Users of Nvidia’s Shield TV high-powered media streamer will soon be getting some new features delivered via the Shield Experience Upgrade 5.2, including an easier way to watch and share live broadcast TV, the company said Thursday.

The updates will roll out initially through the Shield Preview Program over the next couple weeks. They will bring new cord-cutting features enabled by Plex including over-the-air (OTA) live TV access with DVR functionality. The function is enabled through the newly added ability to connect a USB tuner dongle such as the .

Shield TV, which interfaces with the Android TV OS on Plex, is one of the more powerful media streaming adapters on the market, and can deliver advanced 4K Ultra HD streaming content with HDR and streamed video gameplay.

It is also the only device that is “both a Plex client and media server” therefore allowing users to watch live TV, schedule recordings, play recordings back locally, and serve recordings for playback on other devices connected to the Internet, Nvidia said in a blog detailing the upgrade this week.

Read more on the Shield TV update enhancements after the jump:

For those in need of a more robust media streaming solution than what they might have on an entry level television, Blu-ray player or gaming console, Nvidia is offering its Shield TV along with six months of Plex Pass supporting live TV access among other things (a $29.95 value) for free with the purchase of a ($199.95) or ($299.95) unit. The latter adds 500 GB of internal storage.

Users will also need the to receive free OTA TV broadcasts.

After the six-month free period, subscriptions to Plex Pass run $5 per month, $40 per year, or $150 lifetime.

The ability to view live TV via Plex has been available on the Shield TV in the past using an HDHomeRun adapter connected the Shield TV, a wireless router, and an off-air TV antenna. But the new solution simplifies the whole purchase and setup equation considerably, doesn’t have as many issues with Wi-Fi bandwidth between the tuner and the Shield TV and reduces the cost of the tuner — $68.07 .

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The Shield TV update v.5.2 will include the following enhancements:

  • Access to and recording of Live TV with Plex – A Plex Pass subscription and an add-on USB tuner like a dual WinTV USB tuner from Hauppauge will enable the Shield TV to present and record over-the-air (OTA) broadcast TV on Shield in up to 1080 resolution with 5.1 surround sound.
  • The ability to record Live TV and movies to Network Attached Storage devices via Plex along with the ability to continue to write to local storage, adopted storage and external storage drives.
  • Browse and record shows from a “10-foot user interface.”
  • The ability to record video directly to Shield and then stream shows to any device including mobile devices, anywhere in the world, with low power consumption and cost compared to competitive options.
  • The ability to play Google Play movies in 4K Ultra HDTV.
  • The ability to Google Cast content from supporting mobile devices at up to 4K/60 fps with 5.1 surround sound.

Before jumping into a cord-cutting system purchase, HD Guru recommends readers carefully consider the price of their current satellite or cable TV service subscriptions against all of the various prices for hardware, individual OTT programming service subscriptions/movie rental and purchase fees, and ancillary service subscriptions like Plex.

Also include broadband equipment/fees and consider whether or not all of the broadcast stations and programs desired are going to be available in the reception area. HD Guru readers have sometimes found the savings versus convenience/content selection aren’t what they appear on the surface.

Skinny bundles with live cable and broadcast stations are also available on media adapters like Nvidia Shield TV at reduced rates from providers including: Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV, among others.

 

By Greg Tarr

 

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