Fire TV’s new Alexa Voice Remote is partially compatible with the NVIDIA Shield TV

The NVIDIA Shield TV is a great media player if you like Google’s Android TV operating system, but its remote control leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why a lot of Shield TV owners use a Fire TV remote to control their device. With the release of the new Alexa Voice Remote and its built-in power and volume buttons, many have asked if it works with the Shield TV. The answer is, yes, it does partially work, including the power and volume buttons, but there are important things to know before using it with an NVIDIA Shield TV.

The new Alexa Voice Remote does connect up fine with the NVIDIA Shield TV. Once paired, the directional buttons, select button, back button, and home button work as expected. The media controls, including the play, pause, fast forward, and rewind buttons, work as well. The menu button, for the most part, does not work, but that’s to be expected since Android TV does not have a menu button. What doesn’t work at all is the microphone button, so you will lose voice search and Google Assistant capabilities completely via the remote if you use an Alexa Voice Remote with a Shield TV.

What you’re probably wondering most about are the power, volume, and mute buttons on the Alexa Voice Remote. The good news is that those do continue to work to control your TV and/or sound equipment when paired with a Shield TV, but you have to configure those buttons using a compatible Fire TV device first. If you pair the Alexa Voice Remote with a compatible Fire TV device first, configure the power and volume buttons to work with your home theater equipment through the Fire TV settings menu, and then pair the remote to a Shield TV, the remote will remember the correct IR codes for controlling your gear.

What will not work are the advanced universal remote capabilities of the Alexa Voice Remote. This means you will not be able to speak into the microphone of the remote to switch TV input, change cable box channels, or any other IR function that requires speaking into the remote. Only the physical power, volume, and mute buttons on the remote will continue to work once paired with a Shield TV.

To pair the remote with a Shield TV, go to the Shield TV’s settings menu and select “Add accessory” under the remote section. When the Shield TV begins “Searching for accessories,” press and hold the home button on the Alexa Voice Remote for 10 seconds. The LED in the top right corner of the remote will begin to flash orange and the Shield TV will find the remote. For me, it appeared as a device named “AR.”

As long as you already configured the power and volume buttons on the Alexa Voice Remote prior to pairing with a Shield TV, those buttons will continue to work. Fire TV models that are able to configure the remote’s power and volume buttons are the Fire TV Stick 2, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV 3 (Pendant), and Fire TV Cube. You can use any of those devices to set up the power and volume buttons prior to pairing the remote with the Shield TV.

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4 comments
  1. Charlie says:

    I was able to pair one of mine when I tried last week, when it was on sale. I also sometimes pick up my Toshiba fireTv edition TV remote.

  2. besiboyz says:

    Has anyone tried button mapper?

  3. howesoft says:

    Thanks for the article, my Shield TV remote broke down within weeks, was replaced by Nvidia, that replacement broke down within months, so I was wondering which controller to get. The Shield TV’s remote would need to be charged all of the time. I have a spare Fire TV 3 (pendent) in the garage and paired it after reading the article and it works fine. Does anyone know what the battery life is like with the Shield TV, is it similar to with the Fire TV, or will it drain the batteries – as happened to my Shield TV remote? Thank you.

  4. beq says:

    One drawback, my Shield have lost Bluetooth connection to the FTV remote a couple times, requiring either a restart, or a Bluetooth re-pairing.

    Can also take a little while for 3rd party remotes to re-establish Bluetooth connection after sleep, unlike the Shield’s native game controller (though the Shield’s native BLE remote also has aggressive power/sleep).

    And no microphone as mentioned, though having the native Shield game controller nearby with it’s always-on Google Assistant listening is good enough.

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