Confused about the NEW accessories and Google Assistant compatibility with original Shield TV? We have answers.

I thought this would be worthy of its own post.  There is some confusion about compatibility and features regarding Google Assistant and the new accessories.  I reached out to NVidia for answers.

Is There More Than One Shield Remote?

Yes.  There are two Shield Remotes.

The existing Shield Remote (Remote OG) remains in circulation.  When you purchase a Shield Remote from NVidia, Amazon, et al – you will be purchasing the Remote OG.  The NEW Shield TV Pro will come with the Remote OG.

The New Remote is ONLY available with the purchase of a NEW Shield TV 16GB unit.  This New Remote has the following changes:

  • It is not rechargable (uses CR type coin batteries – reputed to last one year)
  • There is no headset jack for private listening (use the Shield Controller for that)
  • IR Blaster for controlling TV Power
  • Passive Mic (you need to push the button before speaking to it; it cannot be used as an Active listening device)

Neither Remote (OG or New) are required to use Google Assistant (a feature which won’t be around for a few months anyway).

What Do I Need For Active Listening (Google Assistant)?

You will need the New Shield Controller to perform active listening.  Active listening means you do NOT need to push a button or otherwise touch anything; Google Assistant will hear you.  The Shield Controller OG (original) cannot be used for active listening.  Neither Shield Remote OG nor New Shield Remote can be used for active listening.

Bottom line: If you want active listening – you will need the NEW Shield Controller.  Or one of the new NVidia Spot listening devices coming soon.

Will Google Assistant Work Entirely With Original Shield TV hardware (16GB or Pro)?

Yes – passively.  That means you’ll have to press a button before you speak.  If you want active listening, you’ll need the NEW Shield Controller (or the NVidia Spot listening devices announced at CES 2017).

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