Nvidia launched the Shield box about a year ago and has continued to add new features through software updates. The next major update will add support for Netflix HDR, GameStream HDR, YouTube 4Kp60 as well as new apps and games. The player will get updated to Android N later this year.
HDR for video & games, more 4K
The "Shield Experience Upgrade 3.2", the next major update for the Nvidia Shield box, is “coming soon”. The update will add a number of improvements that all current owners can look forward to. However, most of them are only relevant for owners of high-end TVs.
For the first time, the box will support HDR (high dynamic range) for video or more specifically Netflix’s HDR streaming. Netflix is currently offering Marco Polo in HDR but will expand the selection to many more TV series and movies this summer, including Marvel’s Daredevil. The Netflix app will also gain in-app voice search with the update.
Nvidia is also for the first time bringing HDR to games with the launch of GameStream HDR, which requires you to own one of Nvidia's new PC graphics cards that are the first to support HDR in games. It works by letting your PC run and stream games in HDR over the home network to the Nvidia Shield box that then transmits the HDR signal to your HDR-enabled TV. It is not a perfect solution but HDR for games is surely exciting.
The YouTube app on Nvidia Shield will be updated to support streaming in 4Kp60 (60 frames per second). Previously, it supported 4Kp30.
New apps and games
A slew of new apps for Android TV have just been released or will be released in the near future, including Starz, WatchESPN, CNN, NPR News, ABC News, Watch ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.
Music lovers will also be happy to learn that Spotify and Deezer are finally coming to Android TV.
Nvidia says that it has partnered with Vudu to deliver the latest movies to the Shield box. Vudu will stream movies in 4K quality, but not HDR quality. Nvidia says that the partnership with Vudu is exclusive but Xiaomi brags about also having Vudu on its new Mi box.
Resident Evil 5 and Homefront: The Revolution are coming to Shield, too.
Android N update coming later
At I/O 2016, Google introduced the next version of Android, which is currently known as “Android N”. Google has focused on fixing bugs and performance issues with Android TV but the update will also add new features such picture-in-picture and live TV recording.
Nvidia says that Android N is coming to Shield at a later date. The box was launched one year ago running Android TV version 5.0 (Android L) and was recently updated to version 6.0 (Android M).
Nvidia Shield has been one of the only media players to properly support 4K for a whole year now but it will soon be joined by the Xiaomi Mi Box, which supports 4K and HDR.