The NVIDIA SHIELD TV is now available in a new bundle which focuses on the Android TV device’s smart home capabilities. The main difference with the aptly-named ‘NVIDIA SHIELD TV Smart Home Edition’ is the inclusion of a SmartThings Link dongle. The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Smart Home Edition is available to buy now from the likes of NVIDIA and Amazon, and is priced at $219.99 in the US.
The SmartThings Link by Samsung first became available for the NVIDIA SHIELD in late 2017, and so in reality this is not a new product. Instead the bundle is now listed on the official NVIDIA site allowing owners to buy the products together instead of buying separately. Although there doesn't seem to be any financial incentive to buying the bundle, as it’s priced to exactly reflect the cost of the items if purchased separately. Making this more of a convenience bundle, than anything else.
In terms of the SmartThings Link, what makes it so clever is its size, as it is just a dongle and one which can be plugged into the back of the SHIELD. Once done and connected, the SmartThings Link immediately becomes a smart hub for the home, allowing SHIELD owners the option to control and manage multiple smart and connected home products (lights, plugs, and so on) from the SmartThings Link, and by association, from the SHIELD Android TV. In other words, this bundle is more designed for those who are looking for an immediate solution for both Android TV and a smart home hub. In contrast, owners of either product will be better off just buying the piece they are missing on its own. In fact, as of right now the best option to go for would be the “SHIELD TV Gaming Edition” as Amazon currently has it for $179.99. This would even be the better option for those considering the new Smart Home Edition as the Gaming Edition also includes the gamepad and when you then add on the $39.99 price for the SmartThings Link, the total comes in at $219.98 - the same cost as the Smart Home Edition which does not come packaged with the gamepad.