Come comment on this article: Google contemplates a GeForce Now streaming competitor with Yeti service
Come comment on this article: NVIDIA Shield TV gets software update, but we’re not on Oreo yet
It’s been a few months since the NVIDIA Shield TV’s last major software update, but the team’s been working hard to fix bugs and add new features to the set-top box. Shield Experience 6.3, which started rolling out this week, includes mitigations for the Spectre vulnerability, application updates, and region-specific changes.
First up are updated Shield TV apps. The Plex client now optionally removes DVR-recorded shows after you’ve watched them, and the upgraded VLC app supports 360-degree video playback and picture-in-picture mode. And starting with Shield Experience 6.3, Sirius XM and Tidal now ship pre-loaded on the Shield TV.
A number of changes in Shield Experience 6.3 are region-dependent. If you live in the United States, for example, you’ll be able to control networked Nest Cameras (try saying, “Show me my front door camera”) and 1,000 other smart home devices using the Google Assistant, and you’ll see new applications including Cartoon Network, VH1, and Lego TV. Meanwhile, if you live in Europe, you’ll get the Eurosport app after the update, or the TV NOW Plus app and Moviestar+ apps if you’re in Germany or Spain, respectively.
The rest of the enhancements in Shield Experience 6.3 are heading to all devices regardless of region, and they include the aforementioned Spectre fix, improved Bluetooth and Wi-Fi performance, better low battery reporting for Shield accessories, and more. Here’s the full changelog:
Shield Experience 6.3 for the Shield TV Changelog
New Features and Apps to Try on SHIELD
- PLEX: Automatically remove DVR recorded shows
- VLC: Adds 360 video and PIP functionality
- New Apps: Sirius XM, Tidal
- NEST: View your Nest Cameras on SHIELD using Google Assistant. Say “Show me my front door camera”
- Smart Home: Control over 1000 devices with Google Assistant
- New Apps: Cartoon Network, VH1, and Lego TV
- New Apps: Eurosport
- New Apps: TV NOW PLUS
- New Apps: Moviestar+
- The latest monthly Android security updates including mitigations for “Spectre” (not known to be vulnerable to “Meltdown”). See NVIDIA Product Security Page for more details
- Improves reporting for low battery status for SHIELD Accessories
- Adds new USB compatibility mode for users with attached USB storage/accessories to improve Bluetooth/wireless performance (Settings > System).
- Support for playback of YUV 8 bit BT 2020 videos
- Adds developer option for rooted systems to always prefer full system upgrades – recommend for rooted systems
- SHIELD controller (2017) upgrade to version 1.18
- SHIELD remote (2017) upgrade to version 1.28
- SHIELD remote w/ headphone jack upgrade to version 1.22
- Firmware update for SHIELD remote (rechargeable) to resolve recharging issues. If update fails, connect remote to charging cable and hold Home + Back + Voice Search buttons until LED flashes (~20 seconds)
- Latest accessory firmware versions:
- SHIELD controller (2017): v1.18
- SHIELD controller (2015): v1.96/99/3.71/0.32
- SHIELD remote (2017): v1.28
- SHIELD remote (rechargeable): v.1.22
- The 6.3 Experience Update for the Android TV-based NVIDIA Shield TV set-top box is rolling out.
- The update adds a way for users to watch Nest Cam footage on their TV with Google Assistant voice commands.
- It also has the latest Android security updates, firmware improvements, and new app support.
NVIDIA closes out the month of January by rolling out the 6.3 Experience Update for its Android TV-based Shield TV set-top box. This is a rather major update as it adds some new app support, along with the usual security patches and firmware improvements.
NVIDIA’s support page for the Shield TV shows that the 6.3 update adds support for viewing footage from Nest Cam cameras on your TV. If you own a Nest Cam in your home, you can now use the Shield TV’s support for Google Assistant to simply say, “Show me the front door camera” to begin viewing the live footage from your Nest Cam location.
There’s also new app support in this Shield TV update, adding in Cartoon Network, VH1, The Magic of LEGO, Tidal, and SiriusXM. VLC users can now watch picture-in-picture and 360-degree videos, too. It also updates the Plex DVR app so it can automatically remove commercials when recording over-the-air TV shows. Finally, Shield TV adds support for controlling over 1,000 smart home devices with Google Assistant. Finally, the update includes the latest Android security patches, firmware improvements and bug fixes for the Shield remote. We’d suggest checking out the full changelong for all the nitty-gritty details.
It’s easy to play PUBG on Mac, and all you’ll need to buy is the Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds game on Steam. You don’t need any special hardware, a Windows license or any other annoying steps. It’s possible to play PUBG on Mac with Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service.
Once you sign up, all you need to do is link your Steam library and start playing. This works on any Mac, even the MacBook or an older MacBook Air since all of the heavy lifting for graphics are taking place on the Nvidia Server. There is no charge for GeForce Now yet, and there is no timeline to when they will charge users. Nvidia is focusing on rolling out the service to more users and delivering improvements, so you can expect to use GeForce Now for free for a while.
PUBG is complete on PC, which means you’ll get to play a more polished game than if you were to play on the Xbox One, and you also get the new Desert Map. At the end of the day this will only cost you $30, unless you decide to buy a mouse to game with since most trackpads make poor gaming companions. You can also use this method to play PUBG on any computer, even if it has a slow graphics card, but we’ll get into that option more in a separate guide.
What is PUBG?
PUBG or Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is a battle royale style game where 100 players drop into a map by parachuting from a plane that takes a different route each time. You race to the ground where you will find weapons, armor, grenades and vehicles scattered in houses and buildings. You’ll need to equip yourself with gear and then take on anyone who landed near you.
From there the map constricts forcing players into an ultimate showdown in a very small area. The blue zone as it is known takes away your health and you will want to stay ahead of it as you take out other players. You can play PUBG aggressive going after everyone you see and hear, or you can be sneaky and allow other players to pass you by so that you can live longer and make a play in a later circle.
The guns and gear spawns are random every time you play, so it’s a new game each time you parachute in.
How to Play PUBG on Mac
You can play PUBG on Mac with your existing computer, two free accounts and a $30 copy of PUBG. You do not need to run Boot Camp or use Windows on your Mac, which means this is a simple process that will allow you to start playing very quickly once you get access to GeForce Now.
- Download GeForce Now for Mac
- Sign up for a free Nvidia Account.
- Join the GeForce Now Waitlist or enter a GeForce Now Beta code.
- Link your Steam Account with GeForce Now.
- Buy PUBG on Steam for $30.
- Click Install and PUBG will install on your GeForce Now account in seconds.
- Launch PUBG and start playing on your Mac.
This works because Nvidia is setting up a gaming PC in the cloud for you. This handles all of the power you need for good graphics and then the system streams the game to your computer. You’ll need at least a 25Mbps down internet connection and Nvidia recommends 50 Mbps for optimum results. The GeForce Now app will test your network to see if you have a good enough connection to play.
Form there you are ready to play, but you may want to go to the GeForce Now app settings and turn on Ultra Streaming mode. This turns down the detail in the game to help reduce latency. Basically this means the graphics aren’t as good but your game should run smoother than it would with full graphics. This helps if your internet connection isn’t great.
What It’s Like to Play PUBG on Mac
I tested this out using my 2016 MacBook Pro with an older Logitech Performance MX mouse I had nearby. For any future games I plan to add in headphones as they allow you to easily identify where people are at on the map compared to using speakers.
After playing a PUBG on Mac for several games there is a major advantage to a wired connection. The first game i played on WiFi just a few feet from my router and despite it saying I had a good enough connection, I noticed a lot of lag and degraded visuals. While playing a second game with an Ethernet cable plugged in via my Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express dock, the quality was impressive and arguably better than playing the game preview on my Xbox One X.
Lag was very minimal if at all when connected with a Wired connection and I was able to snipe and engage in gunfights very well. Playing PUBG on GeForce Now is better than playing with a Xbox Controller when it comes to any long range gunfights, and with more practice I think the same will apply for closer encounters.
One great thing about using GeForce Now to play PUBG on Mac is that there are no updates to install, no drivers to deal with and no need to upgrade my computer every year with a new GPU. This removes many of the hassles of PC gaming and it brings them to basically any game on Steam. You can also use GeForce Now on PC to game on basically any PC. You just need to make sure you have a good internet connection when you want to play.
New MacBook Pro Charger & Cable
You can get by with the one charger that comes with your notebook, but it's a smart idea to pick up a spare 2016 MacBook Pro charger to have on hand.
While USB C is a standard, you can't use just any cable and adapter to charge the 2016 MacBook Pro with USB C. This is especially true for the 15-inch MacBook Pro that requires more power.
Don't mess around with charging your 2016 MacBook Pro. At this stage it's smart to go with the official MacBook Pro USB C chargers.
13-inch MacBook Pro Charger - $69 at Apple
15-inch MacBook Pro Charger - $79 at Apple
2-Meter USB C Charge Cable - $19 at Apple
We may see third-party affordable options arrive, but for now you should go with these options. If you need a longer extension you can pick up the extension anywhere that one is sold. Amazon offers one for $8.75 that will let you extend your charging capabilities. You can also use one you already own.