Users of Nvidia’s powerful Android-based Nvidia Shield TV streaming media player, are getting the ability to use spoken commands for device control with the addition of Amazon’s popular Alexa voice-powered platform.

Nvidia revealed Monday that the slick gaming and movie-centric media streamer will have access to a new app bringing an “Alexa Skill” to the player. This enables hands-free control of Shield TV functions through a wireless connection to Amazon smart speakers and similar Alexa input devices, like the Echo family products.

Using Alexa, users are now able to navigate and play favorite movies, TV shows, music and other streaming entertainments accessed by the Shield TV device.

The Nvidia Shield TV streamer brings access to large libraries of streaming music, movies, TV shows and video games from multiple app ecosystems. This includes a wide range of 4K content.

The update also allows “users in the Amazon ecosystem” to now listen to Dolby Atmos soundtracks for Prime Video users via passthrough to an Atmos-supporting AV receiver.

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Voice control isn’t exactly new to Nvidia Shield; It can also be controlled using Google Home smart speakers and devices, and now becomes the only streaming media player that supports both platforms, Nvidia said

Users will be able to speak commands, like the following (with more on the way), to control Shield TV hands free:

Getting started
• “Alexa, turn on SHIELD.”
• “Alexa, turn off SHIELD.”

Controlling the volume
• “Alexa, set volume to 80 percent on SHIELD.”

Opening entertainment apps
• “Alexa, open Prime Video (on SHIELD).”
• “Alexa, open HBO NOW (on SHIELD).”

Using media controls
• “Alexa, pause (on SHIELD).”
• “Alexa, play (on SHIELD).”
• “Alexa, next (on SHIELD).”
• “Alexa, previous (on SHIELD).”
• “Alexa, fast-forward ten minutes (on SHIELD).”

Navigating SHIELD
• “Alexa, go to settings (on SHIELD).”
• “Alexa, go home (on SHIELD).”
• “Alexa, go to control settings (on SHIELD).”

Nvidia said that following the first command, Alexa will assume subsequent relevant commands are for Shield. Where “on Shield” is noted in parentheses, you can continue controlling Shield TV with just the command.

To enable the functionality, users will need to pair an Echo to the Shield TV from within the Amazon Alexa app after it is downloaded on a mobile device from the Google Play or the App Store during Echo’s initial setup.

To enable the skill, open the Alexa app, click the menu button and select “Skills & Games,” then search for “Nvidia Shield.” Select the skill and press “Enable.”

After accepting the terms, continue the linking process in the Alexa app by connecting to an Nvidia account. This requires being logged into the same Nvidia account on the Shield TV before completing the step.

Finally, select the Shield TV and Echo devices that are to be connected. Bark your commands and enjoy.

To make it easier to get started, Nvidia also announced that through Nov. 10, 2018, purchasers of a Shield TV from Amazon or Best Buy will receive a third-generation Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker for free. At the same time, current Shield TV owners who are members of the Shield Rewards program will be getting an exclusive discount on the newly released third-gen Amazon Echo Dot.


By Greg Tarr


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