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Ads Come to the Nvidia Shield TV & Other New Features


hey everybody it’s lon zeidman and we are back with the nvidia shield tv and this is kind of like the gift that keeps on giving because six years into its life it is still getting regular updates now some of you may not be too pleased with the update that was just pushed down though because they have now added what is essentially mandatory advertising on your home screen but i did want to step through the new interface that came along with this advertising because i do like to cover developments on the shield from time to time because it is a product that has had a very long life and is still very relevant many years after it was released we’re going to get to that interface in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this particular nvidia shield we’ve got here the pro from 2015 nvidia sent to the channel free of charge however i’ve bought a bunch of these over the years and have one on every television in my house all of the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this new interface is all about now of course the most visible change here is that you now have these ads that are going to be running at the top of the screen and you’re also going to see some things above the ads home discover and apps and we’ll dive into all of those in a second for a while i was seeing the ads but not this stuff up here and then when i rebooted i got the other features so if you see the ad and don’t see this do a reboot and then check and make sure you don’t have any updates pending once those updates go

through and you reboot you will have what you see here now for the most part the interface kind of follows a similar design from what we had earlier so you can still set your favorite apps here on the top row and then you have these little trays that get generated by the apps themselves and if you scroll all the way down to the bottom you can choose which channels that you see there so for example if i wanted to add plex to the mix here i could just click on that option and get plex now on screen and then if i navigate to that plex row here and go to the left and then hit my button here i can move this up and reorganize it and again this works very similar to how it worked before in that each app has some things that it can display here and you can choose which of those things that it gets now the big change here of course is the advertising and if you leave your remote hovering over an ad for a length of time it’s going to cut to a video advertisement so that’s something i wasn’t happy about because i didn’t ask for this and i can’t opt out of it but unfortunately that’s how this works so you’ll definitely want to keep your remote lower so you don’t have those ads kick in when it goes idle this unfortunately is the industry trend every one of these tv boxes now will put ads in front of you because they make more money off the advertising than they do off selling you the box itself although i think nvidia did have some margin baked in on these nvidia shield boxes to begin with my guess here is that they had some agreement with google and google kind of drives the ship on the operating system so here you go you will find some ways to prevent this ad thing from appearing you can actually uninstall this launcher but at some point there’s going to be an android update that’ll get pushed down and the launcher that you see here will be the default one so i don’t think you’ll be able to get away from these ads for long unfortunately now the other feature might be useful especially for

people like me who never know what to watch that is the discover feature up here this is something we talked about when we reviewed the chromecast with google tv recently this will provide personalized recommendations from different apps that you’re subscribed to based on what it thinks you like that’s creepy of course because they are using data based on your prior behavior to predict what you might like that’s why this is an opt-in at the moment at least and if you do opt-in which i’m going to do in a second i’ll show you how to set it up so let me go get that account attached and we’ll take a look and see what our options are all right so after i attached my google account it gives me an option based on the apps that you see on screen here for recommendations oddly it didn’t include youtube in this which you think it would do given that that is a google property now i’m guessing that these apps are paying to be part of this recommendation engine so this is kind of an extension of the advertising thing but i’m going to enable here discovery plus which i’m subscribed to but i don’t think i have installed in this particular box i’m also going to enable peacock and i think filo is free so we’ll enable that one and we’ll leave it there and then i’ll click confirm and now it’s going to build some personalized recommendations for me so with those preferences set we can kind of browse through the options here and see what’s available of course they’ve got an ad section up here but this is the stuff that it generated as top picks for me i have to say i think it did pretty well here picking things

that i might like to watch because lately i’ve been on a sci-fi and ufo kick and that is what it’s giving me here for the most part now what it will do is give you things across different services so ascension here is on prime video this star wars lego thing is on disney plus uh this is the newsroom on hbo max and then this one here solo is a movie that i bought on blu-ray uh but it had one of those movies anywhere tickets on it so i have it available in my google account so it’s doing pretty good here i think making recommendations for me so that’s pretty cool and then i can go down lower here and find some other things that i might like to watch in different genres now this is again not an altruistic effort by google because i don’t see anything in here from netflix and that’s likely because netflix doesn’t want to pay google to be a part of this so unfortunately this is not going to be a universal recommendation engine which is kind of lousy because i do want to see what i have available to watch irrespective of whether or not somebody wants to pay google for it but that’s what it is so take a look and see if you see anything that you might like now if you want to change things later you can go down here to the bottom and reselect your services and in the in between here of uh shooting this segment versus the last one i realize that philo is not a free service so i’m just going to tick that one off and then go back over here to confirm and that will rejigger the personalized recommendations for me so you may want to jump down at the bottom there and check every once in a while to see if they added something else now unfortunately as good as these recommendations are they’re only

going to be for you and that was one of my complaints with the chromecast with google tv and that problem continues here so you can add other users to your nvidia shield box here but it’s only going to provide recommendations to the main user that registered first so if my wife walks up to this she’s going to see a bunch of stuff that she doesn’t want to watch and i’m guessing that probably whatever revision of android tv comes next might allow for users to switch and get better recommendations but right now it is keyed to one person and one person only and there’s no easy way to get multiple recommendations for multiple people in your household and that’s still a pretty significant shortfall of this new interface now they also brought over the new app interface from the chromecast with google tv and i think that is an improvement because i know a lot of folks did not like how android tv was handling apps so if you slide over to apps you get all of your apps in one spot it still breaks them out by games versus regular apps and if you hold down your button over one of them here you can add it to the favorites to put it on the front screen you can also go over here to move and adjust its order like you could before so you get some of the similar interface dynamics that we had in the prior version but i think just a cleaner way to go about things and then again if an app is favorited it will be here on the front and you can also adjust where things go here by holding down the button going to move and moving its position to a new spot so that was nice to see it’s also easy to get into the play store now because you can jump into the play store right here i suspect this is where the ads are going to go for apps in the very near future so if you do see ads there you can also get at it from the bottom here to load up the play store and start loading in

new apps if you want so unfortunately it looks like the commercialization of android tv has made its way to the nvidia shield like it or not again you can delay this by uninstalling the launcher but it’s going to come for you at some point so just get ready for it and we’ve been shielded if you will for a long time from this kind of stuff because this has always been the high-end high-performance enthusiast device now it looks like every other 25 android tv you might pick up at a department store i do think the discover feature here has a lot of potential but it doesn’t have the multi-user support yet and of course it’s not complete because not everyone is paying to play here and it’s unfortunate that such a useful feature is only half of what it could be especially because things like netflix aren’t a part of it so this is going to be what it is like it or not it doesn’t actually impact the performance of the device at all plex and everything else that i do with my shield has been fine but it’s a change and this is a change that you will have no choice but to accept that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon seidman thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters chris alegretta tom albrecht jim calliger hot sauce and video games and brian parker if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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