giving up the ability to use your device as a gaming platform like the Nvidia Shield TV. Additionally, Amazon Fire TV does not use a full version of Android. Instead, it uses a proprietary version of Android that does not have access to the full Google Play Store app library. That means installing Kodi on Amazon Fire TV will take longer. Nevertheless, it can be done, and you can use the Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick as much cheaper alternatives that actually work.
You’ll also need to follow a little bit of a roundabout method to get a VPN service like IPVanish installed on Amazon Fire TV/Stick. You can make that happen by following our detailed guide on how to install a VPN on Amazon Fire TV.
Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition
Consider this Amazon’s attempt to directly compete with the Nvidia Shield TV. The device not only looks like a Nvidia Shield TV, it even comes with a dedicated controller, just like the Nvidia Shield TV. It’s also slightly cheaper, at $130. That said, it’s not quite the same thing. You don’t have access to any AAA titles, and you’re still locked out of Google Play Store’s larger library of apps and games. Nevertheless, installing Kodi onto the device is the same as with a Fire TV/Stick, so it’s an acceptable option if you want something a little more like a Nvidia Shield TV, without the price.
The WeTek is a true Android TV box built with Kodi in mind. The WeTek is designed with Kodi in mind, in fact, and the company advertises its functionality with Kodi on its website. The device actually comes with the latest version of Kodi already installed. WeTek produces several devices, including the popular WeTek Core ($130). However, the Core sells out often, so you may want to consider the WeTek Hub ($90) or the WeTek Play 2 ($120).