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Nvidia Shield Becomes A Media Server Via New Plex App

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Pointing to the power of the handheld's Tegra X1 processor, Plex has upgraded its app so that Nvidia's Shield can run the Plex Media Server locally.

Before this update for the Shield, Plex apps fed mobile devices content streamed from hardware hosting the Plex Media Server. Now users can store hundreds of gigabytes of content on their Shield devices and attach or stream media locally or remotely.

The "Shield is so powerful that it can not only run our Android TV interface better than just about anything out there," says Plex. "It can also run the full media server, including support for hardware-accelerated video transcoding (H.264, MPEG2 and HEVC) with multiple simultaneous streams!"

The handheld's storage capacity of up to 500 GB gives users ample room for storing media files locally. That storage capacity and high-end processor made the Shield suitable for becoming the "first all-in-one Plex box," capable of storage and streaming content from one piece of hardware.

So while Plex says it will look at bringing the all-in-one experience to other platforms, the company warns consumers that the Shield offers the "perfect mix of capabilities." And not many other mobile devices has a comparable combination of capable components.

Plex's Android TV update for the Shield will arrive later this month, as the company is still collaborating with Nvidia on the final details. When it's ready, the update will arrive over the air to deliver the media server components.

The Plex update comes ahead of the Shield's planned support for Netflix HDR and 4K from Vudu, all of which is set to arrive at the same time. Along with supporting HDR from Netflix, the Shield's update will roll out Nvidia's new GameStream service and its support for the technology.

"With both native and GeForce Now games, Shield will soon welcome HDR GameStream into the picture," Nvidia says. "With new, Pascal-based GPUs, gamers will soon be able to stream PC games with HDR from their GeForce-powered gaming PCs to the living room."

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