While a lot of people in the market for a streaming box opt for a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV device, they are far from the only options available. Nvidia’s Shield Android TV box might not be well-known, but compared to a lot of other streaming boxes, it is positively feature-packed. And with its most recent software update, it just got even better.
The software update brings a ton of features, but the most impressive is the ability to stream HDR video from Netflix. While a relatively small number of TVs currently support HDR from Netflix directly, Nvidia says this update makes the Shield the first streaming box to support Netflix’s HDR content. Shows and movies in HDR might be limited for the time being, but Netflix has said more than 100 hours of HDR content is coming this summer.
Netflix isn’t the only streaming service getting a visual upgrade with this new update. YouTube streaming is now available at both 4K resolution and frame rates up to 60 frames per second, and movies and TV series from Vudu are now also streaming at 4K resolution. In terms of audio, the Shield now also supports Dolby Atmos 3D object-based surround sound.
As with many other streaming boxes, users have been able to stream from Plex servers to the Shield. Now, thanks to the update, the Plex Media Server software itself can run on the Shield, allowing the small but powerful box to stream your media to the rest of your home.
A number of new apps are now also available on the Shield for the first time. Sports fans now have access to WatchESPN and music lovers now have Spotify, while NBC News helps viewers keep current. More news is on the way with CNNGo, NPR, and ABC News coming soon to Android TV, along with Viacom’s MTV and Comedy Central, plus family programming from Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Nick, and others.
More under-the-hood features have also arrived in the form of 4:4:4 color space on supported TVs, the ability to attach an NAS (Network Attached Storage) to the Shield, and the ability to access files and folders on the Shield from a PC.
From the start, Nvidia has aimed its Shield products at gamers, and they haven’t been left out, with Borderlands 2 becoming available on the Shield Android TV startingThursday.