Android TV and similar set-top boxes are incredibly popular with the cord-cutting crowd. But if you still subscribe to cable, the various networks included with your package are finally getting their respective acts together and creating decent online options for streaming shows and movies. EPIX, a channel that's mostly focused on playing older and second-run movies, has finally made its way to Android TV. The app went live back on June 9th, but for some reason the company is just announcing it now. Read More
By Henry Gilbert
Luftrausers is one of the most intense games to launch with the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, and it doesn't let up from the first moment. You launch your small aircraft into those dangerous skies and start your all-out attack within moments, no tutorial required. And while it all looks great on your HDTV, maybe you could use just a little guidance with some of the more opaque aspects of the unexpectedly dense gem. Here are a few good rules of thumb for new pilots:
Turn down the throttle occasionally - Yes, obviously you want to keep your ship above water to avoid certain death, but that doesn't mean it's always full speed ahead. Read More
The second Android TV device to be available directly from Google is also the second Android TV device to be sold, period: the Forge TV from gaming peripheral maker Razer. The Forge TV bundle is now on sale in the Google Store. This $149.99 USD package includes the Forge TV itself and one Serval Bluetooth controller. Oddly, the stand-alone Forge TV (which sells for $100 and requires an Android phone, since it has no remote) isn't listed on the Google Store. It's shipping to the US and Canada.
The Serval controller is also available as a stand-alone purchase for a whopping $79.99. Read More
You want the internet on your TV? There are several ways to go about that, but the latest is to use Android TV and the Opera TV Browser app. It's free to download, but compatibility is a bit odd. It doesn't seem to support the Nexus Player right now, but it will install on the Shield and ADT-1 just fine.
Android TV has a serious app discovery problem, and it's the built-in "leanback" version of the Google Play Store. Before today, the Play Store on your TV only showed curated apps selected by the powers that be at Google, so between the video, audio, and game sections, there were less than two hundred apps on display for users. You might get the impression that these were the only Android TV apps available - the rest had to be manually searched for in the search function of the main leanback launcher.
With version 5.5.15, that finally changes. New sections of the Android TV Google Play Store are now visible beneath the curated portion, and based on a quick run-through, it looks like every compatible app for your ATV device is exposed. Read More
Even with a major infusion of horsepower with devices like the NVIDIA SHIELD and Razer Forge TV, the biggest thing holding back the Android TV platform is a scarcity of apps compared to more mature alternatives like Roku. It looks like Google is quickly trying to close the gap: in addition to the announcement of HBO Now (currently exclusive to Apple hardware) at Google I/O, a handful of high-profile and formerly unavailable apps are also making their way to Android TV in the near future.
NVIDIA's SHIELD announcement post makes explicit mention of HBO Go (which is essentially the same thing as HBO Now, but for more conventional cable subscribers), FX Now, Fox Now, Fox News, EPIX, WWE, UFC, Vimeo, Qello, Vudu, and Twitch. Read More
Portal and Half-Life 2 were both launch titles for the SHIELD Portable, and to this day remain two of the best games you can play on Android. Recently, both apps got updated to support Android TV, which really only means one thing: they support the new SHIELD set-top box. That's good, because playing them on the TV is honestly one of the best ways to experience these classic FPS titles. Here's a look at the changelogs for each:
- Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
- Cloud saves, achievements
- SHIELD Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
While Portal got cloud saves and achievements via Google Games, it looks like HL2 may have not been so lucky. Read More
Hey Android TV fans: have you checked out our review of the NVIDIA SHIELD? You should. We worked really hard on it, and it's kind of being blown away by all this Google I/O news. Two things that the SHIELD Android TV can do that the Nexus Player can't are accessing external storage via USB and broadcasting audio over Bluetooth (with the extra remote). But if you flash the Android M developer preview to your Nexus Player, you can access both of those things! Neat!
The Android M build of Android TV will support using external drives for app and app data storage (which the SHIELD also does, by the way) with a formatting option. Read More
So you've read our exhaustive review of the NVIDIA SHIELD and decided that it's the Android TV device for you. Whelp, it's available for purchase right now in the US, from both NVIDIA's own store and Amazon.com. The standard 16GB SHIELD is $199.99, but it looks like the SHIELD Pro ($299.99) with its 500GB internal hard drive won't be available until June. According to the NVIDIA Store it's coming on the 3rd, while Amazon says it won't be in stock till the 12th.
SHIELD comes with $30 of free Google Play Store credit and 90 days of Google Play Music All Access. Read More
When you hear the name "NVIDIA," the first thing that comes to mind is most likely graphics cards, or at the very least the company's Tegra chips that have been powering Android devices for several years now. Either way, it's probably not "the company that makes the killer Android TV box that's hanging out in my living room."
But after today, it honestly might be.
We've spent the last week or so playing with both the base model SHIELD and storage-laden SHIELD Pro, which at this point are unquestionably the best Android TV boxes that money can buy. Read More