Plex Blog

June 9, 2016

NVIDIA SHIELD, you complete us

If you’re not familiar with the NVIDIA SHIELD, we think it’s one of the most exciting streaming devices on the market. Combining support for 4K video, features like voice search, and a crazy-powerful NVIDIA Tegra® X1 brain, this thing was born to run Plex.

As you might know, we’ve had a lovely Android TV app for quite some time now, and it’s getting better all the time. But the NVIDIA SHIELD, with its 64-bit CPU and massive GPU, allows us to make it extra special by letting you run the entire Plex Media Server directly on the device!

You read that right: the SHIELD is so powerful that it can not only run our Android TV interface better than just about anything out there, it can also run the full media server, including support for hardware-accelerated video transcoding (H.264, MPEG2 and HEVC)! With multiple simultaneous streams! As for storage, you get up to 500GB right on the SHIELD, and you can easily add more via USB or over the network.

The 500GB NVIDIA SHIELD Pro is really the first all-in-one Plex box that combines the power of the Media Server with awesome media playback capabilities. Did we mention it supports 4K video @ 60fps?

We’re working on some final bits with the awesome team at NVIDIA which will be included in their next firmware update, scheduled for later this month. At that point, the software that makes the media server run will be updated over the air!

A-FAQ (About to be Frequently Asked Questions):

Will you integrate the media server into [insert favorite device]? The NVIDIA SHIELD had all the right components to make the integration successful, most importantly its extremely powerful CPU/GPU. We’ll continue to evaluate other platforms.

When will we get the hardware transcoding for [insert other platform]? Again, the SHIELD offers the perfect mix of capabilities for us to be able to enable this functionality. In the future we’d like to expand to support accelerated transcoding on other platforms as well.

(Update with more FAQs:)

Will the 16GB SHIELD version be supported too? Absolutely! While it has less internal storage, you can always connect a USB drive or network storage location (via SMB) with either version.

Can I use content from a network location (NAS, computer, drive connected to router, etc.)? You’ll be able to connect to network storage locations via SMB on the NVIDIA SHIELD.

How do I manage Plex Media Server when running on the NVIDIA SHIELD? You’ll use the Plex Web App to manage the server just like when running on any other device. You enable/disable the server from running through the regular Plex client on the SHIELD but management is through the Plex Web app in a browser.

Can I access the plugins folder to install channels/plugins manuallyWe’re investigating the possibility of being able to manually install channels and plugins outside of the Channel Directory, but we don’t know yet if that will be available at launch.

More info can also be found on NVIDIA’s FAQ page

NVIDIA SHIELD running on Plex Media Server

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