Cool Things to do with Nvidia Shield TV [2023]

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.

1. Nvidia GameStream and GeForce Now on Shield TV

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 that 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 the 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 is another cog in the Shield TV mainframe that makes the whole thing such a great experience.

It 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.

2. Keyboard and Mouse Support on Shield TV

Shield TV coupled with Keyboard

You can connect a keyboard and mouse to the Shield TV and use them to play games, 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. You may enjoy our article Nvidia Shield TV vs Pro.

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.

Apart from these peripherals, the Shield TV also supports a gaming controller.

Nvidia's Controller is the recommended one to go with. If you have issues with the controller, check out this article on Controller issues on Shield TV.

3. AI Upscaling On Shield TV

Shield TV Upscaling Mode

Another conversation starter material on the Shield TV is the AI upscaling feature onboard.

A relatively new feature, AI Upscaling came into prevalence with 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.

If are having issues with AI upscaling, check out AI upscaling issues on the Shield TV.

4. Shield TV Remote: A Marvel

Shield TV Remote

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.

You may also enjoy reading our article on the best remotes for Nvidia Shield TV.

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

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.

Shield TV Menu Button config

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, and holding the Back button to access settings.

5. Voice Commands On Shield TV

Voice Commands On Shield TV

Voice commands have become the crux of our blooming technological epoch.

Nowadays, you can use voice commands to bring about changes and trigger features on your smart gadgets, may it be a smartphone or your new smart refrigerator.

The same can be said in the case of the Shield TV.

As mentioned earlier, you can use the "OK Google" command to wake up and start 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.

There are a lot of things to be said and done about Google Assistant.

For starters, you can make your Shield TV the hub for all your smart home automation using the Google Home app.

Through the Google Home app, you can do a lot of things, including asking some sketchy, funny little things to the Assistant.

6. Take Screenshots with the Remote on Shield TV

Shield TV Home Button

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

And what better way to capture the perfect moment in a movie or share the current status of the share market than through a screenshot?

Ever since our displays and our computers started becoming more compact, and ultimately, accessible within our palms, we have wanted to capture the worlds it spins.

This very notion has carried over to the digital world too, encompassing everything from the vibrant colors of a rainbow to the manufactured colors of the many apps we made.

You can capture or take screenshots of the app or show or game you are watching at 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.

7. 'Find My Remote' For Rogue Remotes

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.

Shield TV Find this Remote

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

8. Turn the Shield Remote into an IR Remote

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.

Shield TV Night Volume Control

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.

Shield TV Power Control (Display)

Even if the Remote is as spectacular a gadget as it sounds to be, issues with the Remote on Shield TV are also an irrefutable truth.

Fortunately, most issues with the Remote can be resolved by a quick refresh or, better yet, a hard reset.

9. Hardware Customizations on Shield TV

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.

Shield TV processor mode

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

Shield TV Fan Mode tile

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.

Shield TV Fan Mode

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.

Shield TV LED brightness tile

Such a petite little feature, useful nonetheless.

10. UI and Home Screen Customisations

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 Play Store.

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.

11. The Best Plex Server Device

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 house 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.

You could also use AI upscaling while using PLEX. If you are having issues with the said feature, check out this article on AI upscaling issues while using PLEX.

12. 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. Check out our article on the best apps for Nvidia Shield that are worth installing.

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.

13. Emulating Retro 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.

Final Thoughts

Finding the various hidden/'easter-eggs' features of your favorite gadgets can always be as enthralling as it sounds.

And so, here are the many tips, tricks, and features of your Shield TV that you may have skipped an eye on.

13 cool things that you can try and enhance your experience with the Shield TV.

Some of these features may require a bit of a 'hands-on' time to make them work, but great features, nonetheless.

Make sure to check and try all of these features for taking your Shield TV experience to the next level.

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What can you do with Nvidia Shield?

With Nvidia Shield TV, you can stream all your favorite shows and movies right from all the many streaming platforms and sites. You could also stream and play games using Geforce Now. Other interesting things to do on your ShieldTV include sideloading apps, emulating retro games, using the Shield TV as a server/client device on various media servers, etc.

Can you lay Nvidia Shield on its side?

Yes, you can lay your Shield TV on its side with the supplied stand. Install the stand on the designated screw ports on the side of the Shield TV to do so.

Is the Nvidia Shield Pro discontinued?

With the arrival of the new Shield TV Pro (2019), all the previous versions of the Shield TV Pro (including the 2017 model) have been discontinued. Nonetheless, Nvidia hasn't halted support for older versions. Nvidia does provide frequent updates and patches to keep them up to date.

About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

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 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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