The Battle for Your Living Room Has Begun

by Matt Wuebbling

Blu-ray players. Streaming boxes. Game consoles. Cable boxes. Incompatible remotes. Blinking lights. Wires everywhere.

You don’t carry around a flip phone, a GPS device, a laptop and a digital camera. Smart apps have turned bags of unmanageable mobile devices into something truly mobile. Yet your living room can still look more like a robot factory floor than a place to relax.

Stay tuned. Smart apps are about to cut the clutter here, too.

At its annual developer conference Thursday, Google described how it’s bringing Android — and its 1.3 million apps and Google-powered cloud services — to your living room with Android TV. Ten days later, industry watchers expect Apple to introduce a new version of Apple TV at its annual developer conference.

The Future Is Already Here

This isn’t the first time that tech giants have tried to reinvent TV. But it is the first time all the pieces have been in place. For one, the content’s already here — Netflix, YouTube and are thriving on smartphones, PCs and connected streaming boxes.

SHIELD brings the app revolution to your living room. Click here for our full-sized infographic.
SHIELD brings the app revolution to your living room. Click here for our full-sized infographic.

So are the apps — with mobile game developers showing how content and community can be bound together in powerful new ways.

The last piece is the power to put all this at your command. That’s NVIDIA SHIELD, Android TV’s flagship device.

The stakes are enormous. The new generation of smart entertainment apps promises to reshape some of the world’s biggest — and most influential — industries. The worldwide pay TV business is worth $257 billion. The TV advertising business is worth $170 billion. Console games generate $26 billion in revenue. And that’s just the start.

Cut the Cord, Connect Your Content

On-demand content is the first killer app. While the number of traditional pay TV users has been flat for years, Netflix has 57 million subscribers, more than double Comcast’s 22 million., which broadcasts live streams of video games, now reaches more than 100 million unique users each month. Apps like Tablo now let you watch — and record — broadcast and cable television from any connected device in your home.

SHIELD: The app revolution will now be televised.
SHIELD: The app revolution will now be televised.

With Android, Google has built a foundation of connected software for all these apps. On SHIELD, Android TV’s advanced voice recognition capabilities — already fine-tuned by input from millions of smartphone users — serve up the content you want. No need to fumble with a clumsy on-screen keyboard. Even more futuristic: SHIELD lets users select a character as they’re watching a movie and tap into Google’s servers to instantly call up the actor’s entire body of work. The result: interesting facts, and surprising recommendations.

App(etite) for Disruption

This new generation of connected apps will make possible capabilities that TV fans have dreamed of for years. Apps like Netflix connect to cloud-based servers to serve up content you’ll want to watch, delivering on the promise of personalized content. Hungry for barbecue? Apps will connect you to the same click-for-delivery convenience you’re already enjoying on your tablet.

Mobile games may offer the best case study of what’s coming. Because they’re hard-wired to Android, mobile games already integrate sophisticated online gameplay, in-app purchases and sprawling online communities of fans. The result: mobile games will generate $30 billion in revenues this year, exceeding that from console games for the first time. PC and console developers are moving their biggest hits to Android and iOS.

Power to the People

It’s difficult to keep up with. Consumers replace their sets every seven or eight years. Their capabilities are quickly surpassed by internet-streaming boxes consumers can grab for as little as $49.

SHIELD: This is how you play TV.
SHIELD: This is how you play TV.

Consumers need powerful, media-savvy processors to take advantage of these smart apps. And by 2018, consumers will own more than 100 million ultra-high definition 4K televisions. SHIELD’s 256-core Tegra X1 processor makes it the first set-top box with the power to push apps into this high-def, big-screen world.

What’s Next?

All these trends will speed up as brands follow consumers to connected smartphones, tablets and set-top boxes and their powerful apps. Online TV advertising will more than double its share of total TV advertising revenues to $9.7 billion in 2018 from $3.7 billion last year, according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Broadcasters like ABC, CBS, Fox and HBO are distributing content to consumers through iOS and Android apps. So are brands like Red Bull. Stars like Jerry Seinfeld are adapting, too. The comedian worked with Acura to bundle content and branding together for his hit online video series, “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.”

NVIDIA SHIELD puts all this at your command. Better still, it gives developers the power to create killer apps, connecting your TV to new content and new capabilities in surprising ways.

Grab some popcorn. This is going to be fun.

More on SHIELD: What’s On TV? With NVIDIA SHIELD, Whatever You Want … Here’s How | This is How You Play TV: NVIDIA SHIELD Now Available, Ready to Redefine Your TV Experience


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  • realjjj

    Sorry but the battle has ended, the living room is dead and so is the TV. The battle moved to glasses in 2013 or so.
    Only old people with numerous rooms think there is a battle for the living room.

  • JackFrost

    That video ad above for the Shield TV is nothing short of terrible. I hope Nvidia have others they can use.

  • Michael Miller

    Nvidia. Your advertising shift to streaming content is making me feel you are not confident this is a viable living room console. If you aren’t confident, what makes you think I will be. I ordered the Pro, but don’t make me regret this decision. Let people know what we know you can do. Advertise it right, get devs on board and be unabashed about your love of games. Otherwise the $200 price tag that made our jaw drop at GDC will seem expensive and this device will fail because the streaming market is competitive. You know this.

  • Trinitec Technology Group

    We are excited to see the release. I disagree completely with the comment by realjjj. The Living Room/Media Room is still the most connected space of the home. We are constantly fighting to uncover the best user experience for on-demand content. What we are most excited about is how Nvidia has decided to make this an all-in-one experience for the entire family. Ours is arriving tomorrow and we will be posting our unboxing review by Monday.

    We will be interviewing gamer PhrogTX once given a chance to test its gaming capabilities.

    Innovation should never be criticized. Kudos to taking consoles a step further with Grid technology.

  • Irwyn

    Please do tell me how to find this alternate dimension you speak of..

  • Tyler Allen

    Yea I’ll stick with my Mac, Apple TV, & PS4!
    BSD > Everything

  • Robert Backlund

    “Mobile games may offer the best case study of what’s coming. Because they’re hard-wired to Android, mobile games already integrate sophisticated online gameplay, in-app purchases” Really Nvidia? You actually think that the majority of gamers love and appreciate the so called Free to Play games that feature tons of in app purchases? Well I don’t know about the rest here reading this but this is one older gamer who does not. I own a Shield Tablet and do not play any Android games because of this BS, I detest any games that have in app purchases and I do not even waste my bandwidth and time even downloading this junk! I currently play games that are from my Steam library and have tried out your Grid gaming service however there is not enough information yet about this service as to how much content you will be able to offer as well as what the pricing is going to be. If it is anything like what Sony is doing with theirs I will not be at all interested. Due to the prevalance of games as well as apps with in app purchases along with the ever too common trend of devs and publishers to over hype a new game and then actually release a broken game that is devoid of real content. The traditional American Huckster is alive and well in the gaming industry and the vast majority are guilty of out and out FRAUD! but are not at all embarrassed to steal $60 from you because they know all to well that software and games once purchased cannot be returned for a refund even if they out and out lied about what it was supposed to contain. This state of affairs needs to change, I vote with my wallet and currently support the efforts of and their DRM free business model. I have been burned too many times and will never again pre purchase any games. The only reason I still have my PS 4 is I use it to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime videos but I have no intentions of ever wasting any more of my money buying their games. I am in the process of moving away from gaming and instead am getting back into other forms of entertainment and other more constructive endeavors.

  • JohnONYC

    Can I plug an external Blu-ray player to this and make this a true HTPC?
    Yeah, I still have blu ray disc. And yes, I’m old…..get off my lawn!!!!

  • N2K12

    ignorant troll. you dont speak for me, or everyone else. you got that? good.