I received the +NVIDIA​ Shield Android TV!

Ordered on black Friday (160€) with the cheapest free shipping, it got here earlier than I expected.
The device itself is a beauty. It impresses.

I don't have a TV at the moment so it's plugged on a 1920×1200 monitor (supports HDCP) via a HDMI to DVI connector.

On first boot, for the initial setup it configured the output to 1920×1200 (in RGB limited tho) which was fine. It applies an update as soon as it can and is stuck on 640×480 since it rebooted, HDMI settings doesn't allow to change it, shoot.
Maybe something can be hacked until I get a TV.

Its super convenient that there's two Audio Outputs beside the HDMI one that's not connected to anything at the moment.

First output: on the controller. And wow, there's a capable DAC & HP amp in this thing already! Very good surprise, it sounds great.
It's native to the system and I wonder if it's actually streaming in a compressed format or in lossless PCM. I'll measure later. In case it's compressed it's pretty well done.
The output level is sufficient to drive the 300 ohms Sennheiser HD 650 (albeit not super loud for quiet content, but for music it's fine).
The HP amp output impedance appears to be high so the amount of bass is reduced on some headphones.

Second output: on the remote. This one appears as a Bluetooth audio device to the system so it probably streams as SBC.
Unfortunately my unit seems defective. There's a loud permanent icky noise on the left channel that makes it unusable. It persisted after the accessory firmware upgrade so I guess I'll have to request a replacement. Boo.

I got this device to study the possibility to write a color correction driver on this platform.
Either fully hardware using the display controller capabilities – if any or using the (very powerful) GPU.
I expect the GPU and compositor to not be able to access DRM protected surfaces like what Netflix app likely uses, just like on the Nexus 7 2013.
I'll let you know if I get any result, who knows 😊

#supercurioBlog #development #nvidia #shield #TV

Source post on Google+

Published by

François Simond

Mobile engineer & analyst specialized in, display, camera color calibration, audio tuning

18 thoughts on “I received the +NVIDIA​ Shield Android TV!”

  1. Hmm the remote seems indeed defective, it doesn't change either.

    A nice feeling after completing this however 🙂 :

    fastboot oem unlock

    (bootloader) erasing userdata…
    (bootloader) erasing userdata done
    (bootloader) erasing cache…
    (bootloader) erasing cache done
    (bootloader) Unlocking bootloader…
    (bootloader) Bootloader is unlocked now.
    OKAY [ 54.778s]
    finished. total time: 54.778s

  2. +Clemens Schartmüller I see. I would have picked flash storage even at the same price 😉
    Is it an offer with the remote as well?
    I'm bummed mine doesn't work – maybe it will fix itself after long hours plugged on a charger. Currently it turns off instantly if I unplug it from an USB source and doesn't light up the microphone button as it should when charging.

  3. Oh come on, after flashing a few +NVIDIA firmwares images in order to track a display resolution regression, the device apparently bricked itself already.

    The hardware method to get to fastboot doesn't work either.

    It stays stuck with the green led ON after the power cable is plugged, doing nothing.

    Defective remote, Shield TV dying after a few hours.. cough reliability cough

  4. +François Simond​ hardware method is also a known issue introduced with 1.4. So sadly 1.3 was the last completely stable firmware. Some have flashed 1.3 bootloader with 2.1 firmware. Others have kept 1.3 and selectively flashed rom and kernel only. And some like me have chosen to stay on 1.3 base (till they fix bootloader and make it unbrickable on official) and use full aosp android instead.

    As for the hardware key, you could try repeatedly fast pressing the power button instead of holding for number of seconds.

  5. +Eid Ligata​ good catch!
    It bricked when flashing from 1.4 to 2.1 indeed.
    Is the bootloader in the blob file?
    If I could just skip this one. I was simply relying on the official Nvidia recovery packages.

    I tried for half an hour to adjust the boot combo timing with no result, now it's in the box ready to send back.

    Thanks for the details tho, I wouldn't want to face this defect twice 😊

    Before it died I had some interesting results forcing the desired resolution on 1.4 however: I was able to set it so it would output to the native 1920×1200 resolution of my monitor.
    Only in RGB limited however.

    2.x firmwares are only offering 640×480 on my monitor so I was gonna try to the same resolution forcing working on 1.x.

  6. +François Simond the only saving grace about this whole situation is that nvidia has proved itself extremely easy to deal with and helpful with regards to rma. All those that had to deal with this had something positive to say with regards to nvidia service.

    Hope it goes as smooth for you.

  7. +Eid Ligata in this case it's the store I bought from who's dealing with the return (well). And they're losing money on it.
    Since I'm moving to Sweden soon, I guess I would have to deal with Nvidia directly if it happens again.

    It's true +NVIDIA​ is getting some experience with customer support and large scale recall and replacements, if they're probably not making much money selling their own devices as a result of the mishaps at least they seem to handle that correctly.
    It makes sense to build the brand and internal skills for a long term strategy that includes more than GPUs

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