Digital streaming is quickly becoming the new normal. That pretty much explains the popularity of the Nvidia Shield TV media player. The perks of this device can be further enhanced by the amazing surround sound audio offered by Dolby Atmos. So the big question is: does an Nvidia Shield TV support Dolby Atmos?
The Nvidia Shield TV supports Dolby Atmos as well as Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD. It also supports various DTS audio codecs. You must use HDMI in order to get Dolby Atmos from the Nvidia Shield TV to a soundbar or A/V receiver.
In this article, we will review the different ways to connect the Nvidia Shield to your AV receiver or soundbar and TV to get Dolby Atmos sound. The configurations will partly depend on whether your devices and media support Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD.
What Is Dolby Atmos?
Dolby Atmos is the most popular audio format from Dolby, offering 3D surround sound effects similar to those found in huge cinemas. The technology includes an additional height channel in order to provide a unique enveloping experience to users.
Can the Nvidia Shield Play Dolby Atmos?
Yes, the Nvidia Shield TV (on Amazon) supports various sound formats, including Dolby Atmos. Depending on the capabilities of your other devices, such as your TV and receiver/soundbar, the Nvidia Shield decodes the best audio format to allow an immersive sound experience through your home theater setup.
However, you might find it challenging to get these various devices to work correctly. If so, be sure to check the following settings:
- Check if the other devices connected to the Nvidia Shield support Dolby Atmos audio. Check the manuals for your receiver and TV to find out if they can decode the Atmos streams.
- Don’t forget to update your receiver or soundbar to its latest firmware. Doing so will resolve any issues pertaining to audio or video incompatibility.
Contact the Nvidia Shield support team for assistance if the problem persists.
How to Make Sure Dolby Atmos is Working with an Nvidia Shield TV
Configuring the surround sound setup on a Shield TV is a cakewalk with the right set of devices.
There are two different ways to connect these devices. Both the soundbar or AV receiver and speaker setup will need to support Dolby Atmos in order to actually get Atmos audio.
Option 1: Connect the Shield TV to an HDMI Input on the AV Receiver or Soundbar
This is the preferred option for the highest quality audio when using any media streaming device.
- Use one end of your HDMI cable to connect to your Nvidia Shield TV and connect the other end to one of the AV receiver’s or soundbar’s HDMI inputs.
- To ensure the HDMI cable has enough bandwidth, you must use an HDMI 2.0 or higher cable (on Amazon).
- Connect another HDMI cable from the soundbar or receiver’s HDMI out port to one of the TV’s HDMI inputs (preferably the one labeled ARC or eARC, not required)
- Open Netflix, Disney+, or any other streaming service that has Dolby Atmos content and check for a Dolby Atmos badge below the title.
Not all movies and TV shows have Dolby Atmos audio. If the Dolby Atmos logo isn’t showing on a movie or TV show that does have Dolby Atmos audio, then you’ll need to look through the receiver or soundbar’s settings to make sure Atmos is enabled.
Option 2: Connect Shield TV to the TV and Use HDMI ARC to Send Audio
If you’d prefer to connect the Shield TV streamer directly to your TV, that’s no problem at all, but there are a few things you need to check.
First, you need to make sure your TV has HDMI ARC. Second, you need to ensure that the HDMI ARC port on your TV can actually passthrough Dolby Digital Plus audio.
The Dolby Digital Plus audio codec is a lossy audio stream that can contain Dolby Atmos metadata. Not all HDMI ARC ports will be able to send this audio codec though. But, if you have an HDMI eARC port then there’s no need to worry at all.
Check out this article to figure out if your TV can send Dolby Atmos audio over HDMI ARC.
Once you’ve verified that your TV has an HDMI ARC port that can passthrough Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos or that your TV has an HDMI eARC port, follow the below instruction to get everything configured properly:
- Use an HDMI cable to connect the Shield TV to one of the TV’s HDMI inputs (NOT the one labeled HDMI ARC).
- Connect an HDMI cable to the TV’s HDMI port labeled ARC or eARC, then connect the other end to the AV receiver or soundbar’s HDMI Out/ARC port.
- Go to the sound settings on your TV and make sure HDMI ARC and/or CEC are enabled.
- Also make sure that any Dolby Atmos setting is enabled.
- Open any other streaming service app (Netflix, Disney+, etc.) that has Dolby Atmos content and check for a Dolby Atmos badge below the title. Again, the movie or TV show will need to have Dolby Atmos audio in order for this badge to appear. Most Netflix originals have Dolby Atmos audio, so it’s easiest to check those.
The Shield TV supports HDMI-CEC. So with CEC enabled on your TV, you can control the TV, AVR, soundbar, etc. with Shield’s remote. To configure how the Nvidia Shield will access your other devices, check ‘Power control’ under ‘Display & Sound.’