Google’s Android TV has long been an attractive platform partially because it lacked blatant advertising. That’s starting to change with a prominent homescreen “highlights” row that’s rolling out, but it seems possible that Nvidia’s Shield TV is exempt from these ads.

This week, a couple of app updates to Android TV have seen homescreen ads rolling out to most users of the platform. Personally, they’ve arrived on every Android TV device in my home except one — the Shield TV in my living room.

Looking around from user reports on Reddit and a few other Shield owners I know, this appears to be true for everyone. For whatever reason, Nvidia Shield TV models just don’t seem to be getting Android TV’s new homescreen ads. When updated to the latest Core Services and Home apps — 2.12-320114979-f and 2.13-320113730-f respectively — the Shield keeps the homescreen as it’s always been, ad-free and app-focused.

Why is this the case? Honestly, we’re not entirely sure. Google hasn’t provided any details that make it seem like the “highlights” are optional. In fact, we were told essentially the opposite when the company said that they couldn’t be turned off. However, that doesn’t explain why Shield TVs just aren’t getting this new row.

We reached out to Nvidia to see if they could clear things up, but the company had no comment to offer on the matter.

Based on the evidence at hand, it seems like Shield TV is exempt from Android TV ads, but we can’t know that for sure. One day, the “Highlights” row might come to Shield owners but, at the very least, they aren’t arriving alongside other models.

More on Android TV:

Thanks Justin, u/rrainwater, Clifton

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Ben Schoon

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