Android tv tips

Personalize Home Screen

We all know Google TV is all about personalized recommendations and curated content neatly organized on the home screen. So if you want to take full advantage of the new recommendation system, you must personalize it to your own liking. We have already written a detailed guide on how to customize the Google TV home screen, so go through that article once, and you will have everything sorted. You will get recommendation cards and banners from apps like Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, and more. In summation, customizing the home screen is the best Google TV trick that you must implement on the first run.

Browse the Internet

Most Android TVs are built for a laid back experience and therefore don’t even include a web browser. You can sideload the Puffin TV browser that’s designed specifically for Android TV and offers a remote-friendly interface. If you want to get serious, you can also install other web browsers on Android TV such as Google Chrome and use it with the Mouse Toggle app or attach a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard.

Navigate the Sideloaded apps

Once you install an app by sideloading that wasn’t intentionally made for Android TV, you’d face problems. For example, the Shield TV remote isn’t recognized by the apps and therefore you can’t use the apps, at least not without help. Enter Mouse Toggle; an app that simulates a mouse pointer on your TV and allows you to easily navigate the sideloaded apps with just the remote.

Sideload Apps

It would be a waste if you purchased the Shield TV and didn’t sideload any apps to it. One of the perks of owning an Android device is that you can sideload apps easily and enjoy apps that weren’t even developed for Android TV in the first place. You can read more about it in the article here. While most of the apps do work when sideloaded, if some apps are built exclusively for 64-bit then it may not work. So, if you’re planning on using the Dolphin emulator, I’ll hold my breath.

AI Upscaling

It may look like a trick or a gimmick but it is a legitimate feature on the 2019 Shield TV. AI-scaling aims to stretch out the 720p and 1080p content to 4K without pixelating the footage using Machine Learning. It would come in handy if you have a 4K TV but your streaming services are in 1080p, the system is implemented within the device so it works without any lags or jitters. You can activate this feature by navigating to Settings> AI Upscaling> AI-Enhanced, Enhanced, or Basic.

Adjust the Cooling fan

Both NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro and Tube, have a cooling fan built into the device which can sometimes become loud enough to distract you. You can adjust the speed settings of the fan. Go to Settings> Device Preferences> System> Fan Mode> Cool or Quiet.

Control TV with Shield TV

While the remote is equipped with IR, the 2019 Shield TV has HDMI-CEC which allows itself to do some impressive things. For example, you can set your TV to power ON and OFF when your Shield Wakes up and goes to sleep. If you have multiple devices connected to the TV, you can set Shield TV to switch the HDMI source when it wakes up. However, if your TV doesn’t support HDMI-CEC, you can still use the IR sensor to turn the TV on.

IR Volume Controls

With 2019 Shield TV, you no longer get the ability to control the volume on the Shield TV itself. But then why do we still have volume buttons on the remote? It’s for the TV or any sound accessory that you might have connected to the Shield TV. You’ll have to configure those buttons in the Settings.

Take A Screenshot

The 2017 Shield TV had a dedicated interface that allowed you to record the screen and take screenshots natively, mainly for gamers. As 2019 appeals to a more wider audience, this screen recording functionality is not present on the Tube version. However, you can still take screenshots on the 2019 model. Navigate to Settings> Remote & Accessories> SHIELD Accessories> Customize Quick Settings Button> Take a screenshot.

Remap Netflix Button

The Shield TV comes with a huge Netflix button that I don’t use very often. Even though Shield TV has a reprogrammable button that allows you to set it to any action that you like, but I wanted to remap the Netflix button itself. Fortunately, you can remap every button on the remote with this app.