Nvidia Shield TV gets updated YouTube app with 360 video

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Nvidia’s Shield TV is the best streaming box you can get right now, thanks to 4K support, a variety of surround sound audio formats and a great execution of Android TV, and it just got a little bit better: The latest update to the YouTube app brings 360-degree video support, as well as an improved UI that should make browsing content easier.

The new app introduces the 360-degree video feature that Nvidia and Google have both demonstrated previously, which provides viewers with a way to enjoy immersive content without having to don a headset. You can use the Shield TV’s included Nvidia controller to navigate your view, and it works with both existing and new content formatted for 360-degree viewing devices. This is a pretty cool feature to use, and based on previous demos I think it’ll be especially interesting for action sports fans and people who want to jump right into immersive concert videos.

The changes to the YouTube app also include improved browsing user interface elements, which are designed to make it easy to find stuff by category as well as know whose logged in account you’re looking at with just a glance. My personal favorite changes are the tweaks to the video player, however – this update ditches the big, huge overlays that used to obscure the video as it starts just after you hit play, or when you pause the content, in favor of letting you actually enjoy the video itself, which is what you’re there for.

You can now also get thumbnail previews as you seek back and forward in a video, and the autoplay feature now has a five-second delay to give you a chance to get your bearings, as well as the option to turn off autoplay altogether.

Don’t worry if you aren’t seeing this update just yet, but it should arrive soon. I’m actually surprised at how much more I use YouTube than I ever did previously thanks to Shield, so I’m excited to check these changes out in more depth.