Shield TV, Nvidia’s streaming media set-top box introduced last year, is going hands-free by way of Alexa. The company announced this morning the launch of a new Amazon Alexa skill which will enable Shield TV owners in the U.S. to navigate their device with voice commands, including those to turn on or off the Shield, adjust the volume, play, pause, fast-forward, or rewind content, or even move around to various sections, like the Home screen or Settings.
With the addition, Shield TV owners can now choose between Alexa or Google Home Assistant devices, in terms of hands-free voice control.
To use Alexa voice commands, you’ll first have to pair an Echo with the Shield from within the Alexa app. Then, you’ll need to enable the new “Nvidia Shield TV” skill from Amazon’s skill store. After accepting the terms, you’ll link the skill to your Nvidia account. The last step is to select the Shield and the Echo devices you’d like to connect to work together.
Once set up, you can say things like “Alexa, turn on Shield,” “Alexa, play (on Shield),” “Alexa, fast-forward 10 minutes (on Shield),” “Alexa go to control settings (on Shield),” and more.
(Following the first command, Alexa will assume subsequent relevant commands are for Shield. Where “on Shield” is noted in parentheses, you can continue controlling the device with just the command.)
The company says the Alexa support will come to other non-U.S. regions over time, and the list of supported commands will grow, as well.
Alongside the launch, Nvidia also announced Dolby Atmos passthrough support for Prime Video, and a promotion that will give customers buying a Shield TV from Amazon or Best Buy a free Echo Dot (3rd Gen). Current owners can buy a discounted Echo Dot.
Alexa already interoperates with a number of set-top boxes, including Amazon’s own Fire TV line (where the Cube recently added in-app navigation, too); plus TiVo’s devices, Dish’s Hopper, Xbox, DirecTV’s set-top box, and others.