Back in late July, NVIDIA updated its SHIELD TV 4K streaming box to SHIELD Experience Upgrade 8.0, which was based on Android 9 Pie. The update also brought some new features along with a few bugfixes. However, what many SHIELD TV owners weren’t expecting were issues with existing 4K video playback.
NVIDIA has now acknowledged that a handful of apps have suddenly stopped playing back content at 4K resolutions. In a post to the official NVIDIA support forums, a staffer wrote:
We’re aware of a 4K playback issue impacting a small number of apps on SHIELD TV devices and are working on a solution. In most of these cases, users can cast these movies to SHIELD in 4K using built-in Chromecast. The top 4K providers, including Netflix, YouTube and Prime Video, are not affected.
At this point, some of the apps that have been confirmed to experience 4K playback issues are Vudu and DC Universe. While NVIDIA says that apps like Netflix and YouTube should not be affected, some SHIELD TV owners state otherwise.
“This is also happening on YouTube app and Google Play movies and tv app when trying to watch my purchased content,” writes Ryharris. “Nothing plays in HD or 4k. All my purchased content plays in SD.”
NVIDIA’s contention that casting to the SHIELD TV – while a usable solution, is not always ideal – was also called into question. Forum member Vission1 expressed that he still was not able to cast 4K or HD content with the Movies Anywhere app.
So far, the only app maker that has confirmed the 4K playback issue is Vudu, which released the following statement:
NVIDIA has made us aware of an UHD issue that will affect Vudu NVIDIA SHIELD users and prevent playback in UHD quality. Due to this, UHD playback on NVIDIA SHIELD devices will be limited to HDX quality starting at 3pm PT today. Playback on other Vudu-enabled devices will not be affected, and you will be able to watch your collection in 4K UHD on non-NVIDIA SHIELD devices.
We understand this is frustrating and inconvenient but rest assured that you will still have the UHD quality you purchased and will be able to watch in UHD when the issue is resolved by.
We have reached out to NVIDIA for further confirmation on these SHIELD TV woes, and when a fix will be available for customers. We’ll update this piece once we receive a response.