New NVIDIA Shield TV Remote and Controller in code suggest new hardware is coming

XDA Developers has discovered new remote and controller codenames in the NVIDIA Shield TV’s software source code that could mean new hardware is in the works. NVIDIA has confirmed that the codenames “stormcaster” and “friday,” which are explicitly referenced in the code as a controller and remote, refer to products that have not launched publicly.

The original NVIDIA Shield TV first launched in 2015 and it was refreshed in 2017 with less expensive peripherals to bring the price down. The 2017 refresh made very little changes to the media player hardware, apart from giving the 16GB version a smaller case, since it didn’t need to have room for the 500GB spinning disc in the Shield TV Pro.

NVIDIA’s issued the following official statement regarding the codename discoveries:

“It’s fairly standard practice for various concept codenames to appear in codebases. Those references remain even when it becomes unlikely that the concept ever goes into production. We can’t comment on which codenames refer to product concepts that are active vs which ones are inactive, as it can be fluid. However, I can confirm that none of the codenames below refer to products that have launched publicly.”

Since the NVIDIA Shield TV is still the most powerful streaming media player on the market, it wouldn’t be surprising if we see a repeat of the 2017 refresh where the box hardware doesn’t change much but the included peripherals are updated to further reduce the bundle’s price. With newer device’s like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K providing better media capabilities than the Shield TV, like Dolby Vision support, but at less than one-third the price, the Shield TV will need more than a peripheral refresh to gain wider adoption.

  1. Flokic says:

    Dolby Vision, HDR10+, proper Dolby licensing, usable remote, 4K UI, etc. The Stick offers a lot at a much more reasonable price.

  2. tech3475 says:

    Would be nice if they could at least allow for the Shield to be updated for e.g. Dolby Vision, if possible, via a codec license/software update if that is the reason behind not providing support.

  3. Jon says:

    Dont get me wrong I prefer my Shield over a FTV, but only because of the interface, and I know I will probably take some flack for saying this, but I think the Nvidia Shield is quite possibly the most over rated media device ever made.

    The remote on the Shield is the worst remote I have ever used, by a significant margin. Yes I would prefer a larger, more traditional remote, but the remotes problems are far bigger than just its size and the buttons it lacks. I ended up getting a different remote to use for the Shield, and while the cheap remote I picked dosnt work perfectly, it still works significantly better than the included remote.

    I prefer Google Assistant over Alexa, I am not saying that it is better, but it is better for me. The biggest problem with Google Assistant is how segmented it is. It works differently on my Google Homes and minis, my phone, and the Shield. To some extent this is to be expected, they are different device types. I also know this is more Googles fault than Nvidia’s fault, but the Shield works the worst of all the assistant devices. I keep my game controller plugged in 24/7 and rarely use it for anything but the always listening assistant features. My biggest complaint with the Google Assistant is that it rarely knows when my TV is on or off. It will turn my TV on 100% of the time, but it will also answer on the TV when it is off at least 60% of the time. I have a Google Home Mini right beside the game controller, it should answer when the TV is off.

    My biggest complaint with the Shield is Emby no longer works the way it should. I am not 100% sure who is to blame for this as Emby, Kodi, and the Shield all got updated roughly at the same time and that is when everything broke, but my FTVs all work perfectly with Emby. I am fairly geeky, I played with it for over a week trying to fix it and just finally gave up using Emby on the Shield. I dont absolutely need Emby, I can do 98% of what I want without it, but I do prefer it.

    There are 100 other little issues that creep up from time to time, they are always real little things, but I wish I had read at least one negative review of the Shield before I bought it. I am pretty sure everyone sings the Shields praises because they are too afraid to admit they blew $200 on a device that is at best so so.

    I keep thinking about trying a Mi box, but it has at best so so reviews. So here is to hoping that maybe the JBL device every comes out and is actually great. If Amazon just put a better launcher on there device, and made them slightly more premium I would seriously consider getting rid of all my Google Assistants and switching to Echos, but that is never going to happen.

    • Lars says:

      I admit it. I blew $200 on one. And then I blew another $200 on a second for my other TV. Both first gens. Because I absolutely love it and have never had any issues with it that I can’t live with. By far the best out there, and I have tried quite a few various products over time.
      One thing I do agree with is the remote. I use Firestick remotes and they work flawlessly.

      Actually I don’t recall if I paid $200 for them, I think it was far less. But I would gladly pay $200, even 300, for them.

    • Lonster says:

      I agree, its overrated. It’s not just you. What frustrates me the most is the fact that Android TV is so poorly supported when it comes to apps. I never could get DirectTV Now working on the Shield, can’t use the current version of Hulu on it… And the remote that seems to need recharging constantly.

  4. OG Charlie says:

    All I really want is a price drop on the old Shield

  5. smithmal says:

    Definitely their remote is limited. I use the Shield as a total media replacement and I need more functionality than what the Shield’s remote offers. There’s a big thread on XDA regarding third party remotes that have voice control and are reviewed if anyone is interested:

    My current favorite is the Azulle Lynk which you can get for $8 (current refurbished price on Amazon). It’s got voice control, LED back lighting, works with Google Assistant and has built in IR learning (so you can control both your Shield and TV with the same remote).

  6. Masterblaster says:

    I know Nvidia has a lot on plate right now with the X1 chip in the Shield tv and Nintendo Switch with possible upgrades for both systems in the future. Nvidia has been supportive for the Shield but there are some needed changes for hardware and software. I personally use the Harmony remote and hub as my go-to for my living room setup. Personally I love the Shield and is used everyday and streaming 4k HDR games has been awesome!
    Bring on a new shield with a lower price point and more people will enjoy.

  7. bob says:

    i bought the amazon firetv remote for $14 and paired with shield. so much better. the sheild remote sits in a box. hate it. the

  8. AFTVnews says:

    My money is on NVIDIA doing exactly what the Mi Box did with their hardware “update.” I’m expecting the same exact Sheild TV hardware, but in a new housing with a “new” remote that looks exactly like the old one but now includes an “Apps” button, Google Assistant branding/icon, and possibly some dedicated services button, like Netflix.

  9. Dave says:

    Day 1 for me!

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