Nvidia Shield TV Gets New Games, Features in OTA

The Nvidia Shield TV, one of the best Android TV STBs, announced an OTA update last week that brings a lot of exclusive features to the device that should make owner very happy.

GeForce Now

Nvidia GeForce Now
Streaming high-quality games from a server to a low-powered device has been a pipe dream for a while. The Internet latency has never gotten small enough to satisfy high-end gamers. For less enthusiastic gamers, however, they might be interested in Nvidia’s new game streaming software.

GeForce Now is a new subscription service that will allow players to stream 50 different PC games from servers to the user. The example highlighted is Witcher III, a high caliber game that might be difficult to port or otherwise run on some devices. This will run users $8 a month to keep streaming, but Nvidia is offering the first three months free to try out.

This service is exclusive to Nvidia products, which means the Nvidia Shield TV only. It’s not yet known whether Nvidia plans to extend this service, or whether this service can even run games smoothly over the Internet.

4K Support

Nvidia Shield 4K
This update brings support for 4K rendering, which should make games appear a lot crisper. However, this is only if the game is updated to render 4K such as Riptide GP2 or Leo’s Fortune.

More Media Codecs

There is also support for more media codecs. Most notably MPEG2, M2TS, and WMV support. There’s also now support for playing back WMA files.

More TV Settings

There are a few more settings Nvidia adds to improve the viewing experience. In the Device settings, options for refresh rate and overscan have been added.

Some films run at 24 frames per second (FPS), although your TV probably refreshes at 60 frames per second (50 in Europe). Now, users can force the refresh rate to 23.976 FPS to align with the frame rate of the movie.

Overscan can be an annoying problem on TVs, as each one might crop content off the sides of the screen. Android TV had the ability to adjust an image on the screen so the device manually understood the boundaries. A later update removed this feature for an unspecified reason. As such, Nvidia has added this option back in so users can get a better viewing experience.

Other Update Notes

There are a few additional things that were changed, like reducing audio latency. All of these things combined make a great update for Nvidia Shield TV owners, although they’re all exclusive to this single device. The update will continue to be Android 5.1 Lollipop even though the Marshmallow source code will be released today. It would make sense for another platform update to be announced soon, assuming that Nvidia plans to update their device.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker) Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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