NVIDIA SHIELD TV update brings Marshmallow and the new Vulkan graphics API


If you are an owner of a NVIDIA SHIELD TV, then you are going to be pretty darn happy today. Nvidia is starting to rollout its latest update for the Android TV equipped device which includes the latest version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow. This update will also make the SHIELD TV the first ever Android consumer platform to include the next-generation Vulkan graphics API to take your gaming experience to the next level.

NVIDIA took to CES last month to announce that the Marshmallow update would be released soon. It looks like that update has finally arrived, bringing with it a host of improvements including:

  • Upgradable storage and home screen customization
  • Quick access to the power menu on the homescreen by long pressing the “Back” button
  • Seamless switching between surround sound and headset audio in Netflix app
  • Wireless support for SHIELD controller when charging via USB, including headset audio and voice search
  • Improved color support for YUV 4:2:0 video playback
  • Option to set 1080p 60Hz resolution on Ultra HD TVs
  • Option to set RGB Full Range via Settings > HDMI > Dynamic Range
  • Improved support for Denon receivers and CEC volume control for more audio receivers

In addition to Marshmallow inside of your living room, this update continues NVIDIA’s efforts to get the new Vulkan drivers across multiple platforms. They have already rolled out the Vulkan API to windows 7-10, Linux, and this now marks the first ever consumer Android device to receive the new drivers.


Basically Vulkan is a new open standards graphics consortium. The goal of Vulkan is to provide highly efficient, low-level access to modern graphics hardware across all modern platforms. This new standard, as our own Josh Levenson pointed out, provides developers with a unified cross-platform framework for 3D graphics which will seamlessly work across all major platforms. Google has already announced that the Vulkan graphics API will be included in a future release of Android, and with the SHIELD TV being mainly a gaming first platform, it is only natural that this be the first Android device to support it.

In addition to all this, there is also some goodies thrown in for developers. Last week NVIDIA gave developers a preview build of the the Vulkan graphics API, and now they are releasing the fully conformant Vulkan drivers into the wild. This equips developers with the drivers needed to allow their games to take full advantage of this new standard, enabling their games to look better then ever.

The OTA has started to rollout today, so if you own one of these devices, keep a look out for that update notification!

Source: Nvidia Blog

About the Author: Ryan Rabea

Born and raised right outside of Philadelphia, Ryan recently defected to the west, now residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying political science. Ryan loves all things political, with aspirations to attend law school in the Fall, followed by a career in the world of politics. When not debating politics or hunkered down studying in the Cathedral of Learning, you can find Ryan having an epic catch or wandering God’s country, Pittsburgh’s South Side. In addition to politics, Ryan has loved Android ever since getting his first Android phone, the HTC EVO 4G, almost 6 years ago. Currently though, Ryan sports a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but he can hear that Nexus 6P calling his name.