Shield TV finally gets low-latency mode with new update

Nvidia Shield TV owners are in for another update, with the Shield Experience 9.1 upgrade bringing support for an automatic low-latency mode, nighttime audio, and more.

Shield Experience 9.1 is rolling out starting today to Nvidia Shield TV owners, still based on the previous Android TV 11 update.

What’s new? The biggest news is that the Shield TV is getting a low-latency mode.

The lack of an automatic low-latency mode for gaming on the Shield TV has always been a little surprising but has become a bit more of a sore spot with the rise of cloud gaming services including Nvidia’s own GeForce Now, which touts better latency as a part of its RTX 3080 tier.

Nvidia explains that the Shield can now automatically turn on low-latency modes on TVs that it is connected to when playing games – or using a video-conferencing app, interestingly – a setting that reverts automatically after you go back to normal streaming apps.

SHIELD now automatically switches TVs with automatic low-latency mode to “game mode” when playing games or video conferencing — and then reverts to the previous setting when playing movies or streaming TV shows. This latency-saving feature replaces the cumbersome process of finding the TV remote, switching the mode setting, and changing it back when gaming sessions are complete.

Beyond low-latency support, this latest update for the Shield TV also adds support for a “night listening” mode when using HDMI audio. This feature, which is also used by Roku, lessens the impact of certain sounds to better balance sound for listening at night. The feature might lessen loud explosions, while boosting quiet dialogue, to let you hear everything better when the volume as a whole is turned down.

Another big perk in this update is a new notification that kicks in when the microphone is enabled.

The full changelog of new features in Shield Experience 9.1 follows:

  • Adds support to automatically enable game mode on supported TVs (ALLM)
  • Adds night listening mode (HDMI audio only)
  • Adds option specify network workgroup when connecting to SHIELD over local network
  • Adds option to create your own password when connecting to SHIELD over local
    network
  • [SHIELD Pro 2019] Adds AI upscaling support for 60Hz HDR10 video
  • [SHIELD Remote 2019] Adds option to only wake SHIELD with power or NETFLIX button
  • [Game Controllers] Adds option to only wake SHIELD with logo button
  • Adds option to match uncompressed audio with Dolby reference volume levels
  • Adds option to disable displaying HDR/Dolby Vision content
  • Adds notification when app uses microphone

And beyond those new features, Nvidia is also including a bunch of bug fixes with this update.

A bug that automatically re-enabled Dolby Vision on boot has been fixed, and an issue that disabled the “Restart Wi-Fi” quick setting has also been patched. Nvidia says some audio “pops” have also been resolved, as well as some file transfer and NAS issues. HDMI-CEC support has been improved, and GeForce Now users will no longer experience connection issues when using Nvidia Share.

This update is rolling out today to all Shield TV owners.

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