Category Archives: Features

Watch March Madness AND Get Great Deals on NOW/Android Games

Some news from NVidia.  That Super Mega Baseball is friggin’ awesome and that is a fantastic price….

Productivity levels are set to dip to their lowest points since – well, this time last year – as the Big Dance is set to tip-off tomorrow. Amateur bracketologists and college basketball fans alike are gearing up to catch every Dispy-doo Dunk-a-roo and Cinderella moment in hopes of watching their favorite team cut down the net come April 3.

Of course, many SHIELD users are passionate about cord-cutting, or may be looking for alternative watching options,

Shield Tablet/K1 receive OTA 5.1 Upgrade

NVidia continues to support our favorite tablets by releasing a new OTA update.

This is mostly a maintenance release.

Rooted users can accept the OTA without unrooting first.  You’ll have to re-root after the OTA completes.

Shield Tablet K1 OTA 5.0 Root Tutorial Now Available

I know  you guys are chomping at the bit.  Here is the new tutorial:

Tutorial: Root Shield Tablet K1 (Nougat)

Couple of notes …

You cannot roll back to Marshmallow.  You cannot roll back to stock recovery 5.x yet (they haven’t posted the images).

Shield TV 2015 edition OTA is now rolling out!

From NVidia:

As announced at CES, NVIDIA will continue the industry-leading support for SHIELD products. Current SHIELD TV (2015) owners can now download the latest update, Software Upgrade 5.0.

This update brings all the great new features to current SHIELD owners. In addition to upgrading to Android’s latest OS, Android 7.0 Nougat, major improvements have been made to SHIELD in three main areas:

Highest Performance, 4K HDR Media Streamer – SHIELD delivers the richest visual experience with support for 4K HDR and 3x the performance of any other streamer on the market. With Amazon Video in 4K HDR, SHIELD offers the largest, most open catalog of media in stunning 4K – also supporting Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and VUDU.

Amazing Games – SHIELD stands alone among media streamers, with the widest range of gaming capabilities and richest assortment of game content. GeForce NOW has been upgraded with Pascal performance and will soon add Ubisoft’s catalog of hits, including Watch Dogs 2, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, For Honor and countless others. Upcoming native game releases include Tomb Raider and Shadowgun Legends; with The Witness having launched recently. We’ll also have a blog published shortly with more info on the new NVIDIA Games App and how we’re improving discoverability and access to SHIELD games – including direct access to Steam Big Picture.

AI in the Home (Coming Soon) – SHIELD is the first streamer to announce support of Google Assistant, optimized for TV and 100% hands-free (with the new SHIELD controller). Also coming soon, SmartThings Hub technology integration will instantly turn SHIELD into a smart home hub that can connect to hundreds of smart home devices. NVIDIA SPOT, an AI mic accessory available later this year, will make SHIELD the central backbone of the AI home, extending intelligent control throughout the house.

More information can be found in the release notes and on the NVIDIA blog covering Gaming and AI in the Home.

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).

NVIDIA Launches New SHIELD TV, The Most Advanced Streamer

NVIDIA today unveiled the new NVIDIA® SHIELD™ TV – an Android TV open-platform media streamer built on bleeding-edge visual computing technology that delivers unmatched experiences in streaming, gaming and AI.

Sporting a sleek, new design and now shipping with both a remote and a game controller, SHIELD provides the best, most complete entertainment experience in the living room.

“NVIDIA’s rich heritage in visual computing and deep learning has enabled us to create this revolutionary device,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, who revealed SHIELD during his opening keynote address at CES.

“SHIELD TV is the world’s most advanced streamer. Its brilliant 4K HDR quality, hallmark NVIDIA gaming performance and broad access to media content will bring families hours of joy. And with SHIELD’s new AI home capability, we can control and interact with content through the magic of artificial intelligence from anywhere in the house,” he said.

Highest Performance, 4K HDR Media Streamer

The new SHIELD delivers the richest visual experience with support for 4K HDR and 3x the performance of any other streamer on the market. With the addition of Amazon Video in 4K HDR, SHIELD offers the largest, most open catalog of media in stunning 4K – also supporting Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies(1) and VUDU.

YouTube’s flagship TV app will also be available for SHIELD in the coming months, delivering immersive, 360-degree viewing experiences.

Amazing Games

SHIELD TV stands alone among media streamers, with the widest range of gaming capabilities and richest assortment of game content. Its library of games has been expanded to thousands of titles, with the ability coming soon to stream Ubisoft’s catalog of hits, including Watch Dogs 2, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, For Honor and countless others. New Ubisoft games will also be available, simultaneous with their PC release.

SHIELD continues to add hit franchises to the platform natively. Upcoming games include The Witness, Tomb Raider and Shadowgun Legends.

AI in the Home

In the coming months, SHIELD TV will be expanded with a series of AI capabilities that transforms home entertainment:

  • First hands-free Google Assistant integration on TV. Google has optimized the Assistant experience on TV by having the home’s largest screen show visual answers in addition to an audio reply. Use voice commands to replace clicking a remote for finding content, pausing, fast-forwarding or rewinding. Plus, your Google Assistant can help better find content and answer questions.
  • SmartThings Hub technology integration, instantly turning SHIELD into a smart home hub that can connect to hundreds of smart home devices.
  • NVIDIA SPOT™, an AI mic accessory that makes SHIELD the central backbone of the AI home, extending intelligent control throughout the house.

Support for SHIELD

“We’re excited to be part of the new SHIELD TV, powered by the Android TV platform,” said Sascha Prueter, director of Android TV at Google. “When the Google Assistant comes to Android TV in the coming months, SHIELD users will be able to enjoy a hands-free Android TV experience through ‘Ok Google’ voice commands.”

Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, said, “By seamlessly integrating great gaming, rich media content and AI, NVIDIA has established a whole new standard for streamers. With its broad mix of services and immaculate execution, SHIELD represents the future of home entertainment.”

Pricing and Availability

SHIELD TV is available for pre-order now and will ship in the United States, Canada and select European regions in January for $199.99, including controller and remote. SHIELD Pro will be available later this month with controller, remote with headset jack and 500GB of storage. A separate version of SHIELD, with custom software optimized for China, will be available later this year. The NVIDIA SPOT mic accessory for SHIELD will sell for $49.99.

Features announced for the new SHIELD TV will come to current SHIELD devices through an over-the-air software upgrade, available in January.


GoNNER released for Shield Android TV

Following a successful launch on Steam, GoNNER comes to Android – exclusively on Shield Android TV.  Available now at at the sale price of $6.69 (33% off the regular price of $9.99).  Watch our 10 minute video then click the link below to get your copy now!

GoNNER is a tough as hell score-based procedurally-generated platformer with roguelike elements. GoNNER is also a story about friendship between Ikk, Death, and a space whale named Sally.

You will die. A lot. This is by design, but it’s not made to feel unfair. You’ll eventually get the hang of GoNNER, so don’t lose your head. But even if you do it’s okay cause we have a lot of replacement heads you can use.

  • DAILY CHALLENGES! Only playable once a day. Levels are randomly generated but in this mode everybody plays the same world and use an identical loadout. Everything resets at midnight (Swedish time, UTC+1). Can you crush your leaderboard foes?
  • PROCEDURALLY GENERATED! Every time you play the game the levels will be different and present unique challenges and opportunities.
  • UNLOCKS! You’ll be able to choose from a variety of passive and active abilities at the beginning of each run so be sure to experiment with all of them and find the play style that best suits you.
  • SECRETS! Secret areas exist in the world of GoNNER, and these areas will get you different items that you can then always use from the beginning of each run. We’re not going to tell you how you get to these areas or what the criteria is for even finding them because secrets, duh.
  • LEADERBOARDS! Kill creatures, get combos, score points, and brag to your friends how much better you are than them.
  • MUSIC! It’s really freaking good.

Good luck.

Google Play | NVidia | Steam

A new Shield TV is coming? Discussion within ….

Rumor all over the internet is that a new Shield TV is coming.  After all, it’s been quite awhile (like 100 years in “tech years”).  CES 2017 would be a perfect place to unveil it – so let’s see what we have.

Android Police and other sources have scored pictures of what appears to be the new controller and a strikingly similar main unit and Remote controller.  Let’s speculate after the photo (courtesy of Android Police):

Let’s start with the controller – since it shows the biggest change in the photo.

What we have here is a sensible physical update.  The controller has been leaned down around the handles.  Gone is the touchpad that worked-for-one-build-then-never-again.  The “microwave” touch buttons for BACK, PLAY and HOME.  With luck, the over-sensitive power on Nvidia logo will be gone and a different button (any button) would wake the controller up.

Xbox One: Am I wrong?

The D-Pad has removed the futile “other 4” diagonals.  This puts it on par with other modern controllers like the Xbox One.  The volume buttons are gone (maybe the center slider area works like the Shield Remote?) … hopefully volume control remains possible from the controller as it is one of my favorite features.  Speaking of Xbox One controllers, my goodness if those analog sticks looks EXACTLY like them – right down to the textures around the outside edge.

With the slendering of the controller, my guess is that we still won’t see rumble or force feedback make it into the controller.  The microphone above the logo is still there – so that’s good.  I fear the headphone jack is going away too which is too bad.  I liked it.

Rumor mill (and recent FCC related documentation) says the controller will drop the “Wi-Fi Direct” connectivity and go to Bluetooth.  I’m good with that.  Also let’s your Shield Controllers work with other Android devices.  Of course, it will also work with your original Shield TV that way too.

Moving on to the Shield Remote.  Doesn’t look any different – but if “Wi-Fi Direct” goes on the Shield Controller?  It is gone from here, too.  We need low power consumption Bluetooth here – and it only makes sense to move that way.  I worry the headset jack may be gone here too – but the input needs of a controller like this doesn’t seem as heavy as a gaming controller.  Maybe Bluetooth will be enough.

That leaves us with the main unit.  What might the refresh be all about?  The unit pictured IS smaller than the original Shield TV – but while everyone says “it’s smaller”?  I don’t believe the photo is accurate.  The main unit looks scaled to fit.  I’m going to go with the idea that the box is the same size.

One possibility?  Same specs – just cheaper.  After all, prices go down on everything as the fabrication costs go down.  This could simply be a literal refresh.  This is my bet.

I’m guessing the Pro version is history.  There will only be ONE Shield Android TV – this sans hard drive version is it.  The fact that Shield Android TV is almost impossible to buy right now says to me; phase out the old – make room for the new.  This isn’t a “cousin” or companion SKU.  This is the NEW SKU … and the ONLY SKU.  If the size stays the same, it also lets the existing (albeit overpriced) stand continue to work.

Naturally, we could see a boost in the internal storage; unlikely – but a nice 32GB or 64GB unit would remove the need for most people to hook up an external drive.  Still not usable for a good strong Plex machine – but for the “Android Gamer”?  Sure.  Mass media folks?  Network storage or USB drives plugged in will be your only choice.

Unfortunately, Plex and other software chokes on external/NAS storage; lacking full read/write access – limiting the device’s ability.  Sadly, this is more likely a Google thing and not an NVidia thing.,  Not having a Pro version will be missed.  But, if this guy has been retooled to allow a trapdoor SSD expansion?  That would be incredible.

What about an upgrade to the processor?  Will we see an X2/Pascal upgrade?  It should – but my Magic 8 Ball says “Outlook not so good”.  If the unit really IS smaller then that says to me that we’re seeing a cheaper-not-better model here.  I also believe that NVidia is feeling the pressure of lower priced units like the Mi Box and Amazon’s offerings.  Generic Android TV boxes are a dime a dozen (well, $60 and less – fully loaded with piracy playback of TV and movies) on eBay and other markets.

Getting a sub $150 premium box on the shelves with the power of X1 (which is what is apparently powering the new Nintendo console, Switch) would put NVidia in a very good position.

The Devil’s Advocate whispers in my ear.  Why put something NEW on the market that saddles up the same as Nintendo’s forthcoming console?  Wouldn’t you want your own product to be more attractive?  After all, the Shield TV isn’t hobbled by “battery life” – it can run full power all the time.  Why not take something the auto division paid R&D for and slap it in your new box?  Why would NVidia release something that will undoubtedly be compared to the Nintendo Switch?  Maybe what we are seeing is length of tooth in engineering driving the price down while popping that hot new processor under the hood.  Forget the sub-$150 though, in that case.  Maybe we’re talking about more power, same price?

The fantasy?  A Shield TV – X2 equipped – featuring 64GB onboard storage along with 3 or 4GB of RAM.  No more Wi-Fi Direct; all Bluetooth all the time.  Put that out for $199-$249 along with some serious ass launch titles.  God bless us, every one.

Truth looks more like this.  Cheaper, better-designed main unit (with a couple of minor build issues fixed, please).  Probably 32GB out of the box (16GB makes no sense at this point).  Same ports.  Fresh controllers. All for the low, low price of $99 to $149.

All we can do is speculate another couple of weeks and hope for more leaks.

What do you think NVidia is up to?  Post your thoughts in the comments.

Hitman: Absolution added to GeForce Now “Included with Membership”; plus four more to come

NVidia announced an additional wave of hit titles will soon be available to stream on SHIELD.

Starting with the release of Hitman: Absolution on Tuesday, October 4th, NVidia is adding five more Square Enix games to the GeForce NOW “Included With Membership”.

Additional titles rolling out include Thief and two more games starring everyone’s favorite spelunker, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Legend and Tomb Raider Anniversary. And last, but by no means least, GeForce NOW will be adding the arcade hit Mini Ninjas.

The GeForce NOW library now offers more than 100 games that members can play instantly on SHIELD.

Feel The Force around you with LEGO Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on GeForce NOW

30% off until October 2nd AND includes a Steam key for your PC!  That’s right, for $27.99 you get the $40 PC game AND streaming play on your Shield devices.

Available on September 27th, 2016 on GeForce NOW’s “Buy and Play Instantly” – relive the epic action from the blockbuster film in way that only LEGO can offer, featuring brand new story content from the Star Wars Universe that explores the time between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduces new gameplay mechanics, including the enhanced Multi-Builds system, where players can choose from multiple building options to advance the game, or engage in intense new Blaster Battles for the first time, utilizing surrounding environments to drive back the First Order.

Learn More: Steam | NVidia | YouTube