Already available on the Pixel and Home, Google Assistant will soon come to Android TV. A new SHIELD TV shown off at NVIDIA’s CES event was the first device to demo these capabilities, but the Assistant will come to most current set-top boxes and television sets running Android.
Google notes that all Android TVs in the US running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher will soon be updated with the Assistant. Set-top boxes getting the update also include the Xiaomi Mi Box, just announced AirTV Player, and all generations of the NVIDIA SHIELD TV.
Like on phones, the hands-free Assistant experience can be activated by saying “OK Google.” As demoed by NVIDIA, capabilities include:
- Play content: “Play Stranger Things on Netflix.”
- Discover content: “Search YouTube for Jimmy Kimmel.” And you can also ask a follow-up if you’re interested in more videos by saying: “Play the second one.”
- Get answers: “Tell me about Jurassic Park?”
- Set the right mood: “Dim the lights.”
- Get ready for your day: “How long will it take to get to work?”
NVIDIA also announced a new SHIELD TV that doubles as a smart home hub. Visually, the device retains last generation’s black geometric pattern and slight green accent. However, the game controller receives a major redesign, moving to a more geometric and ergonomic design.
Hardware-wise, it supports streaming 4K HDR content from Amazon and Netflix, with a thousand consoles-like games available in the SHIELD store.
For $199, the regular SHIELD includes a controller and remote. Pre-orders begin today with availability on January 16th. The SHIELD Pro is a physically larger device with 500GB of storage and features a remote with a headset jack, in addition to the controller. It will be available by the end of January for $299.
The company also announced a microphone accessory that connects back to the SHIELD TV and can be placed around your house to provide voice capabilities. The NVIDIA SPOT is a tiny $49 circular device that uses far-field processing and echo cancellation to work in conjunction with multiple units.