Android Oreo update is now rolling out to the NVIDIA Shield TV

The NVIDIA Shield TV, the most popular Android TV set-top box, is now starting to receive the Shield Experience Upgrade 7.0 which updates the device to use Android 8.0 Oreo. Even though this version of Android TV has been available since August of last year, NVIDIA chose to not update their devices until now because there weren’t enough apps that supported the new home screen launcher layout. Now that enough apps have finally added support, NVIDIA feels it’s ready to release the update to users.

This update shifts the Shield TV home screen from being app-focused to being content-focused. Apart from a horizontal row of recommended content at the top, the old home screen was mostly dominated by app icons. Things are now essentially reversed because there is a single row of app icons at the top with numerous rows of content below.

The rows of content, which Google calls “Channels,” are generated by the apps you have installed. This was the issue keeping NVIDIA from releasing this update. If apps didn’t support the new Channel rows, which they initially didn’t, the home Android TV screen would be blank apart from the single row of apps. NVIDIA says the following apps, among others, now support the Channel rows:

  • CBS All Access
  • Google Play Movies & TV
  • Google Play Music
  • HBO Now
  • Hulu
  • Live Channels
  • NBC
  • Netflix
  • Nvidia Games
  • PlayStation Vue
  • Plex
  • Showtime
  • Sling TV
  • Spotify
  • Starz
  • Twitch
  • Vudu
  • YouTube

Channel rows can be moved up or down by scrolling to the far right of a row and pressing the up or down buttons. You can also remove rows completely or add additional Channel rows for each app if the app developer provides the option.

NVIDIA has also added several handy remote shortcuts to help navigate around the new interface. Those shortcuts are:

  • Hold Home button to see All Apps
  • Double press Home button to bring up Recent Apps
  • Hold Back button to bring up Settings
  • Hold Select button on content to add it to the Play Next row
  • Hold Select button on apps to move or delete them

In addition to the App row at the very top, there is a Play Next which any app you have installed can use to insert content. It can best be thought of as a row of recent content, similar to the Recent row on the Fire TV interface. The new Android TV interface, overall, now more closely resembles the Fire TV interface, due to the new rows of content. The NVIDIA Shield TV update is slowly rolling out to devices now, but it may be several days before all devices receive the update.

  1. Mark B says:

    Actually most of us do not want. Not many advantages and can only break things and make it harder to navigate. You should 100% avoid .0 and wait till .1 or .2 if your box is stable.

    Really the only thing we Shield users want is working Colorsoace conversion and Refresh rate switching. The fact that we are still waiting on these is a Bit bizarre. Nvidia ignores its user base even though they A) have the most money to spend on devices and B) tend to be technically literate users who know exactly what they want from a 4K streamer in 2018. The situation is frustrating when we keep bringing it up in the forums and either get ignored or vague promises. The other thing people want is Vision hdr which software wise is doable Nvidia just needs to license it. Also and here is where The Roku and Fire tv win, working search across apps. Having to first use the system search/voice search to look for content and then having to go through every single app like Amazon Prime Video and then search there individually to find the content you’re looking for makes me nuts.

    Users are literally buying Apple Tvs to not have to deal with these issues and to keep WAF. It should “just work” Keep in mind the Shield probably is still the best box overall but it’s missing key fixes that should have occurred long ago. Sorry for the long rant, not like someone from Nvidia is going to read it…

    • Jim says:

      Well said Mark B

    • clocks says:

      It is a bit odd to hear someone complain about the Shield. I own one personally, and think it is a nice box, though overpriced if you are not a gamer. But try to make that argument on most forums and they will try to burn you at the stake. Seems most believe this thing is an “orgasm in a box” or something.

    • Lon says:

      Every time that I dare to mention that I prefer my Apple TV over my Shield I get screamed at. Sorry but the apps are just better, last time I checked the Shield still doesn’t support DirecTV Now or the latest version of Hulu. That’s just the two biggest examples. And the UI is just much nicer.

      • Tony Ramirez says:

        Agree. The Apple TV is the most underrated device but it is the most reliable best streamer.

        The Shield is the most overrated peace of junk the remote was so bad and the apps were unreliable “old Hulu from years ago” that I sent it back.

        • Primal. says:

          Lol. I’ve used both a Shield and an Apple TV and the Shield won every time. The apple remote was junk (even my girlfriend gave up on it and uses her ipad to control it instead) and the limited amount of apps and uses, coupled with the high price, has made the apple TV largely irrelevant to cable cutters and fans of online media up t to this time.

          Apple TV is convenient for existing iOS users, and it’s actually easier to cast or screen mirror from an Android device to an Apple TV than the Shield (which is notorious for not fully supporting all Chromecast functions), but that’s it. In EVERY other area, even most cheap Android boxes are better than an Apple TV.

      • Primal says:

        1/ Direct TV can be sideloaded onto the Shield:

        2/ Hulu works just fine on Shield TV, with either the official version, or a sideloaded regular Android varient working.

        I think you have confused “screamed at” with “laughed at”, and “better Apple TV apps” with “less Apple TV apps than Android/Shield TV”.

    • Kawshik Ahmed says:

      Agree with many of your complain but, you can’t blame Nvidia or Google for not having Amazon (or any other VOD app) not appearing on the Universal Search of Android TV.
      Like any other OS, the developer of the app have to add Universal Search feature to their app, so the OS can search inside the app. But Amazon didn’t add that feature on their Android TV. It’s a fault of Amazon not Nvidia.

    • Primal says:

      Also, I want custom (live) wallpaper support, too.

  2. tech3475 says:

    Is it possible to still use the old launcher or is there a recommended alternative launcher?

    I don’t care for this kind of thing, I just want to load the app I want.

    • beq says:

      Well, we can remove all Channel rows if we want, but we’ll still only have a single row of App Favorites. Getting to the new 2D grid App Drawer requires holding down the Home button, or clicking to the left of the App Favorites row.

      Wish we could just choose either the App Drawer grid, or the new layout with Play Next and Channel rows, as the “home screen” (at startup and mapped to the Home button).

      For example Apple TV lets you map the Home button to either the app grid home screen, or their TV App which aggregates 3rd party content in some of the same ways.

      Failing that, is there a 3rd party Android TV launcher to duplicate the app grid, which can run at startup and take over a remote button?

      Basically like the old FireStarter for Fire TV (before Amazon blocked its auto launch capabilities — nowadays it only runs after pressing Home button with a few seconds delay, via non-ADB observation, and must rely on another 3rd party app to launch at startup).

      • beq says:

        Not saying Oreo’s new rich content layout isn’t nice. But I have family members who are used to a simple grid of app icons a la Roku and Apple.

        In fact, is there also a way to disable background play on the Shield? Some are used to just pressing Back or Home button to exit out of whatever video they’re playing. But now they see the video continuing to play “behind” either the main menu or the home screen.

      • PRIMAL says:

        There’s an app that can create custom channels for the new launcher GUI, but it costs a few dollars. I’m sorry, but I can’t find it now.

    • derrick says:

      exactly. just give a grid of apps.

  3. Brian says:

    Is this a stable rollout or beta preview?

  4. derrick says:

    this is a worse layout. App focused is the way. I intended to go away from firetv to nvidia shield, one reason because the amazon way just wastes screen. just give me a grid of apps like Roku.

    • OG Charlie says:

      Fire TV can do that. Either use the mobile app as a launcher or hold home button and select apps.

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