Today, Nvidia is releasing what it calls its "SHIELD Software Experience Upgrade 8.0," for the Shield TV. That's an overly complicated way of saying the Shield TV is getting upgraded to Android 9 Pie, and the update is rolling out as we speak. For the record, the Shield TV launched with Android 5.1 and has seen four years of major software updates.
In addition to picking up general features from Android 9 Pie, Android TV devices updated to Android 9 also get a handful of time-saving features when it comes to setup and text entry. "Autofill with Google" easily transfers over account details from other devices, and the revamped setup process also lets you send information like Wi-Fi passwords and account details from your phone. For more details, read our coverage of the improved setup process in Android TV on P here.
This "Upgrade 8.0" for the Shield TV also includes a new 'Match Content Color Space" feature for HDR TVs that should deliver better adaptive color for supported content. Serendipitously, Shield TV users can also look forward to Hulu's upcoming improvements to the Android TV app, including support for live TV. New apps and games for the Shield include Bravo and E!, as well as minimalist puzzle sequel SiNKR.
The full changelog of "Other enhancements" published in the latest release notes for the update are just below:
- Updates "Display and Sounds" advanced setting into two easier to navigate menus.
- Adds option to match content color space (Settings > Display & Sound > Advanced).
- Improves volume dynamic range for USB and bluetooth connected headsets.
- SHIELD TV remote app adds bluetooth assist for pairing and improves connection.
- Enables 720p refresh rate switching on supported apps.
- Adds "Disconnect Bluetooth accessories" option to quick settings.
- Adds IR power control options to customize on/off functionality.
- Adds option to turn off USB power when SHIELD sleeps.
- Adds option to connect to 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi network with shared SSID.
- Latest accessory firmware versions:
- SHIELD controller (2017): v1.30
- SHIELD controller (2015): v1.96/99/3.71/0.32
- SHIELD remote (2017): v1.43
- SHIELD remote (2015): v.1.36
Previously, details regarding a mild hardware refresh for the Shield TV leaked, with details indicating that it would be running Android 9 Pie. This update brings the older hardware to parity with the anticipated refresh.