Nvidia’s new Shield TV is a fantastic piece of hardware that we love using, but you’ll only get the most out of it when you really make it your own. To do that, there are four main things to do as soon as you get your Nvidia Shield that help out with the experience.
Buy an HDMI Cable
It hurts me just a little bit inside that Nvidia didn’t include an HDMI cable in the box with the Shield, but it is what it is. We all have a million HDMI cables lying around, but if you’re picking up the Shield to go with your shiny new 4K TV, you might need a little bit of an upgrade. A standard HDMI cable won’t handle 4K all that well, especially if you’re trying to run HDR along with it.
Luckily, 4K-ready HDMI cables aren’t hard to find, nor are they expensive. To get 4K support, an HDMI cable simply needs to follow the HDMI 2.0 standard. Most cables will support this, including Amazon’s ultra-affordable AmazonBasics cables, but HDR is another story. HDR requires HDMI 2.0a which requires slightly more capable cables. In my case, I use an option from Metra which costs about $15 depending on length.
Get a Flash Drive for Adoptable Storage
The Shield is a gaming-centric device which means you’ll fill up the 16GB of built-in storage pretty quick. Sure, you could pick up the Shield Pro which has 500GB of storage, but one thing to remember is that Android TV has a secret weapon in the storage wars ─ adoptable storage.
Using nothing more than a quick flash drive, Shield users can utilize the USB 3.0 ports on the back of the device to expand their storage as much as they want. To do that, though, you’ll need a pretty quick USB 3.0 flash drive. SanDisk’s Extreme series provides quick read/write speeds and in my testing, has been a solid choice. Another option is to get a super slim flash drive that blends into the Shield, like SanDisk’s Ultra Fit or PNY’s Elite-X Fit.
Configure IR Control
One of the added bonuses hidden away on the Shield is the IR blaster built into the Shield Remote. This allows users to not only control their Shield with the remote, but also control the volume on their TV. This won’t work on every TV, it doesn’t work with my LeEco 4K TV, but it should work with the vast majority. To do it, simply head into the settings menu, locate Display & Sound, Volume Control, and Setup IR.
From there you can select the brand of TV or sound bar you’re using and the TV will walk you through setting up IR controls.
Sign up for GeForce Now
Gaming is at the heart of the Shield, and there’s no better way to do it than with GeForce Now. The monthly service brings gaming to a new level by streaming PC games from GTX 1080-powered machines and bringing that power to the Shield TV. Paired with the included Shield Controller, it makes for a fantastic gaming experience.
Pricing for GeForce Now lands at $7.99 a month and with that price, over 70 games are included. Further, you can buy more titles like ABZU and No Man’s Sky if you want to expand your collection.
Rearrange Your Homescreen
One way you can make the Shield feel like Home is to customize the layout of the homescreen. You can read our full tutorial on rearranging your homescreen on Android TV here, but the basics are to long press on an app icon and move it to the location you desire. It’s a small touch, but it can make a big difference in making your Shield feel like your own.