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SHIELD

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Android TV streaming boxes: An uneasy start and apparent death

Android TV is very much alive, as was made abundantly clear by the plethora of new Android TV powered televisions with Google Assistant capability shown off at CES 2018. Streaming boxes powered by Android TV, however, are conspicuously missing—the last Android TV set-top box to be released in the United States was the Xiaomi Mi Box in October 2016.

Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV products both received hardware refreshes last September, while Roku products received hardware refreshes in October. In comparison, the three year old Nexus Player—arguably the flagship of Android TV—last received a software update in November, and will not be upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo.

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[$$$] NVIDIA announces 65" 4K 120Hz gaming displays with Android TV built in

Have you been holding off on your next high-end gaming monitor purchase because you're unable find one that's 65 inches across and has built-in smart TV features? Me either. But, if you're a serious living room desktop PC gamer, today's announcement from NVIDIA and its partners Acer, Asus, and HP could have you reconsidering your next big TV investment.

Essentially, NVIDIA has developed a reference platform for these manufacturers to produce displays that combine an NVIDIA Shield (i.e., Android TV), NVIDIA's G-Sync technology, and a 4K 120Hz HDR screen more than five feet in diameter. It calls these "BFGDs," or Big Format Gaming Displays, which is what NVIDIA says this acronym stands for even though we all know that is absolutely not what it stands for.

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What We Use, 2017 Edition: The stuff Ryan can't live without

I spend my days writing about technology, and I spend much of my remaining time playing with it for fun. Consequently, I have a lot of nerdy stuff that's become integral to my life, and maybe you're interested in what it all is. It's been almost two years since I did a "what we use" post, and a lot has changed. My preferred phones are different, of course, but I've fallen deep down the mechanical keyboard rabbit hole, too. Events have also conspired against me to require that I build a new desktop computer. Here are all the things (mostly keyboards) that I can't live without.

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[Deal Alert] Nvidia SHIELD TV $149 ($30 off) with three month YouTube Red trial for new subscribers ($30 value)

Sometimes a good deal deserves an encore. Nvidia's SHIELD TV is a popular set-top Android device, providing you with all the apps you love on a big screen, as well as some decent gaming chops. Back during the Black Friday sales it dropped down to $149, or $30 off the full price. But just in case you missed it, the deal is back.

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[Update: Not GeForce Now after all] Nvidia Shield TV arrives in China with remastered Wii and GameCube titles

The Nvidia Shield TV is unquestionably the best Android TV box you can buy right now, especially if you're looking to do some gaming. Earlier today, Nvidia announced that the Shield is coming to China, but the selection of games is particularly interesting. At the launch event, the company revealed that the Shield would offer remastered Nintendo games from the Wii and GameCube eras.

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You can now assign Android TV devices with Assistant to specific rooms

Early last month, we started seeing the option to include Google Homes and Assistant-enabled speakers in rooms inside the Home app, just like you would for your lights and switches and thermostats. Now it seems that option has propagated to Android TV devices as well.

Artem spotted it this morning: in his Google Home app, his two SHIELD TVs appear in the Home control tab, under the Assistant section. Tapping on them lets him assign them to a room. Technically, that should allow him to turn on and off the TV along with the lights for example. That's one advantage I can think of.

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[Deal Alert] Grab the NVIDIA SHIELD TV for $30 off in different bundles, starting at $149

The deals keep on coming and today I'm back with yet another small but sweet discount on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. If you haven't read my thoughts on the set-top box, here is a one word summary: awesome. So whether you want to finally get in on the Android TV action or you're looking for a neat all-in-one media and light gaming console, or you already got a SHIELD but want another one for a different room or as a gift, now's the time to do so.

A couple of weeks ago, the 2017 SHIELD TV (with remote and controller) was down $30 at Best Buy, and now that same discount is back on different retailers.

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Vudu gains HDR video and Assistant capabilities on SHIELD

Vudu might not be the most popular video streaming service, but it's more useful on the SHIELD starting today. The app now has support for Google Assistant commands, and the SHIELD can output HDR video from Vudu. Of course, you'll need to own some HDR content on Vudu first.

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NVIDIA rolls out SHIELD Experience 6.1 with Assistant improvements, KRACK fix, YouTube TV support, and more

The latest update to the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV is rolling out today, and it adds a number of nifty features. The last big update included Assistant support, and this update adds more Assistant commands. You also get various bug fixes, including the recently revealed KRACK vulnerability in WPA2.

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[Update: Only $15 from Samsung] The SmartThings Link for NVIDIA SHIELD is up for pre-order

At the launch of the second-generation NVIDIA SHIELD, we heard about several accessory devices that would work with the main hardware, but they haven't all come to fruition. Remember the NVIDIA Spot? That's still MIA, but the promised Samsung SmartThings Link has popped up on Amazon for pre-order.

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