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[Deal Alert] NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV down to $140 ($40 off) from Best Buy

NVIDIA's SHIELD TV hasn't been getting any younger, but it's still the Android TV box to have. It was available for $139 last month, but for one day only. Best Buy currently has the same deal (okay, it's an extra 99 cents), and you can get a controller for an extra $40 on top of that.

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NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition comes with a SmartThings Link hub for $219.99 ($1 more than if bought separately)

Despite how much I love my Shield TV and how often we use it in my household for streaming videos and playing games, I can't help but scratch my head a little at what NVIDIA is doing here. The company is rehashing its streaming box for the umpteenth time with another bundle and no price incentive to make anyone want to jump on board.

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YouTube for Android TV tests a new Now Playing UI with no suggested videos, no skip buttons, but easier access to captions

We live in a perpetual server-side microscopic interface change whirlwind. One day you get used to a new interface, the next another one starts popping up, improving some things, worsening others, and generally making our lives a little miserable in the process. But I can't complain, it's part of the reason I have a job, isn't it? The latest new UI we've spotted affects YouTube on Android TV, and it's not all good news. 

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AMC TV now has its own Android TV app

We talk a lot about cord-cutting — "skinny bundles" and the like — but there are still plenty of cable holdouts. Cable boxes are largely terrible, though, so any opportunity to not use them is a boon. To that end, AMC has just released an Android TV app.

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NVIDIA announces GeForce NOW upgrade for SHIELD Android TV

It was just a few weeks ago when NVIDIA announced it was ending paid subscriptions on GeForce NOW on the SHIELD. NVIDIA didn't talk about what it had planned, but we speculated it would move to a model like the one it was testing for PC. Yep, that's just what it's doing. NVIDIA is preparing to roll out an "upgraded" GeForce Now experience on the SHIELD that lets you play PC games you already own. This should happen in the next week.

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[Update: Fixed] Viacom apps mysteriously breaking compatibility with Android TV, play disappearing act with launcher

We might be fans of Android in general here, but we've also been vocal critics of Android TV—though Google promises to make things better someday. But even in its current form, it's a popular platform for many via devices like Nvidia's SHIELD TV. In a strange development, Viacom appears to have removed Android TV support for many of its apps, including Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, and BET. Even weirder, for a brief period some of the apps themselves seemed to have disappeared from Android TV devices. 

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All of Philips' 2014-2018 Android TVs should get updated to Android 8.0 Oreo

When you've coughed up several hundreds of dollars for a brand new TV, the last thing you want to worry about is whether it will get firmware updates over the next few years or become outdated. But such is the state of our modern world that this is a question we do have to ask ourselves. Luckily for Philips owners, it seems that the company is doing the right thing and planning to upgrade all of its 2014-2018 models to Android 8.0 Oreo.

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The SHIELD Experience 7.0 (Oreo) is now rolling out to all NVIDIA SHIELD Android TVs

NVIDIA began updating the SHIELD Android TV to Oreo a few weeks ago, but that update was quickly halted to address several issues. Now, NVIDIA says the Oreo update is all fixed up and ready to go. The v7.0 update includes a new home screen, more apps, bundled games, and more.

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Xiaomi Mi Box receiving Android 8.0 Oreo update

Xiaomi started rolling out an update to Android Oreo 8.0 to its Mi Box early last month, but that was a limited test with only a few devices receiving the OTA. Now, it seems that the update is being released to all; users around the world have reported seeing the notification and successfully getting their boxes up to 8.0.

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Hands-on with TV App Repo: Create a shortcut for any non-Leanback app on your Android TV

Google put in place a few restrictions when it comes to apps and games on Android TV. You either download the app through the Play Store on the TV itself or you browse through your computer and install remotely. And even in that case, there are plenty of apps that show themselves as compatible from the web Play Store but when installed are nowhere to be found in Android TV's Leanback Launcher. Usually, that means the app isn't fully optimized for Android TV, but it could still be properly functional (with remote and/or controller compatibility), except for the fact that you can't access it by default.

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