NVidia Shield TV FAQ

Note: This post will be updated regularly. Got a question? Send it here.

We’re ready for your questions.

  • 1. Shield Android TV (2015)
  • 2. Rooting
  • 3. SD Card & External Storage
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  • 1. Google Play has stopped working error.
     

    Go to SETTINGS->APPS and select Google Play Services:

    - Force stop
    - Clear Cache
    - Clear Data
    - Reboot

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  • 2. I cannot get my Shield device to see shared folders on my Windows PC.
     

    This works on Windows 7, 8 and 10 (tested).

    You need to tell Windows that you want to use the machine as a file server and that it should allocate resources accordingly.

    Set the following registry key to ‘1′:

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\LargeSystemCache

    ... and set the following registry key to ‘3′: (you may have to CREATE it yourself)

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters\Size

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  • 3. Why can't I write to my SD card with {insert application here}
     

    Note: Android 6.0 (aka Android Marshmallow) can affect how SD card is accessed.  Read my article on Adoptive Storage for more information.

    Since Android Kit Kat, Google has locked down security on the SD card.  In Kit Kat, a program could only WRITE to a folder within the /Android/Data/ folder named the same as the package name of the app (i.e. com.foo.packagename).  This ensures that an app cannot get to or modify other data on the SD Card.  To get around this, root users could use a tool like SDFix to remove this restriction and make the SD Card read/write for all apps.  Read access was available across the entire SD card.

    The same holds true with Lollipop.  All apps can access the SD card for reading, but only the designated folder for writing.

    Lollipop, however, allows for "elevated privileges" to apps that are code-compliant with Lollipop and are granted this access by the end user.  This does not require root access.  When an app is compliant, it will ask the user to select a folder for access.  If you choose the root folder of the SD card, the app will have full privileges to read and write.  One such file manager is ES File Explorer.  You can educate yourself more here.

    MOST apps do not include Lollipop support for this level of access.  If your favorite application cannot access the SD card to your liking, I recommend rooting and using SDFix.  Your only other choice is to write the developer and ask for Lollipop support.

    With Android Marshmallow, SDFix no longer works.

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  • 4. Where can I get adb/fastboot drivers for my Shield device?
     

    All Shield devices use the latest Shield Family Drivers.


    Shield Family Drivers (2420 downloads)

    Or ...

    Get them from here (Official NVidia).

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  • 5. Do I have to download the whole Android SDK to get ADB set up and working?
     

    No.  You only need a small subset of files.


    Minimal ADB and Fastboot (56343 downloads)

    ... or from here.  (Courtesy of XDA)

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  • 6. Will unlocking the bootloader wipe my tablet?
     

    Yes it will.   Do your best to backup everything you can.

    On the Shield Android TV Pro (500GB) this process can take a LONG time.  Be patient.

    This will also render all adopted storage unreadable (Android Marshmallow).

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  • 7. Can I root with a locked bootloader?
     

    No.  The bootloader is there to protect the system files from an outside "attack".  To get the permissions and access you need to root,  you have to unlock the device.

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  • 8. Is there a version of TowelRoot that still works?
     

    No.  You may be able to use KingRoot, but it is a risky endeavor as no one knows what sort of malware or spyware may be involved with this application.  I wouldn't risk it.

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  • 9. What is the CPU speed of the Shield Android TV?
     

    While I didn't see any public record, a utility called CPU-Z benchmark shows 4xARM Cortex-A57 @ 2.01GHz.

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  • 10. Sky Force Anniversary - Green planes have turned black! They are hard to see.
     

    Make sure you are signed into Google Play Games and that Cloud is on in OPTIONS.  Then uninstall the game and reinstall.

    The planes will again appear green as before.  No clue why this is; something about the update from 1.3 to a newer version.  The 16GB version doesn't seem to suffer from this.

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  • 11. I’m having general issues accessing my SD card/external storage. What else could be wrong?
     

    Note: Android 6.0 (aka Android Marshmallow) can affect how SD card is accessed.  Read my article on Adoptive Storage for more information.

    There are reports that if your SD card is formatted with ExFAT that you can have issues with it on the Shield Tablet.  Using a computer, copy the files off the SD card, reformat it using NTFS, then restore your files.

    There is also word out there that if the SD card partition isn't named (i.e. it is blank), Lollipop will deny access to it.  Naming it may also solve your problem.

    Your other option is to get another SD card, format it with the Shield Tablet - then use a computer to copy the files off your old SD card to your new one.

    If you have a large external drive, it may have been made with a GPT partition instead of an MBR partition.  Visit this site to better understand the differences.  If you have 2TB or less, you can use MBR in a single partition.  If you have a bigger drive, you may have to use multiple MBR partitions.

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  • 12. How to get to "fastboot"/bootloader on Shield Android TV?
     

    Pre-OTA 3.2:

    1. Unplug power from the Shield Android TV.  Wait a few seconds.
    2. Hold down the power button.
    3. Plug in power
    4. Count to three
    5. Release the power button momentarily then immediately hold it again
    6. You should see the bootloader screen after a few seconds.

    [youtube id="2AzHF-uNiY8" align="center" maxwidth="600"]

    If you don’t, repeat steps 1-6.  If you hold it down too long or not long enough, it simply doesn’t work.

    Post-OTA 3.2:

    1. Unplug power from the Shield Android TV.  Wait a few seconds.
    2. Plug in the power.
    3. Wait for about 1/2 second.
    4. HOLD power button for 5-6 seconds.

    [youtube id="yivWH4363s8" align="center" maxwidth="600"]

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  • 13. I cannot get my computer to recognize my Shield device using ADB! It's making me crazy! What am I doing wrong?
     

    You probably don't have USB Debugging set up in Developer options on the Shield device.   Go to SETTINGS -> ABOUT.  Scroll down to the bottom and start tapping the BUILD INFO area.  A toast will come up and tell you to continue tapping - and poof, you will be "a developer".

    At this point, you need to go back to SETTINGS -> DEVELOPER OPTIONS and check USB DEBUGGING.

    Try plugging into your PC now - but WATCH THE SHIELD SCREEN!  You may get prompted to "allow" access by your PC to the device.  Make sure you check the option to always allow access by this PC.

    ADB should run correctly now.

    Another possibility is that you have older/other Android drivers already on your machine from another device.  If possible, use a different machine or a virtual machine that is clean.  Use a tool like this one to remove the other USB device.

    Finally, ensure you're using a quality USB cable - one that came with a phone (not some external charger).  Don't use super long cables - no daisy chaining cables or extensions.

    Seriously, it's probably your USB cable.

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  • 14. Does NVidia Shield TV support Amazon Prime Instant Watch?
     

    No, it doesn't yet.  If you're industrious, you can side load Amazon App Store, Instant Watch app and Google Chrome - but you'll probably want a keyboard/mouse to make it work right. View our tutorial here.

    NEW: Prime Video Launcher looks like a great solution to get us by until Amazon comes around.

    Update: A hacked Sony version appears to work (again) on Shield TV.  Get it while it still works.

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  • 15. Does it have Google Play store?
     

    Yes, but it will only give you access to Android TV compatible apps. You can sideload other Android apps with varying degrees of success. You will want to pick up the Sideload Launcher from the Play Store since most sideloaded apps will NOT appear in the main Android TV menu.

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  • 16. What version of Android is on the Shield Android TV?
     

    It uses a special version of Android designed for TVs called “Android TV”.

    It reports itself as Version 5.1 (Lollipop).

    Android 6.0 (aka Marshmallow) is anticipated sometime in Q1 2016.

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  • 17. Can I root it?
     

    Yes you can.  We show you how with a step by step tutorial here.

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  • 18. What is the difference between the 16GB and 500GB model?
     

    Essentially, the 16GB is flash-based memory, the 500GB model uses a hybrid mechanical/SSD drive.

    We know that unlike the 16GB unit, the 500GB drive is mounted as SDCARD meaning you have insane amounts of space for even the biggest game.

    You have just over 11GB of empty space in the 16GB SKU named SDCARD and anything you add in will be USBDRIVE or similar.

    The 16GB unit is also bereft of the internal connectors to hook up an internal drive.

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  • 19. What comes with the Shield? The Remote or game controller? Do I need the other?
     

    The unit ships ready to game with a same Shield Controller used by Shield Tablet. Updated: After Thanksgiving 2015, NVidia has been giving the Remote away with purchase of a Shield Android TV.

    The controller is required for Android gaming as well as GeForce Gamestream/NOW service.

    The Remote, of course, is a bit more basic and easier to use for non-gaming. Having played with the Remote unit, you’ll likely WANT it as it is very slick, convenient and well-built.  It is also a bit easier on non-techies in the house.

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  • 20. Can I add a hard drive internally to the 16GB version? Replace the 500GB in the Pro version?
     

    The official answer is: no.

    The 16GB unit apparently has NO connectors or means to connect a drive.

    For the Pro version apparently the drives use some sort of flex cable for connectivity and of course opening the unit will void the warranty.  Apparently the cable and connecting apparatus is very sensitive and any sort of fiddling around with it might result in hard drive detection failures.

    Will someone eventually pull it off? I’m sure it will be a warranty voiding mod and I am also sure it will require expertise most users will not have.

    My recommendation: Spend the extra $$$. Go Pro.  Android 6.0 (aka Marshmallow) will include Adoptive Storage that may solve your storage issues.

    Apparently, this has been accomplished.

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  • 21. Can you plug headphones into the controller and stream audio too? Or does just the Remote do that?
     

    Streaming works through the Shield controller as well.  Just plug in a standard pair of headphones and you will get the Shield audio through them.

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  • 22. Is it possible to sideload Android apps without rooting, etc?
     

    Yes.  You’ll need to enable UNKNOWN SOURCES (and probably disable VERIFY APPS) and you’ll need some way of getting to the APK files to the box.

    To download APKs from the store, try this website.  Drop the APK files onto a microSD or flash drive and plug them into the Shield.

    You’ll need a file manager to access the APKs.  AnExplorer File Manager can be downloaded on the Shield from the Google Play store (or do it from the web).

    Here is a video showing how to do it using Google Drive.

    [youtube id="tZ-RipoRFU8" align="center" maxwidth="600"]

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  • 23. After installing an update on Shield Android TV, I'm stuck at some boot screen (Fastboot)
     

    NVidia has identified some Shield Android TV Pro (500GB) units with hard drive issues that are brought to light by the 1.4 update.  You will need to RMA it.

    Here is NVidia's official statement:

    https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/875185/shield-android-tv/upgrade-1-4-note-for-shield-pro-users/

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  • 24. I am getting terrible performance with Gamestream from my local PC. Help!
     

    Your local network has nearly ENDLESS possibilities of configuration; it would be impossible for us to cover everything possible here.  However, we can go over a few common issues we've seen.

    Go Wired

    Wifi - no matter how fast or how great it is - simply isn't a stable and clean enough signal to rely upon for high end gamestreaming.  Going to Ethernet is the first thing you should try.

    Power Line Adapters

    They are better than WiFi but don't use them if you don't have to.  Even if they "appear" fast enough or perform amazing with speed tests.  Gamestream requires more than just speed.  If you're having issues and these are between your PC and your Shield?  This is the first thing to eliminate.

    Weak Link In The Chain

    If you have a decent sized network, you may have a "weak link" somewhere and this is causing packet loss or other issues.  This can range from an old 10/100 hub in a Gigabit network to old Cat-5 cables that were never replaced when you upgraded last.

    Router

    Not all routers are created equally.  Nor do they typically outright die when they are exhibiting problems.  An old, ailing router (or even a defective new one) my show no outward signs of packet loss and pass every speed test you throw at it.  Your router may be the source of the problem without you even knowing it.

    Many do not realize that NVidia has "approved" routers for use with Gamestream.  Check out the list here.

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  • 25. Gamestream worked yesterday, but today my PC isn't showing up in Gamestream.
     

    Obviously try rebooting the Shield device and the PC.  Many times this will solve the issue.

    If you log into NVidia with a Google account, it seems like sometimes they "disconnect", even though you appear logged in via the Geforce Experience.

    Log out on the PC and log back in.  You'll probably get reauthenticated and the PC will show up again.

    If you've found another issue/solution like this, let us know.

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  • 26. What emulators are available for Android TV?
     

    Check out our Emulator area for lists of recommended emulators and to see which ones work with Shield Android TV.

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  • 27. Is there a web browser or email program included?
     

    No, there is not.  Also notably absent is Maps.

    It is possible to sideload one - but prepare to need a mouse and probably a keyboard for most effectiveness.  Chrome works - but I would recommend Opera; it seems to play nicer with Android TV.

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  • 28. Is the Plex app installed the “full version”?
     

    Yes, it appears it is the “paid” version.  Plex works WONDERFUL on the NVidia Shield console.

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  • 29. Will unlocking the bootloader or rooting my Shield void my warranty?
     

    Not necessarily; the wording in NVidia's own documentation says your warranty "may" be voided.  However, no one has ever stated publicly that they were denied warranty for bootloader/root issues.

    Note: NVidia's own instructions for rolling your device back to a previous, stable version tells you to unlock the bootloader.  I think that would make a good case to NVidia if you needed warranty work.

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  • 30. Why should I root my Shield?
     
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  • 31. Some games won't install to the SD card. Anything I can do about this?
     

    Many games support installing to the SD card already.  For those that do not have built-in support, you can use Folder Mount or Link2SD.  These  applications require root access.

    Upgrading to Android 6.0 (aka Marshmallow) on K1 (soon on Shield Android TV) will allow you to adopt your SD card as internal memory.  See my article on the subject.

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  • 32. How hard is it to root?
     

    You will need a computer, drivers for Shield Tablet, ADB, command line experience and some basic common sense.  There is no real "root on device" or "Towel Root" solution anymore.

    We have root tutorials for all Shield devices that walk you through everything.  Check the menu items above.

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  • 33. Only two of my {x} number of external drives are showing up on Shield Android TV.
     

    This is a known issue on Shield TV.  A fix is promised.  For more information, check out this thread.

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  • 34. I can't write/delete on external drives on Shield TV.
     

    With Android 6 (aka Marshmallow) for Shield TV, you may adopt your external device as internal storage.  Read my article here.

    Android locks down write access to external drives and samba mounts.

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  • 35. I'm having issues with the Shield Controller. Looks dead. Anything I can do?
     

    There is a known software glitch that can cause the controller to appear initially unresponsive, then simply appear to die.

    - Hold down the NVidia button in the middle for 20 full seconds (it is longer than it seems).
    - Repair with your Shield device.
    - Enjoy

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  • 36. Can I "unroot" and do I have to in order to get OTA updates?
     

    You don't have to unroot or wipe to apply OTA updates (at least so far; if you perform modifications beyond root, you are on your own), but OTA will wipe root and you'll have to re-establish it.

    Remember, when changing version of the OS (like Lollipop to Marshmallow) the exploits/methods of rooting will likely change.  If the OS that the OTA advances you to doesn't have a root method yet, it could be hours, days or even weeks before the ability to root will be available.  If root is super important, don't do OTAs to a new OS until the root method/tutorial is released.

    Easiest way to "unroot" is to simply restore to stock by using the steps at the bottom of my tutorials or: TV | Tablet | Portable.

    If your device won't update over OTA, back up your data and perform a restore to stock.  Don't panic - it is almost impossible to brick a Shield device.

    Technical Answer:

    You may also be able to simply flash the system partition to remove root.

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  • 37. TWRP boots to a black screen! Help!
     

    Apparently Shield TV's TWRP build will not show up on 4K displays.  Try plugging the Shield TV into a 1080p display and trying again.

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  • 38. I get an "Out of Storage Space" error when trying to record/cast video.
     

    This is a known issue in 3.2 when you have a network file share mounted.  To record, temporarily dismount any network drives.

    This should be fixed with 3.3 coming shortly.

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  • 39. "Access SHIELD folders on a PC” keeps shutting off!
     

    This feature will not survive a reboot of the Shield TV.  This is a KNOWN issue and will be fixed in a later release.

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  • 40. I enabled Plex Server, but how do I add stuff to it?
     

    Before getting started, verify that your Plex apps are update to date: Go to Settings > Apps > System Apps and select the Plex apps.

    To set up your server, open the Plex app in the Apps row on SHIELD & follow the instructions. If you don’t have a Plex account you can sign up @ https://www.plex.tv/
    To map additional libraries of content to your Plex Server, visit https://plex.tv/web

     

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  • 41. How do I enable HDR on my TV?
     

    Most HDR TVs do not have HDR output enabled by default for HDMI. To enable, refer to your TV owner’s manual. Here are the settings for some of the common TVs:

    • Samsung: Menu->Picture->Picture Options->HDMI UHD Color->On->Restart
    • LG: Home->HDMI->Settings->Advanced->Picture->HDMI ULTRA DEEP COLOR->On->Restart
    • Sony: Home -> Settings -> External inputs -> HDMI signal format -> HDMI [select the SHIELD input] -> Enhanced mode (TV will reboot)
    • Vizio: Vizio has not yet released a firmware update supporting HDR10 as of June 29, 2016

    Note: If you have a receiver in between SHIELD and your TV, it must also support HDR.

     

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  • 42. Is Plex Media Server only available on SHIELD Pro?
     

    No. Plex Media Server comes preinstalled on both SHIELD 16 GB and SHIELD Pro 500 GB. However, because SHIELD Pro has 500 GB of built-in storage for your media collection, it’s the optimal choice for your Plex Media Server. If you use Plex Media Server on SHIELD 16 GB please keep in mind the following. Plex requires that you maintain sufficient free space on your internal storage for video transcoding, roughly equal to the size of the source file of the transcode (this can average around 4-5GB for a full length HD movie). A good solution for 16 GB users is to adopt an SD card or USB drive as internal storage to provide more space for the transcode cache. In addition, if you have a large media collection of hundreds of videos, Plex can store Gigabytes of additional meta data for your video files. This data requires available storage space on SHIELD’s internal memory, regardless of adopting additional storage.

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  • 43. Does Plex Media Server require Ethernet?
     

    No, Plex Media Server can be run on Wi-Fi as well, however, to reduce the chances of Wi-Fi congestion when streaming from your SHIELD to mobile devices, it’s recommended to use an Ethernet connection between your SHIELD and your router. Also, if you are mounting a NAS to SHIELD, it’s recommended to use an Ethernet connection between your NAS and your router. If all of your devices are on Wi-Fi, you can run into bandwidth limitations from all of the Wi-Fi hops: NAS -> Router -> SHIELD -> Router > Mobile Device. And if you perform multiple simultaneous streams to mobile devices from a NAS, all of this traffic can exceed your available bandwidth.

    Note from the Editor:  We highly recommend you use Ethernet on the Shield TV.

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  • 44. How many transcodes can SHIELD perform at the same time?
     

    In general, a user can expect to be able to watch a 4K movie locally on SHIELD, transcode another movie to a mobile device (remote or at home), and Direct Play another movie to a 3rd device at home, all at the same time. This makes Plex Media Server on SHIELD a great mainstream server solution for a single family. As with all Plex Media Servers, performance will depend on your available network bandwidth and the bit-rate of the content that you are playing. Please note that while you can transcode at the same time as playing GeForce NOW games and most Android games, very graphics intensive games like Borderlands: TPS or Resident Evil 5 that require all of SHIELD’s available resources, will experience reduce frame rates when a transcode is being performed.

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  • 45. STV won't see my (Synology) NAS when mounting network shares.
     

    This could be several factors.

    Synology users:

    In the Synology control panel, enable the "Windows File Service". "Guest" account may not work, but authenticated users should.

    We'll have more info here including other NAS devices as we get data.

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  • 46. Some of my network shares aren't showing up - but others are ...
     

    There is a known issue if you have SPACES in your share names:

    "Movies and TV" will fail.

    "Movies_and_TV" should not.

    NVidia has been notified of this issue.

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  • 47. If I plug in external storage, Samba/File Sharing doesn't see it.
     

    You need to stop and restart file sharing.  Go to Storage and Reset -> Allow Access to Shield From PC.  Turn it off, then back on again.  In a few moments, your new attached storage should show up.

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  • 48. Cannot mount Synology DISKSTATION on Shield TV over Samba file sharing.
     

    Instead of selecting the DISKSTATION entry in the mount dialog window, select "Manually add a network storage" and enter \\192.xxx.xxx.xxx\ with the folder name you want after the last \. It then says wrong credentials and brings me to the userid & password dialog. Did the trick for me.

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  • 49. PC can "see" Shield TV on network, but can't access ...
     

    I was having this symptom with my windows 7 pc and after some troubleshooting I remembered I had changed my 'Network security: LAN Manager authentication level' in my local policy under security options to say 'Send LM & NTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated'. Once I set it back to 'Send NTLMv2 response only' and accessed the Shield I finally got a username and password prompt and upon entering those I was able to access the unit.
    The SMB protocol Plex uses clearly does not support the older NTLM spec.

    Check out this tutorial

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  • 50. What should I expect to be able to write to on Shield TV/Samba?
     

    The short answer:

    Whatever is currently "/sdcard/"; be it internal memory or adopted storage.

    If you want full read/write to a large drive attached to your Shield?  Adopt it, "move data" to it.  Restart the samba service.  That device will be full r/w via samba.

    You can achieve local storage r/w access with Root access and the file manager X-Plore

    Here is a video of how to do it.

    [youtube id="vNQRq0y9mYo" align="center" maxwidth="600"]

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  • 51. Is there a way to control my Shield TV with the Android App AnyMote?
     

    AnyMote is an amazing tool for turning your IR-Blaster equipped smartphone or tablet into a Universal Remote Control.

    There is also a wi-fi version for those without IR-Blasters.

    Here are a couple of AnyMote Shared controllers for you to try.  They must be scanned on your AnyMote-installed device.

     

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  • 52. When trying to root/flash/stock recover, I get “FAILED (command write failed (Unknown error))”
     

    Every time I've helped someone with this issue - it has been the USB cable.

    All USB cables are not created equal.  Cables that come with your phone are typically for both CHARGING and for DATA.  These are usually higher quality and should do the job of performing rooting/flashing on your Shield device.

    Cables that come with external batteries/powerbanks, etc. are usually cheap and designed for CHARGING only.  They may work "ok" for data, but these may fail when trying to write low level to the Shield device.

    Along with quality, LENGTH of the cable can make a difference.  I helped one person with a FIFTY foot USB cable - another with 6 cables daisy-chained together.  Both received this error message when trying to flash.

    Short, high quality built-for-data USB cables are the solution.

    Finally, make sure you're using a high-quality USB port; avoid hubs and the front ports on the PC unless you've used them successfully before.  Use the back "motherboard" ports.

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  • 53. What is different about the Shield TV 2015 vs 2017 edition?
     

    The new Shield TV is 40% smaller than the original 2015 version.  It is missing the microSD card slot and the microUSB female plug (OTG, ADB).  It no longer has a power button on the front.  It comes packed with the New Shield Controller and a new variant of the Shield Remote.

    The new Shield TV does not include an HDMI cable.

    Internal components and specs are the same.

    ADB access requires a male to male USB cable (that is uncommon for most users) in the right most USB port.  This is toggled between standard USB mode and "USB ADB" mode within the settings.

    The new Shield TV ships with Android 7.0 (Nougat) while the original Shield TV is running Marshmallow (OTA update forthcoming will bring OS parity between both units).

    The New Shield Remote differs from the original Shield Remote (which is also the only one sold separately).  The new Remote runs on 2 CR 2032 "coin" batteries (rated for one year of operation) instead of the lithium rechargable battery battery on the original one (charged by microUSB cable).  The New Remote does not have a private listening headphone jack but does feature an IR Blaster for operating a TV.  The New Remote does not feature a lit "microphone" button.  Both remotes feel and look nearly identical with the exception of the bottom - the original Remote being a bit thicker.

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  • 54. What is a good, inexpensive high speed USB Flash drive for use with Shield TV?
     

    Currently this seems to be the popular choice.  Amazon Prime and under $30

    SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ43-128G-GAM46) [Newest Version]

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  • 1. Where can I get adb/fastboot drivers for my Shield device?
     

    All Shield devices use the latest Shield Family Drivers.


    Shield Family Drivers (2420 downloads)

    Or ...

    Get them from here (Official NVidia).

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  • 2. Do I have to download the whole Android SDK to get ADB set up and working?
     

    No.  You only need a small subset of files.


    Minimal ADB and Fastboot (56343 downloads)

    ... or from here.  (Courtesy of XDA)

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  • 3. How to get to "fastboot"/bootloader on Shield Android TV?
     

    Pre-OTA 3.2:

    1. Unplug power from the Shield Android TV.  Wait a few seconds.
    2. Hold down the power button.
    3. Plug in power
    4. Count to three
    5. Release the power button momentarily then immediately hold it again
    6. You should see the bootloader screen after a few seconds.

    [youtube id="2AzHF-uNiY8" align="center" maxwidth="600"]

    If you don’t, repeat steps 1-6.  If you hold it down too long or not long enough, it simply doesn’t work.

    Post-OTA 3.2:

    1. Unplug power from the Shield Android TV.  Wait a few seconds.
    2. Plug in the power.
    3. Wait for about 1/2 second.
    4. HOLD power button for 5-6 seconds.

    [youtube id="yivWH4363s8" align="center" maxwidth="600"]

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  • 4. Will unlocking the bootloader wipe my tablet?
     

    Yes it will.   Do your best to backup everything you can.

    On the Shield Android TV Pro (500GB) this process can take a LONG time.  Be patient.

    This will also render all adopted storage unreadable (Android Marshmallow).

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (7) / No (0)
    Viewed 1663 Times
  • 5. Can I root with a locked bootloader?
     

    No.  The bootloader is there to protect the system files from an outside "attack".  To get the permissions and access you need to root,  you have to unlock the device.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (9) / No (4)
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  • 6. Is there a version of TowelRoot that still works?
     

    No.  You may be able to use KingRoot, but it is a risky endeavor as no one knows what sort of malware or spyware may be involved with this application.  I wouldn't risk it.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (10) / No (1)
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  • 7. Can I still root if I updated to Lollipop with a locked bootloader?
     

    Yes.  The unfortunate part of this is that you lost root and your backup tools like Titanium Backup will no longer work properly allowing you to make a backup before wiping the tablet with the bootloader unlocking proces

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  • 8. Is it possible to sideload Android apps without rooting, etc?
     

    Yes.  You’ll need to enable UNKNOWN SOURCES (and probably disable VERIFY APPS) and you’ll need some way of getting to the APK files to the box.

    To download APKs from the store, try this website.  Drop the APK files onto a microSD or flash drive and plug them into the Shield.

    You’ll need a file manager to access the APKs.  AnExplorer File Manager can be downloaded on the Shield from the Google Play store (or do it from the web).

    Here is a video showing how to do it using Google Drive.

    [youtube id="tZ-RipoRFU8" align="center" maxwidth="600"]

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  • 9. How hard is it to root?
     

    You will need a computer, drivers for Shield Tablet, ADB, command line experience and some basic common sense.  There is no real "root on device" or "Towel Root" solution anymore.

    We have root tutorials for all Shield devices that walk you through everything.  Check the menu items above.

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  • 10. I can't write/delete on external drives on Shield TV.
     

    With Android 6 (aka Marshmallow) for Shield TV, you may adopt your external device as internal storage.  Read my article here.

    Android locks down write access to external drives and samba mounts.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (0) / No (15)
    Viewed 2108 Times
  • 11. TWRP boots to a black screen! Help!
     

    Apparently Shield TV's TWRP build will not show up on 4K displays.  Try plugging the Shield TV into a 1080p display and trying again.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (4) / No (0)
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  • 12. I'm rooted, but AdAway isn't able to update my HOSTS file?
     

    One of our users, Adam says:

    In order to get it to copy correctly, I had to install Busybox and Material Terminal, then mount the System as Read Write and was able to get Adaway to copy the hosts file.

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  • 13. Some games won't install to the SD card. Anything I can do about this?
     

    Many games support installing to the SD card already.  For those that do not have built-in support, you can use Folder Mount or Link2SD.  These  applications require root access.

    Upgrading to Android 6.0 (aka Marshmallow) on K1 (soon on Shield Android TV) will allow you to adopt your SD card as internal memory.  See my article on the subject.

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  • 14. Can I "unroot" and do I have to in order to get OTA updates?
     

    You don't have to unroot or wipe to apply OTA updates (at least so far; if you perform modifications beyond root, you are on your own), but OTA will wipe root and you'll have to re-establish it.

    Remember, when changing version of the OS (like Lollipop to Marshmallow) the exploits/methods of rooting will likely change.  If the OS that the OTA advances you to doesn't have a root method yet, it could be hours, days or even weeks before the ability to root will be available.  If root is super important, don't do OTAs to a new OS until the root method/tutorial is released.

    Easiest way to "unroot" is to simply restore to stock by using the steps at the bottom of my tutorials or: TV | Tablet | Portable.

    If your device won't update over OTA, back up your data and perform a restore to stock.  Don't panic - it is almost impossible to brick a Shield device.

    Technical Answer:

    You may also be able to simply flash the system partition to remove root.

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  • 15. When trying to root/flash/stock recover, I get “FAILED (command write failed (Unknown error))”
     

    Every time I've helped someone with this issue - it has been the USB cable.

    All USB cables are not created equal.  Cables that come with your phone are typically for both CHARGING and for DATA.  These are usually higher quality and should do the job of performing rooting/flashing on your Shield device.

    Cables that come with external batteries/powerbanks, etc. are usually cheap and designed for CHARGING only.  They may work "ok" for data, but these may fail when trying to write low level to the Shield device.

    Along with quality, LENGTH of the cable can make a difference.  I helped one person with a FIFTY foot USB cable - another with 6 cables daisy-chained together.  Both received this error message when trying to flash.

    Short, high quality built-for-data USB cables are the solution.

    Finally, make sure you're using a high-quality USB port; avoid hubs and the front ports on the PC unless you've used them successfully before.  Use the back "motherboard" ports.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (2) / No (0)
    Viewed 640 Times
  • 16. How do I enter Fastboot on the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    Via XDA:

    There are two ways to access fast boot. The first way to access fast boot mode,

    1. Buy a male to male USB 3 cable, & plug it into the USB port furthest away from the hdmi port.
    2. In settings of the shield, go to storage.
    3. Enable USB transfer
    4. In settings go to about, then build version.
    5. Click on build version 5 times.
    6. Under settings, go to developer options.
    7. Enable USB debugging.
    8. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed from Nvidias website.
    9. Download ADB Command prompt/fastboot
    10. Type "adb devices"
    11. You may get a prompt on your shield about allowing debugging, if so make sure you allow it.
    12. Type "adb devices" again if a device shows up then great! move on to the next step.
    13. Type "adb reboot bootloader"

    The second way of getting into fastboot mode, is the following

    1. Unplug your power cable from the device.
    2. Plug in your Shield game controller in the usb closest to the hdmi port.
    3. Hold down buttons A & B.
    4. While holding down the two buttons, put in your power cable.
    5. Keep holding down the buttons.
    6. If all done correctly you should see the fast boot menu now on your screen.

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  • 17. What cable do I need for ADB/PC access to the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    With the microUSB female plug gone, you will need a rather special cable; a USB3.0 Type A Male to USB3.0 Type A Male cable.  You'll use this in the USB port farthest from the HDMI port.  The USB port also has to be toggled to support ADB/USB operations within the SETTINGS/Storage and Reset section of the Android TV OS.

    Here are a couple of cable choices from Amazon: 3 Feet6 Feet | 10 Feet (all support Prime shipping)

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  • 1. What is Folder Mount, why do I need it and how does it work?
     

    Note: Adoptive Storage in Android 6.0 sort of removes the need for this.  Check out my article on Adoptive Storage to better understand.

    Some games will not allow you to move them to your external SD card.  This takes its toll on the free space on your internal memory and with huge games weighing in at 2GB or more, those of us with mere 16GB tablets need the ability to move games (at least their big bulky data files) to our SD card.

    Folder Mount is an app (requires root) that allows you to "move" anything in your internal memory to your SD card.

    It works by creating a "link" between your internal memory and your SD card known as a symbolic link.  This "tricks" the operating system into routing all its calls for a folder internally to an SD card directory.

    Let's say you install A Really Cool Game that downloads 800MB of data to your internal storage located at:

    <internal memory>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame

    Folder Mount will allow you to create a "mount" point between <internal memory>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame and <external SD Card>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame

    From that point forward, all calls (load, save, whatever) that are made to <internal memory>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame will automatically jump to the SD card's location.

    Part of this process is moving the contents of the internal folder to the SD card equivalent.  Fortunately, Folder Mount will do that for you - and even move the content back if you decide you don't want that link anymore.  If you do not allow Folder Mount to do this for you, you will have to move the files yourself - while the mount point is NOT active.  If this isn't done, you can easily end up with TWO copies of the same game data (even if you can't see it - remember, the OS is completely fooled while the mount point is active - even file managers won't know the difference) and that doesn't solve your storage problem.

    The app does require purchase if you have more than a few links.  I do NOT recommend creating top level links like Androidobb or Androiddata to the SD card.  While it is a little more work to do it one folder at a time, you will run into a lot less trouble.

    Remember, your SD card is slower than internal memory (in some cases many times slower) and games may take longer to load, stutter during play or have other undesired results.  You'll want the fastest, best SD card you can afford if you plan to use this process for these types of games.

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  • 2. Why can't I write to my SD card with {insert application here}
     

    Note: Android 6.0 (aka Android Marshmallow) can affect how SD card is accessed.  Read my article on Adoptive Storage for more information.

    Since Android Kit Kat, Google has locked down security on the SD card.  In Kit Kat, a program could only WRITE to a folder within the /Android/Data/ folder named the same as the package name of the app (i.e. com.foo.packagename).  This ensures that an app cannot get to or modify other data on the SD Card.  To get around this, root users could use a tool like SDFix to remove this restriction and make the SD Card read/write for all apps.  Read access was available across the entire SD card.

    The same holds true with Lollipop.  All apps can access the SD card for reading, but only the designated folder for writing.

    Lollipop, however, allows for "elevated privileges" to apps that are code-compliant with Lollipop and are granted this access by the end user.  This does not require root access.  When an app is compliant, it will ask the user to select a folder for access.  If you choose the root folder of the SD card, the app will have full privileges to read and write.  One such file manager is ES File Explorer.  You can educate yourself more here.

    MOST apps do not include Lollipop support for this level of access.  If your favorite application cannot access the SD card to your liking, I recommend rooting and using SDFix.  Your only other choice is to write the developer and ask for Lollipop support.

    With Android Marshmallow, SDFix no longer works.

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  • 3. Only two of my {x} number of external drives are showing up on Shield Android TV.
     

    This is a known issue on Shield TV.  A fix is promised.  For more information, check out this thread.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (0) / No (1)
    Viewed 849 Times
  • 4. I can't write/delete on external drives on Shield TV.
     

    With Android 6 (aka Marshmallow) for Shield TV, you may adopt your external device as internal storage.  Read my article here.

    Android locks down write access to external drives and samba mounts.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (0) / No (15)
    Viewed 2108 Times
  • 5. Where is the microSD slot on the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    The microSD card slot was removed.  You can use fast USB flash drives for adoptive storage or more removable storage.

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  • 6. I’m having general issues accessing my SD card/external storage. What else could be wrong?
     

    Note: Android 6.0 (aka Android Marshmallow) can affect how SD card is accessed.  Read my article on Adoptive Storage for more information.

    There are reports that if your SD card is formatted with ExFAT that you can have issues with it on the Shield Tablet.  Using a computer, copy the files off the SD card, reformat it using NTFS, then restore your files.

    There is also word out there that if the SD card partition isn't named (i.e. it is blank), Lollipop will deny access to it.  Naming it may also solve your problem.

    Your other option is to get another SD card, format it with the Shield Tablet - then use a computer to copy the files off your old SD card to your new one.

    If you have a large external drive, it may have been made with a GPT partition instead of an MBR partition.  Visit this site to better understand the differences.  If you have 2TB or less, you can use MBR in a single partition.  If you have a bigger drive, you may have to use multiple MBR partitions.

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    Viewed 1584 Times
  • 7. Some games won't install to the SD card. Anything I can do about this?
     

    Many games support installing to the SD card already.  For those that do not have built-in support, you can use Folder Mount or Link2SD.  These  applications require root access.

    Upgrading to Android 6.0 (aka Marshmallow) on K1 (soon on Shield Android TV) will allow you to adopt your SD card as internal memory.  See my article on the subject.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (4) / No (0)
    Viewed 1455 Times

Ask your question now!

5 Responses to NVidia Shield TV FAQ

  1. Mike Howie says:

    Hi I am going purchase the new Sheild tv and would like to root the old device . Most of my stuff is on an external hard drive will this need to be plugged in during the process of changing to stock android

    • administrator says:

      If it is adopted? It won’t work. The hard drive is encrypted and can only work on THAT device. Copy the files off, get the new Shield. Plug the drive in, reformat/adopt, write the files back.

      Kinda sucks.

      If the drive is NOT adopted and it is just a “storage drive” then you shouldn’t have any issue.

  2. Is there any way to play local multiplayer FIFA or pes on shield(without PC)?

  3. can we extract windows arm version software (released late in 2017) & install it on shield tv

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