NVIDIA SHIELD TV Receives 25th Software Upgrade

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅29.08.2020 18:25:50

NVIDIA's SHIELD TV set-top streaming and gaming device debuted in 2015 as a follow-up to their handheld and tablet models on the same platform, swiftly becoming their most popular model in the range as a best-in-class video streaming and gaming set-top box. This week the software for that same established hardware received its 25th update, integrating new features on the newest hardware as well as rolling out some to older models.

The SHIELD Experience 8.2 Upgrade focusses its attention on augmenting the experience of users equipped with the 2019 edition of the SHIELD TV, primarily by beefing up upscaler functionality. The default AI upscaler now supports upscaling to 4K from a wider range of resolutions, including 360p and 1440p; meanwhile the upscaler on the 2019 Pro model now operates at 60fps as well as 30fps, improving image quality in even more video formats.

AI upscaling was added with the latest SHIELD TV models and takes advantage of the new Tegra X1+ SoC. It inferences with a pre-trained neural network that's continually receiving updates to improve output quality (not unlike their DLSS technology for gaming), and sometimes new functionality becomes possible through either a more well-trained network or optimised inferencing processes. Such is the case here.

Note that AI Upscaling is not currently supported on the 2015 and 2017 SHIELD models.

Another well received aspect of the 2019 revamp was the customisable menu button on the latest SHIELD Remote and smartphone Remote app. Update 8.2 adds customisation for long-press and double-press operations, to which 25 different actions can now be bound. These customisable operations are all supported throughout the SHIELD Experience OS via both the new physical remote and the smartphone emulation software for the remote available on both Google Play and iOS app stores.

Home cinema enthusiasts will be pleased to know that this update improves digital projector support to allow functionality when the SHIELD isn't active. IR volume control has also been improved through both the SHIELD TV app and when paired through Google Home, with additional options for the 2019 model.

Lastly, both the 2015 and 2017 models now also support frame rate matching of displayed content, automatically converting video content to match your display's frame rate and bringing feature support closer to that of the 2019 model.

Other Enhancements Included in 8.2

- New native content streaming apps (availability based on Region)
- New games to play via a GeForce NOW subscription
- Includes Android security patch level June 2020
- Adds SMBv3 support for a faster, more secure connection to SHIELD over a local network
- Restores surround sound audio while casting
- Allows users to grant write access to NAS from installed apps
- Adds ability to convert local HDR video content to SDR displays
- Adds option to disable volume lowering when "OK Google" is detected on a Google Home device
- Restores Bluetooth LDAC support for supported headphones

The SHIELD Experience 8.2 Upgrade will usually be automatically downloaded to your SHIELD TV, but can also be searched for manually through Settings -> About -> System updates. More information is available here.

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