Android nVidia Shield TV (2015 & 2017 Models) - UPDATED: May 25, 2018

  • Google Assistant
    Google Assistant is now available with the Nvidia 6.0 update, though only currently supported in the U.S. (a Google limitation).  You can, however, use GA by going to Settings > Language and changing it to English (United States), if you are located in a different country.   GA on Android TV is still a WIP and though somethings work, other things work only to a certain degree or not at all.  For instance, you can say "Ok Google, find Movie X" and you will see apps which that movie is in including Kodi, however, if you say "Ok Google, find Movie X in Kodi" it will respond with "Kodi can't be searched".   As well, it seems to be hit or miss with some movies, so even if you have a movie in your library it may not find it.  And in some cases you need to very specific, "find Ghostbusters" for instance will only return results (and not even the correct results) for Youtube and Google Play, however, "find Ghostbusters 1984" will give you results for Kodi, SPMC, Plex and MrMC.

  • Controller (2017 model)
    The game controller does not need to be "on" to use the hands-free voice commands.  The controller features an ultra-low power mode when not in use which allows it be an "always listening" device.  This can be toggled on and off via a setting at the bottom of the home screen.

    Controller breakdown and review:

  • nVidia Spot (unreleased)
    The Spot is an add-on peripheral that contains a mic and speaker and plugs directly in to a wall outlet.  The Spot along with Google Assistant will allow you to turn your Shield in "always listening" smart home device and personal assistant, similar to a Google Home.  How or if it will allow you to control Kodi through voice commands is unknown as the Spot is not released and isn't due out until later this year.
  • Update 10/07/2017 The Spot is still on the roadmap to be released.  However, it has been delayed (this appears to be due to Google releasing the Home Mini at the same price point, $50, as what the Spot was supposed to cost).  When Nvidia plans on releasing it is still unknown, but it has not been taken off the table.

  • Adopted Storage
    Adopted storage, also referred to as expanded storage, is a Android 6.x and above feature that allows you to connect external storage and adopt it as internal storage thereby expanding the capacity of the internal storage.  This will allow you to install more apps than you normally would be able to with the limited storage that comes with the 16GB model (this should NOT be used with the Pro).  It will also allow you to have a much larger library with Kodi without the concern of running out of storage space.  To avoid slow downs, adopted storage should at least be rated 60MB read and 30MB write, though 90/40MB is recommended.

  • NOTE: Because of where the Plex Media Server (PMS) stores its data, you will not be able to move it to the adopted storage. Therefore your PMS data will continue to use the real internal storage for data.

  • Keep in mind before using Adopted Storage, that once you adopt it, that storage becomes useless for anything else since gets encrypted and becomes apart of the internal storage.  You will not be able to connect it to your PC and modify it's contents and if you reset your Shield it will become useless until you reformat.

  • External Storage (non-adopted) -- Changed with the 5.0 update - see Update.
    The Shield is compatible with FAT32, exFAT, NTFS & HFS+ formatted storage, and most drives should work.  There are, however, limitations with using external storage on Android, the major being that apps (by default) only have permission to write/delete files in their own app folder on the drive.  When you plug in your storage Android will create a "Android" folder, as well as a sub-folder "data" and when you launch an app (the storage has to be connected) it will create its folder there.

    So for Kodi, it can only full manage the files in /your_storage/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/.  This goes for any other app and for managing files over SMB from a PC, in which case you can only write/delete files in /your_storage/Android/data/com.plexapp.mediaserver.smb/

    There is an exception to this limitation, which is the app asks for full permission to other folders or the root of the storage, something Kodi does not do.  

    UPDATE: A user on the Geforce forums HERE discovered this.

    Now, although you still can not write to the root of external storage devices without an app being granted permission, you can write to a new folder that will be created on your drive called /NVIDIA_SHIELD.  All apps will have full permissions in this folder including Kodi/SPMC and over SMB.

    NOTE: If you are accessing your Shield from a PC, a external drive my appear as having root access.  However, in reality it is only access to the NVIDIA_SHIELD folder.  If you think that you are in the root of the external storage and are able to write to it over SMB then you need to check with a file browser on your Shield since the files will have most likely been written to the NVIDIA_SHIELD folder and not the root of the drive.

  • Direct connecting the Shield to a PC via USB
    The 2017 16GB Shield no longer has a micro-USB port, however you can still connect your PC to it via USB.  This requires a USB type A to USB type A cable or an adapter, and has to be connected to the USB port closest to the fan grill.  Then navigate to Settings > Storage and Reset and select "Using USB" under "Shield Storage access".

NOTE: Currently, hardware deinterlacing is broken for Kodi and it is not recommended.  For OTA/Live TV use the Live Channels app which will provide property deinterlacing or for HDHR tuners the HDHomeRun app.

There are currently 3 ways to add OTA sources to the Live Channels app.
  • 1. TVHeadEnd Live Channels beta (link below) - This will allow you to add your TVHeadEnd backend as a channel source.  The downside to this is that there is no DVR/PVR capabilities (should get added at some point) and although Timeshifting has been added in the recent v0.3.7 update, it is in the early stages of development and only sort of works.

  • 2. HDHomeRun app - Works well as a standalone app or added as a channel source for the Live Channels app.  The downside to the this is that for expanded EPG data and DVR you have to use their paid service.  As well, you have to use the HDHR app for DVR.

  • 3. Network TV Tuner beta (requires HDHR tuner, Android 7.x+ & currently only available in the U.S. market) - This is built into the Live Channels app and is a result of the collaboration between Google & Silicondust.  It works for live streaming, timeshifting & DVR.  The downside to this is, it requires adopted storage for the DVR feature on 16GB models (recordings can not be saved to user defined storage & is only stored on internal/adopted storage).  As well, users may find that the wrong EPG data is scrapped for their channels and users with connected devices that don't support AC3 decoding will most likely not get audio for channels with Dolby Digital.

  • Network Tuners
  •          (all HDHR tuners will work with Kodi, Plex and Live Channels app. See here for more info: Silicon Dust Forum)

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Messages In This Thread
RE: nVidia Shield TV (2015 & 2017 Models) - by Tinwarble - 2017-01-16, 05:54
Rip CDs? - by crisp waffles - 2017-03-20, 21:19

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