Nvidia Shield Android TV gets more content and HDR support

When we reviewed Nvidia's Shield Android TV last September, we found a lot to like, but we didn't quite find the console-killer we were hoping for. At Google's I/O developer conference, Nvidia announced some upcoming apps, games and features that could make the company's set-top box more attractive.

Last fall, we raised the concern that the Shield might not give users enough to watch. The slew of new apps coming to the device ought to help with that problem. Shield owners will soon have access to ESPN, Starz, MTV, Comedy Central, and Disney Channel favorites. The new apps aren't all about video, though. Nvidia is bringing the Spotify music-streaming service and several popular news apps to the Shield, too. There are also some new games on the horizon for the machine. Resident Evil 5, Homefront: The Revolution, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will all be available soon.

One of the Shield's major selling points is its ability to output 4K content at 60Hz. Nvidia's working with Vudu to provide 4K movies and TV to users. Nvidia has also gotten behind Netflix's push for HDR content, a move the company claims makes the Shield the first set-top box compatible with this feature.

Finally, the arrival of Android N will bring some interesting features to the Shield later this year. DVR-like controls ought to interest some users, as should multiscreen viewing, which provides picture-within-a-picture functionality. In addition to the new applications, games, and features, Nvidia is also promoting the device by including the $50 media remote for free for a limited time with new purchases of the Shield.

Comments closed
    • CreoleLakerFan
    • 4 years ago

    Support for 3D MVC MKV would be nice.

    • mmp121
    • 4 years ago

    The link in the last sentence:

    ‘including the $50 media remote for free’ goes to a netflix blog that has no mention of NVidia or Shield or remote. Not to mention it was published on April 19th.

    Lastly, when I purchased my Shield TV about 3 or 4 months ago, I got the ‘free $50 media remote’ as well, so the deal doesn’t seem all that new.

      • EricBorn
      • 4 years ago

      Fixed it. Thanks for the edit.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      They’ve been doing that deal on and off since they release the Shield. They’ll also do $25 off every now and then. I got one of my two Shields (one upstairs, one downstairs) with the remote for $175. The remote is super frustrating though, it doesn’t stay paired well and the battery doesn’t last nearly long enough. I also just realized recently, the firmware version on it isn’t even marked as higher than 1.0. It’s .8 something, which makes sense given how flaky the remote is. The controller works great, wireless USB kb/mouse works great. Even the Google AndroidTV remote app for iOS is more reliable than the nVidia physical remote.

      Edit: Don’t let that negativity sway you though. I do love these things, just the remote is frustrating though.

    • Airmantharp
    • 4 years ago

    Any support for Amazon Video? That’s a bit of a clincher for one of these to be a high-end all-streaming box.

      • mmp121
      • 4 years ago

      I’m sure that’s more of an Amazon thing than nVidia. Amazon has their Fire TV line of hardware and I don’t think they will open their video app to any streamer other than their own.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Not official support, but purpotedly if you can get the APK it can be sideloaded and works fine.

        • Airmantharp
        • 4 years ago

        I did a search and found references to this as of late last year, but I’m wondering if the official stance or unofficial process has improved.

          • cygnus1
          • 4 years ago

          Not that I’ve seen. It’s pretty much Amazon refusing to mark the app as compatible in the App store. WatchESPN is the same thing, but supposedly with the next update that’ll change.

            • mdkathon
            • 4 years ago

            Side load ?

            • cygnus1
            • 4 years ago

            Side loading is installing an app manually, without using the app store.

    • cygnus1
    • 4 years ago

    Now if only Google can address the random pausing issues in AndroidTV. Happens on the Shield and the Nexus Player in streaming apps and local media playback. And it’s not to buffer, it behaves as if someone hit the pause button.

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 4 years ago

    So… nVidia retroactively added HDR support to this thing?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      I can’t really tell. HDR is part of [url=http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_2_0/hdmi_2_0a_faq.aspx<]HDMI 2.0a[/url<], but Nvidia's official specs still just say [url=https://shield.nvidia.com/android-tv<]HDMI 2.0[/url<]. I don't have an HDR TV to test with, so I have approximately zero chance to find out. The HDMI 2.0a FAQ implies that at least some manufacturers will be able to add support in firmware, though, so it seems possible.

        • Bauxite
        • 4 years ago

        Several TVs have been firmware updated from 2.0 to 2.0a

        I’m not completely sure, but one thing I think they all have in common is the Sil 9777 chipset for hdmi signaling.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, basically. The hardware was built to be firmware updated to the final HDR/HDMI 2.0a specs.

        • cygnus1
        • 4 years ago

        They’ve patched/updated other HDMI related features like CEC in firmware too.

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