NVIDIA is launching a new update today for the SHIELD TV, which it says is the most important update in the last two years the device has been available. There are several important new capabilities added to SHIELD TV in this update with perhaps the biggest being Google Assistant support. Google Assistant will be able to take advantage of your big screen TV and surround sound speakers for the best audio possible.
The update also includes hands-free access to Assistant for TV, which is a first, and allows you to interact with your TV without having to pick up the controller. Another new feature for the update is the integration of Samsung SmartThings into SHIELD. This feature works with SHIELD and Google Assistant; and with the addition of the Samsung SmartThings Link, the SHIELD will be the hub for yor connected home with the ability to automate hundreds of smart devices.
With that feature enabled, the user can do things like add routines across devices and control them with your voice. To use your voice hands-free, you do need the latest version of the SHIELD Controller. One of the most noticeable changes is an updated user interface that provides intelligent overlay cards to provide information optimized for the TV. You can ask natural language queries like "Who is the mother of dragons" and you get information on Emilia Clarke, who happens to have five names surprisingly.
You can also ask Google to show photos from a recent trip and it will access them from your Google Photos account to show on your big screen. If you have tagged users by name in your Photos account, it will show you images of that specific person if you ask. Other voice commands that are now supported include the ability to launch Google Play Music, Spotify, and Pandora. Your voice can also open apps like Nest, Netflix, HBO, and others without needing to press controller or remote buttons.
Users will have to enable Google Assistant by pressing the NVIDIA button on the controller or mic button on the remote. The controller can't be plugged into the USB port when you do this. After that setup is complete, Google Assistant will be accessible via the Controller or Remote. SHIELD Controller supports hands-free access to Google Assistant, but Remote users must press the mic button.
Other than launching movies, once enabled you can play your favorite shows using your voice, launch news reports, shop or reorder from Walmart, Costco, and other stores, or turn the works off when it's time for bed all using your voice. NVIDIA is offering a free three month trial to YouTube Red on SHIELD so you can check out some 4K content. If you don't own an NVIDIA SHIELD TV, you can get the new bundle with the steamer itself and the remote for $179.