Nvidia might actually be preparing to show the Shield TV some love. The set-top box has been the green-headed stepchild for years, with its last hardware update arriving in 2017, but XDA-Developers reported yesterday on the mounting evidence that Nvidia could refresh the Shield TV soon.
Some of that evidence was discovered last month when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates telecommunications devices in the U.S., shared new filings involving the Shield TV. Those filings referenced the "NVIDIA Corporation SHIELD Android TV Game Console P3430." The currently available version of the Shield TV is model P2897, which means that model P3430 could be a new generation of Nvidia's set-top box.
Another filing was related to the P2897, so Nvidia could be refreshing the current Shield TV hardware, too. This led XDA-Developers to speculate that Nvidia actually has two new Shield TV products in the works. The first could be a simple update to the 2017 model with the new Tegra X1, which is said to offer higher clock speeds at lower voltages than the first iteration of the system-on-a-chip, but the second would be a more substantial update.
XDA-Developers said it found references in Nvidia's kernel source code and the Shield Experience 8.0 software to a new device called "sif." These references suggested that Nvidia plans to release a new Shield TV that added SD card support but dropped the USB port and TV Tuner support. Those changes might hint at other hardware revisions such as a smaller case, but even on their own they'd be enough to warrant a new model number.
Shield Experience 8.0 also upgraded the Shield TV to Android 9 Pie, which Nvidia said made it the first Android TV device to support the latest version of the operating system, and introduced several new audiovisual features. It would make sense for Nvidia to release that update ahead of a Shield TV refresh just to make sure it doesn't have to update its marketing materials or fix a bunch of bugs soon after it starts selling new hardware.
We've reached out to Nvidia to see if the company would offer more information about what it has planned for the Shield TV lineup. With mounting evidence in public code, regulatory filings, etc. it's starting to seem increasingly likely that the company will have something to announce soon.