Computers & Electronics

Nvidia Shield TV homescreen

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  • May 12th, 2020 9:43 pm
[OP]
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Jun 21, 2003
4123 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON

Nvidia Shield TV homescreen

I just recently purchased the 2019 Nvidia Shield TV (not PRO) and am looking for some help. I absolutely hate the home screen of this thing. I do not find it user friendly at all and would love to swap it for something else. I have read a few articles and can't figure out if that is actually possible or not. I know I can install an alternate loader and then launch that each time but that is not very intuitive and I'd rather just have a new launcher that comes up every time I press the home button or boot up. Can I actually do this or is it not possible?

If it is possible, any recommendations on what to use and how to make the change? I'd really prefer something more "tile"-like like an Apple TV sort of look. I don't care to have rows for each video app and would just prefer to see all of my apps as individual tiles.

While I am at it any advice on the best way to view roms/emulators as well? I am using RetroArch for my emulation, however the way to view and choose games is not the prettiest. I'd love to have something that shows games by covers instead of a list. Any advice on that front.
3 replies
Deal Expert
Jan 17, 2009
18860 posts
27158 upvotes
ONTARIO
Back in v8.0.1 you could easily switch the default launcher by just selecting another launcher and choosing to "always" use that.
When 8.0.2 update came out, this was broken or removed, so you could no longer do it like that. I do believe though that Nvidia did say they would try to bring it back in a future update.

However if you know how to use adb, you can force the default launcher to be disabled and it will fallback to whatever other launcher app you have installed (Halauncher for example). However you MUST have that launcher app installed before you do this or else you will have no launcher at all and you'll be screwed unless you re-enable the default launcher with another adb command.

If you know how to use adb, connect to the Shield and open up adb shell and then use the command:
pm disable-user --user 0 com.google.android.tvlauncher

also here's the command to undo the above (re-enable the launcher)
pm enable --user 0 com.google.android.tvlauncher

This does not require any sort of rooting. You just need to have developer options enabled on the Shield. Then I recommend enabling network debugging so you can connect through adb on your PC to your Shield without needing a USB connection.
[OP]
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Jun 21, 2003
4123 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON
Thanks, I haven't used ADB before but I'm confident if I look it up I'd be capable of doing so. Do you have any recommendations on a launcher to use ? I've been a long long time iOS/Mac user and my only previous Android experience was a couple years on a HTC One when they first came out so it has been awhile.
Deal Expert
Jan 17, 2009
18860 posts
27158 upvotes
ONTARIO
ChicoQuente wrote: Thanks, I haven't used ADB before but I'm confident if I look it up I'd be capable of doing so. Do you have any recommendations on a launcher to use ? I've been a long long time iOS/Mac user and my only previous Android experience was a couple years on a HTC One when they first came out so it has been awhile.
Sorry I can't help you with that. I just use the stock launcher. You could always just try googling "best android tv launchers" and see what's available. I do know HALauncher is a popular one. Also there's ATV Launcher. Never used either of them myself though.

Also when it comes to getting adb set up on your computer, I recommend using Minimal ADB & Fastboot. This way you don't have to install the entire Android Software Development Kit (SDK) just to use adb.
Then it's just a simple matter of enabling wireless debugging on your Shield and connecting from your PC.

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