Category Archives: Reviews

Installation and Testing of OTA v7 (Oreo) on Shield TV 2017

The installation and playing around with Oreo on Shield TV 2017.

Twelve great Android games you’re probably not playing on Shield TV

Many people complain about Shield Android TV because it isn’t “full Android” or “real Android” due to the fact that the Google Play store recognizes the device and filters out games that are not flagged specifically for the device.

The can lead to misconceptions about Shield TV not being a great Android gaming machine and driving users to stream PC games from either their own computer or via GeForce NOW’s streaming service.

Let’s look at ten amazing Android games (available from Google Play) that play fantastic on your Shield TV.  These are in no particular order and whenever possible, we’re using our own Shield Zone videos.

Dustoff Heli Rescue on sale for $2.99 – Our game play video inside

“I need a Dustoff!” became an all-too-familiar call on the airwaves of jungle wars. Now take off with your rescue helicopter and search and save the life of the wounded soldiers in the field, often under fire. If you can’t, nobody else can!

Find the stolen cargo with your Chinook helicopter and transport them safely to the nearby friendly base, all the while fighting off hostile tanks and other enemy combatants.

Save hostages being held in Prisoner of War camps. They are desperately waiting for the remarkable sound of the evac helicopters. You are their last hope so save them all!

Flying Dustoffs take courage on your part as a helicopter pilot, as ground fire is the rule rather than the exception. The rewards, however, are great.
MAIN FEATURES
– Up to 25 unique missions
– 3 rescue helicopters, each with different handling and transport characteristics
– 3 weapons with different capabilities
– Various missions like: cargo transportation, saving hostages and stopping enemy convoys
– Various daytime and weather conditions like stormy heavy rains and beautiful sunset over the jungles
– Numerous war scenes including jungles, swamps, hidden cave and mine systems and a lot more
– Epic action music and cinematic sound effects

All in a well known blocky stlye.

[youtube id=”XDnXun3nQJ8″ align=”center” maxwidth=”600″]

Google Play

Yes, you can use your Wii U Pro controller on Shield TV!

For $20, you can get an adapter that will let you use the amazingly solid (and great battery life) Wii U Pro controller wirelessly with your Shield Android TV!  Let me show you how… Or buy it now.

[youtube id=”YvKNw9Hq66s” align=”center” maxwidth=”600″]

Plex – The (Near) Perfect Solution for Personal Media

I have a lot of media.  I own several thousand DVDs and Blu rays.  I have collected a lot of media from the internet.  I prefer to OWN (and store) the media I have.  I don’t like Netflix and I don’t like Hulu.  These aren’t solutions for me.  I am paying a lot of money a month for a fast internet connection and I have a lot of stuff I’m storing on my own – not the cloud.  I don’t want to have to UPLOAD my stuff to the cloud to get it …. I AM my own cloud.

… and I’m not alone.  Millions of others prefer to buy, store, rip and maintain their own private collections – for a variety of reasons (see my article on Digital Distribution for my thoughts).  Unfortunately, the issue with being your own cloud …?  Companies aren’t interested in writing top quality software to let you access it.  Your options tend to rely on some proprietary media friendly NAS (like a Synology Diskstation) which suffers from fairly immature software on mobile devices or some sort of specialized delivery system for ONE component of your media (like Subsonic; great music gateway – poor video gateway).

Worse yet, if you plan to SHARE your content with family and friends?  A whole new can of worms is opened.

Take all of these issues and then try to solve ubiquitous playback from TV, web, phone and tablet?  This has been a pipe dream for some time.

Enter Plex Media Server

X-Plore: The Power User’s File Manager

This is what passes for file management on Win 8

This is what passes for file management on Win 8

File management is not a part time gig for me. If there is a storage medium attached to the device I’m using? I want the most power possible in accessing and manipulating it. It doesn’t matter if it is a local drive, flash drive, network drive, FTP site, Google Drive … if it stores files, and I have access to it – I want the best experience possible.

Let me start off by saying I am not a typical user. Not a typical cell phone user, not a typical tablet user – and certainly not a typical computer user. For you to understand this review from my point of view, you’ll need to understand my feelings on file management. If you are in a hurry, you can jump down to “Enter X-Plore” below.

Use an external optical drive on Shield Android TV?

See for yourself …

[youtube id=”FnwynmT8GVI” align=”center” maxwidth=”600″]

Review: VGBA: A Gameboy Advance Emulator

I’ve talked extensively about emulation in the .EMU emulators article and subsequently even looked at other emulators like reicast, the Dreamcast emulator and C64.EMU, the Commodore 64 emulator.  Thanks to top quality physical controllers like the Nyko Playpad and Nvidia Shield – we are no longer forced to play our classic favorites with horrid touch screen D-Pads.

The great thing about emulation is that it doesn’t matter what retro system you loved or what classic era of gaming you were born into; there are emulators for just about every console, handheld and computer out there (within reason of course).  The GBA SP holds a special place to me because it brought me to Nintendo.  I was never an NES, SNES or even really Gameboy fan (I did own one for a very short period of time).  The original GBA didn’t interest be because it ran on batteries and had no backlight (I play a lot in low light).  Nintendo, however, seemed to create the GBA SP to my near exact specifications – so it was hard not to fall in love.

Plus the GBA line had some phenomenal games.

Review: Nyko Playpad Pro Controller

This is a reprint from an earlier review on Green Robot Gamer.

Last year I reviewed the little brother of this controller, the Nyko Playpad Controller.  Since then, I floated the cash to upgrade to the Pro edition of this controller.

This is an “incremental” review; that is – I will reference and sometimes reuse pieces of the previous review in discussing this device.  I recommend you check out the previous review before consuming this one.

Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen a lot of Android compatible controllers show up on the scene; some have been improvements over previous versions (like the Moga controller) while others have been cheap cash ins or worse.

With gaming maturing on mobile type devices, proper physical controls are more important now than ever.  Can the Nyko Playpad Pro do the job?

Review: ColEm: A Colecovision Emulator

I’ve talked extensively about emulation in the .EMU emulators article and subsequently even looked at other emulators like reicast, the Dreamcast emulator and C64.EMU, the Commodore 64 emulator.  Thanks to top quality physical controllers like the Nyko Playpad – we are no longer forced to play our classic favorites with horrid touch screen D-Pads.

The great thing about emulation is that it doesn’t matter what retro system you loved or what classic era of gaming you were born into; there are emulators for just about every console, handheld and computer out there (within reason of course).  I was personally around when home console gaming was all about chasing the games at the local arcade.  The  accuracy of the ports made all the difference; in graphics, sound and implementation.  Without a doubt, the game console that was first able to really capture the arcade experience at home was Colecovision.