The NVIDIA Shield TV continues to be one of the most powerful Android TV devices close to seven years after the first model was released. It’s also one of the longest-supported Android devices to date. While NVIDIA has released a few hardware refreshes over the years, the company continues to push software updates for all models, including the original 2015 version.
And now NVIDIA is rolling out its Shield Software Experience Upgrade 9.0, bringing Android 11 and several other new features to all members of the Shield TV family.
While NVIDIA has a strong track record of delivering regular software updates for its Shield TV devices, the latest is a pretty big one, as it brings a major Android update along for the ride… or two major Android updates, depending on how you count.
The previous NVIDIA Shield software was based on Android 9, and the company skipped over Android 10 to deliver the new Android 11 update.
Among other things, Shield Experience Upgrade 9.0 with Android 11 brings:
- Support for aptX-compatible Bluetooth headsets
- Option to automatically disconnect Bluetooth devices on sleep
- Updated Gboard (Google Keyboard) with support for voice search
- Updated privacy features including support for granting “only this time” permission when using an app
- Android September 2021 security patch level
- New energy save setting for customizing power options
- Support for 4K HDR gaming when using NVIDIA GeForce Now RTX 3080 cloud gaming
- Stadia button support for paired Xbox, PlayStation, and Shield game controllers.
- Google Play Movies & TV app now supports Dolby Vision HDR
- 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support for Apple TV+ app
- More new and updated apps
NVIDIA says Google is also running a promotion that lets Shield TV users get a free 6-month subscription to Peacock Premium by logging in with a Google account and subscribing through the Peacock Premium banner that shows up on the For You or Apps tab.
The current-gen NVIDIA Shield sells for $150, while a higher-performance Shield Pro sells for around $200 and features more memory and storage, two USB ports (the base model has none).