Cool Things to do with Nvidia Shield TV [2021]

Cool Things to do with Nvidia Shield TV [2021]

Cool Things to do with Nvidia Shield TV [2021]

Ever since I first laid my hands on the Shield TV, I knew there was something special about this device.

Sure it is one of the best streaming devices out there, with its brilliant streaming features and support for up to 4K resolution at a whooping 60 FPS.

But that can be done even with cheaper streaming devices.

What makes the Shield TV the king of them all is its hardware.

The Tegra X1+ coupled with 3 GB of RAM is more than enough to stream 4K movies and shows without breaking a sweat.

This unbarred power can even support games, which is also a distinguishing feature of this device.

But what else can you do with Shield TV?

After a lot of experimentation and playing around with the Shield TV, I have come up with this list of cool things to try on your Shield TV.

Nvidia GameStream and GeForce Now capabilities

Nvidia GameStream and GeForce Now capabilities
Nvidia GameStream and GeForce Now capabilities

One of the most unique features of the Shield TV is its support for GameStream and GeForce NOW.

GameStream is the proprietary streaming service of Nvidia which enables you to connect your Shield TV with a GeForce-enabled PC. You can then play games on the big screen using an Nvidia Gamepad or any other controller.

Speaking of Gamepads and controllers, did you know that you could connect up to 4 controllers on the same device? Yes, you can, and so continue your long-standing rivalry with your erstwhile sibling or friend.

If you plan on making use of GameStream, make sure you download GeForce experience on your computer and follow the setup procedure to configure GameStream.

On the Shield TV side of things, log into your Nvidia or Google account on the Nvidia Games app and enable GameStream in it. Follow the onscreen prompts to establish a connection.

If Gamestream is not working on your shield TV make sure that your computer meets the recommended specifications.

GeForce Now on Shield TV

GeForce Now is another cog in the Shield TV mainframe that makes the whole thing such a great experience. GeForce Now is a cloud-based streaming service, meaning all you need is a healthy internet connection for playing all the best AAA titles on your Shield TV.

Simply sign in to your GeForce Now account on the Games app and access the vast library of games to play from. You can also purchase games from the store and access them from the "My Library" tab on the app.

Keyboard and Mouse support

You can connect a keyboard and mouse with the Shield TV and use them to play games or input passwords, or even surf the web for a change.

Both wired and wireless methods are supported but, do note that the standard Shield TV has a single USB port, while the PRO model has 2 USB ports.

If you plan on using a keyboard or a mouse on the Shield TV, try getting a combo of both since it requires only a single unified USB receiver to communicate.

AI Upscaling On Shield TV

AI upscaling on Shield TV
AI upscaling on Shield TV

Another conversation starter material on the Shield TV is the AI upscaling feature onboard. A relatively new feature, the AI Upscaling was a recent addition to the third generation (2019 model) Shield TVs.

As the name suggests, this feature upscales the quality of the shows and movies you stream on your Shield TV automatically and intelligently.

It is a handy tool when the streaming media is of lower quality or when the internet speeds are unstable. A minimum of 480p resolution is required, and the level of upscaling varies between the 2 models.

The base model can only upscale up to 30FPS, while the PRO model can upscale up to 60FPS and supports live streaming and GameStream upscaling.

Make sure to turn ON the upscaling feature by going to Settings>Device Preferences>Display & Sound>AI upscaling>AI Enhanced. You can also fiddle around the menu and check out the Demo feature.

Shield TV Remote Capabilities

Shield TV remote capabilities
Shield TV remote capabilities

Similar to the Shield TV features, you can do a lot of things with its peripheral device, the Shield Remote. The first generation remote was made entirely of metal while the later iterations took on a plastic form factor.

And from generation to generation, the feature list of the Shield remote too grew up in number. The latest being a triangular form factor and a Remote locator function.

The button count on the Shield TV has also grown incrementally with every other generation. And so did the customization and shortcut options they offer.

Let's take a look at the various functions and features of the remote.

Voice Commands

As mentioned earlier, you can use the "OK Google" command to wake up and start the Google assistant. From there, you know what to do, don't you?

To turn on the feature, head to Settings>Google>Enable "OK Google" detection. Head to Settings and then click on SHIELD Accessories>"OK Google" Detection and enable the feature.

And voila, you are all set up, just speak the magic words into your remote to check the feature.

Find My Remote

A recent addition to the Shield TV line of devices, the Find my remote option makes the remote sound an audible alert that can help you locate the missing remote.

If you have a Tube(base model) Shield TV, you will have a Find my remote button above the HDMI port on your Shield TV. Press this button and the alarm goes off.

For the PRO model, you will have to go to Settings>Remote & Accessories>Shield Accessories>Shield Remote>Find this remote to enable the feature.

A really handy feature since the remote can easily make its way through the rabbit holes between the couch crevices and cracks.

Button Remapping

Another nifty feature to try on your Shield TV is to remap certain buttons on your Shield TV, most notably the Menu button on the remote.

To remap the button, go to Settings>Remote and accessories>Customize menu button and then select the app or feature to open when pressed.

You can also employ a button remapper app to customize the buttons like the Netflix button on the remote to perform other functions or open your favorite apps.

Button Shortcuts

A little-known feature of the Shield TV is its implementation of shortcuts using the remote. The most useful shortcut is to switch between apps using the remote.

While in an app, simply double-tap the home button on the remote to open up an app tray to switch between the apps on your Shield TV.

This makes the Shield TV live up to its name as an Android device.

Another useful shortcut to try on your Shield TV is to hold the Home button to view all the apps on your Shield TV.

Other shortcuts include Home + Back to make the Shield TV sleep, holding the Back button to access settings.

Take Screenshots

Sharing forms an integral part of our digital world and the Shield TV doesn't come short on this department.

You can capture or take screenshots of the app or show or game you are watching any time by holding the Home button on your remote.

But first, you have to enable the Nvidia Share option on the Shield TV settings. Go to Settings>Device Preferences>Nvidia Share>ON. Now you are all set.

IR Capabilities

What makes the Shield Remote a marvel is its ability to connect with the Shield TV through RF signals and also its support for IR communication.

This essentially makes the Shield Remote an all-in-one device capable of controlling both the Shield TV and your TV.

To configure the IR settings, navigate and go to Settings>Display & Sound>Volume Control>Turn ON IR settings and follow the setup procedure to properly use the feature.

Make sure you have connected to a CEC-enabled HDMI port using a supported HDMI cable.

Also, make sure you have turned ON the CEC setting on your Shield TV by going to Settings>Display & Sound>Power Control and then turning ON both the CEC settings.

Hardware Customizations on Shield TV

Hardware customizations
Hardware customizations

By now, you must have guessed that the customizations possible on this device can go on and on for days, right?

Actually, Yes, it can, considering we haven't even talked about the UI customizations and other personalizations.

But now let's talk about the different options available on the Shield TV with which you can control certain aspects of the Shield TV.

Let's start with the processor.

You do know how you can change the efficiency of your PC by changing the mode of operation of the CPU.

Similarly, you can change the processor mode on your Shield TV to vary the performance.

Go to Settings>Device Preferences>System>Processor Mode, and there you can choose between optimized or maximum performance.

Now you have changed the effective performance of the Shield TV.

Here are some more hardware changes you can employ on your Shield TV.

Change the Fan settings

If your Shield TV is running hot, several things can go wrong, one of them being the WiFi connection. A scathing device is just like a volcano ready to burst.

Luckily, you can adjust the fan settings on the Shield TV to increase the cooling and make the device stable, at the expense of increased Fan noise.

To change the setting, go to Settings>Device Preferences>System>Fan mode, and change it to Cool.

Dimmable LED on the Shield TV device

Annoyed by the Green LED on the Shield TV while streaming content? Well, there is a way to turn down the brightness/intensity of the LED.

All you have to do is to head to Settings>System>LED brightness and select the intensity of brightness you want.

Such a petite little feature, useful nonetheless.

UI and Home Screen Customisations

UI customizations
UI customizations

Since the Shield TV is running on an Android TV platform, the customization possibilities are virtually endless.

Basic customizations include personalized background pictures and changing the screensaver (Yes, there is a Screensaver!).

You can even apply your personal media as the background to your home screen or the screensaver.

Simple UI customizations include setting up your favorites list, what apps to see on the home screen, etc.

Coming to a more advanced side, you can change the screensaver or the whole launcher to a custom one by using the appropriate app available in the Play Store.

Apps like Aerial Dream and YoWindow are some of the best screensaver apps available on the Playstore.

You can even download apps like ATV launcher and HAL launchers available on the Shield TV to view apps and even customize the sorting according to your liking.

The Best Plex Server Device

The Shield TV, with its powerful hardware capabilities, has been hailed by many as the best PLEX server available.

Sure, there may be computers and NAS available that houses much superior hardware, but they also come at a premium price.

Since there is a lot of horsepower under the hood, the Shield TV can seamlessly implement hardware transcoding, which is not always the case with other devices.

This justifies the native support and presence of the Plex media server app on the Shield TV. Open the app and follow the setup procedure to make the Shield TV a server.

Now you can stream all your content on all your devices simultaneously while watching shows and content on the Shield TV.

The only downside to this implementation is Storage. With a maximum of 16GB storage capacity, you will have to eventually mount an external storage device to supplement the storage.

Sideloading Apps onto the Shield TV

If you miss your favorite apps on your Shield TV, fret not, for there is a way to install them on the Shield TV.

Since the Shield TV is running on the Android TV platform, not all apps will be natively supported/available on the Play Store.

In this case, you will have to sideload the app. Sideloading is the process of installing APKs of the apps that are absent on the Shield TV.

You will need a file manager that can install APKs for this purpose. File managers are available in plenty on the Play store.

Download the APK either on an external PC or mobile and transfer it via a USB stick, or you can install a browser that supports downloading on your Shield TV. Use this browser to download the APK on the device.

Select the APK through the file manager and install the app. Make sure you have accepted the necessary permission for the process.

A word of caution: you will have to follow this procedure every time an update comes out since sideloaded apps don't get their updates from the Play Store. You may also want to use a launcher to view the apps.

Emulating Retro Games on Shield TV

Emulating games on Shield TV
Emulating games on Shield TV

Remember the days of old, when you used to play games with your little brother, which always ended in a scuffle?

With the Shield TVs' powerful hardware, now you can play those games on the big screen with a little help from an emulator.

You can download the emulator from the Play store, but choosing the right one may get a little murky.

Once you have selected the emulator, you will have to load the ROM of the game onto the Shield TV. Use the Emulator to locate the ROM and start playing.

You might want to check out this article on How to Install Emulators on Shield TV for an in-depth guide on the topic.

The Shield TV with its Gamepad is an ideal emulating device. Make sure to check out this feature on your Shield TV.

About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family. I worked in several technology companies and startups in the bay area after graduating from Santa Clara University. I currently work as a consultant for startups and tech companies.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family. I worked in several technology companies and startups in the bay area after graduating from Santa Clara University. I currently work as a consultant for startups and tech companies.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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