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The Shield TV hasn't gotten Oreo yet because no one cares about Android TV

NVIDIA Shield vs Shield Pro: Which should I buy?
NVIDIA Shield vs Shield Pro: Which should I buy?

As I've said before, the NVIDIA Shield TV is the best way to experience Android TV. It's fast performance, unique design, and excellent software make it a great buy, and while NVIDIA's typically been fast with software updates, Oreo has been noticeably absent from the streaming box. However, it looks like we finally have a reason for its delay.

Our friends at 9to5Google recently did some digging, and during CES earlier this month, NVIDIA's Director of Shield Management, Chris Daniel, said in an interview that Oreo hasn't come to the Shield TV yet due to developers not supporting the new software.

The Oreo update brings a major facelift to Android TV, and one of the highlights is channel recommendations. Installed channels are now displayed in a vertical list, and next to these are recommendations for new shows to watch based on your viewing habits and what the apps think you'd like to watch. It's a great idea, but developers need to update their apps to support the new layout, and this hasn't been happening.

Daniel is on record saying "if you release a whole new interface, and the apps aren't supporting it, then we don't feel like it's a good launch for us, so we're working hard on that." Daniel also said that NVIDIA is "making a lot of change with Google" in an effort to get Oreo rolled out as soon as possible.

Android TV's Oreo update and the troublesome channel recommendations.

Android TV's Oreo update and the troublesome channel recommendations.

Oreo is said to finally be coming to the Shield TV at some point in 2018, but there's no exact time frame in place at the moment.

Although it's encouraging to hear that Oreo is on its way, Daniel's comments about lacking developer support for Oreo on Android TV is anything but. It's no secret that most companies spend more time fleshing out apps for Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV before bothering with Android TV, but if this is now resulting in delayed software updates, that's a problem Google needs to address ASAP.

NVIDIA Shield TV 6.3 update adds Nest Cam streaming, new apps, and more

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

35 Comments
  • I will be picking one of these up shortly. FireTV is junk at this point.I already got rid of my stick and replaced it with Chromecast Ultra. Next is to replace the FireTV 4K with the Nvidia Shield. Now casting movies from my phone and pictures etc will be much easier and I will still have Amazon video via Prime.
  • I care, I love my shield!
  • I bet many developers care because they use the Shield TV at home and know how good it is.
    I doubt may developers BOSSES care because they see more people downloading apps for Roku, Amazon and Apple devices than Android TV and only care about money and not functionality.
    If Google and Nvidia made set top boxes that supported regular Android or dual boot with Android TV it might help.
  • Same here, I imported the previous nVidia Shield TV to Australia just after it was released, I signed up for the free GameStream service for a month but the closest GS server is in Asia and the latency was pretty bad. I'm on the new 100/40 fibre connection, I had the speed but the latency couldn't keep up, lag was ok but not playable. I use it for Netflix and Plex on my 4K TV, now I have a rig with a GTX card which I can use GameStream to stream game from the PC to the TV/Projector setup, it's pretty neat. People under estimate as to what it can do. Just my 2cent.
  • Have two. It's a great device with or without Oreo.
  • I have both a Nexus Player and a Shield and tbh I HATE Oreo on Nexus Player. Oreo on Android TV is ugly, unorganized and limited. I was actually looking for a Launcher that looks like Nougat for the Nexus Player but couldn't find one. I prefer the Shield to stay the way it is. I know where everything is.
  • Agreed. The oreo update on the nexus players is terrible. Not sure what Google was thinking going from a clean, simple, sensible UI to the ugly mess we have now.
  • I agree yup
  • The fact that Fire TV, an Android fork, is more popular than the official Android TV platform speaks volumes of how much Google messed up. They need a Halo device that is heavily marketed towards the general public. Most people don't even know what Android TV is. I'm really hoping that Google gives us some signs of hope for this at IO. Same thing with Android Wear.
  • The issue is that Google advertises and stocks chrome casts. This is a terrible solution for a home streaming device.
    Until Google supports Android TV they will continue to gain no market share.
    I think Google has to many small projects and rarely do they fully market and support any of these projects.
    While Android TV has alot of ability a vast majority of users just want something simple that works.
    Currently Roku outperforms all the other platforms in this area
  • If you are talking about Android TV market share then it has huge Market share internationally. Currently 50+ Cable and OTT providers use Google certified Android TV STB's and number of International TV makers using Android TV is also high. Companies like TCL, Philips sells Roku TV's in US but globally they use Android TV as their only OS. outside US and some European country Roku has no market share. Google currently using Android TV as mainly a Cable Box and Smart TV OS rather then a Home entertainment OS, until Google tries to compete with Amazon and Apple, thing won't change.
  • The reason why is simple. They advertised it. Google simply didn't do that. Samsung and LG make TVs with smart apps. They don't have an interest in making an Android TV setup. Android TV right now, is an expensive device that isn't really advertised (nVidia Shield TV) or a bunch of cheaper Chinese knock offs that don't support 4k properly. It is easy for FIre TV to sell more. It is cheaper and works. Roku devices are pretty cheap and work. I completely understand why Android TV isn't taking off.
  • Sony would like to say hello.
  • The real reason is much more simple. Amazon is a household name. It's all about brand awareness. Folks know and talk about Amazon and Alexa. Google, Chromecast, home, Android TV is trying desperately to get the same kind of awareness but that's going to take years of dedication and Google picking one name for its streaming services for starters.
  • Fire TV has always been an Amazon-centric mess for anyone wanting more than just Amazon content. The Shield TV is a great streaming media player (by far the best Android based streaming media player) but has always been waaaaay overpriced at $200+. Black Friday pricing of $160 made a lot more sense but even that is a bit high for a box with 16GB of storage. What it has going for it is a clean, fast super easy to navigate with a remote interface and all of the most useful apps (except Amazon Music) and plenty of power for Kodi. As a gaming machine it's fine if you're happy with tablet quality gaming. If Microsoft would get its act together and improve XBOX One S/X's interface to be more streaming friendly it would be a much better solution. 4K Blu-Ray, plus great gaming, plus good media streaming for around the same price (XBOX One S @$200-250).
  • I'm guessing they aren't in a hurry because they know people will complain about the Oreo UI. Having two Nexus Players (so I know the Oreo interface first hand) and a Shield, I am perfectly happy without an update to Oreo as long as they keep giving me security updates.
  • I don't care really, Shield is on top of what's necessary for Android TV, v6.3 released today, it just all works and I got it today.
  • I care. I own 3 Nvidia Shield Android TV consoles.
  • It still works. This is not a problem.
  • Wonder if the remote lag will ever get fixed. Device has so much potential but that lag makes it so frustrating to use at times. Was also disappointed to learn that the same lag exists when playing games on it over bluetooth. 😯
  • The remote disconnecting for a couple of minutes at a time is a pain.
  • ??? What lag are you talking about? Is this a common issue? I have a 2017 NVidia Shield TV and haven't noticed any lag at all. Our family plays games on it almost every night and I watch Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/Terrarium/Twitch on the thing all the time. The only lag I've ever seen has been with the Twitch app.
  • I don't have this issue.
  • I own two Shield TVs and I'm in no rush for Oreo on my Shields (S8 yes, Shield no). What I'm far more interested in are more Shield TV apps. For example I'd love an Amazon Music app, and I'd love for the Shield's Plex app to finally reliably stream 5.1 Flacs at 24/96. I'd also love to see a version of Poweramp for the Shield.
  • I don't even use the channel recommendations. Gearstv all the way.
  • I just bought a new TV with Android TV, (SONY) and the SOC is a POS. Balky, slow, it has loads of stuff running in the background, and the recommendations are hopeless. The responsiveness is improved by removing the RJ45 from the TV. Yay Chromecast Ultra!
  • Love our Shield and got an update just yesterday. Now it has built in support Nest cameras which is pretty slick and you can just your voice. What would Oreo get me?
  • The best way for Google to market Android TV is to make their own TV (Pixel TV anyone?).
  • I got rid of my Shield TV and Nexus player and now I just use a Chromecast ultra.
  • I don't understand the focus on AppleTV seeing as it just doesn't sell that well. AndroidTV ships on a bunch of smart TVs (though, it's not great on those), and AppleTV has failed to really take off. Maybe nVidia should take out a Super Bowl add. I find the biggest problem with it is that people just don't know about it. I love my Shield!
  • The SHIELD TV hasn't gotten Oreo yet because no one cares about Oreo (or updates).
  • Am I they only one who doesn't care about oreo because my shield tv is awesome already and worth every penny and then some that I paid for it?
  • I have a Shield TV, an Apple TV 4K, and an Intel NUC running LibreELEC (Linux Kodi) which are used in different rooms (living room, bedroom, office). I like all three devices for different reasons. What bugs me that is unique to the Shield TV is that Google hasn't implemented SMB v2 or 3, and is still running v1 from the 90s. (You probably know, but SMB is the standard file transfer method between Windows / Mac / Linux machines - it's the most used system that works for all major environments.) In order to have the Shield TV stream music and some videos from one of my computers, I have to set that computer to use SMB v1 - otherwise the Shield won't see it on the network. I often move files between network devices, and (example) a 50GB file takes around an hour on SMB1...it takes 5 minutes on SMB3. Having my computer set to SMB1 SUCKS. If it weren't for the Shield using 25 year old standards, I wouldn't have to slow everything else down. Google is supposed to be FINALLY adding support for the (still old as hell) SMB 2/3 protocols in Oreo.
  • The problem with Android TV is there is not a quality product out there at the $100 price point to compete with the Fire TV. The Shield TV is a great device but most people just want a good streaming device and don't want to spend $200 on one. Google or nVidia or both need to make a Android TV Box at the $100 price point. Also, they need make a Android TV Stick at the $40 price point cause not everyone wants to use their phone to control their TV. And they need to advertise the heck out of it. I stopped buying Fire TV devices cause I'm sick of how crippled they are. Most consumers don't know the difference and that there are better options out then if they are willing to spend a little more.
  • I use my Nvidia Shield for Kodi, Terrarium TV, Movie HD and Popcorn Time. Legitimate apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now play copyrighted material on my Roku television.