The NVIDIA SHIELD TV is currently experiencing a 4K playback issue. At present, the details on the problem affecting the popular Android TV device are extremely light. However, NVIDIA has confirmed the issue, and the fact it is currently looking into a solution.
NVIDIA also confirmed it affects "a small number of apps." NVIDIA did not say which apps, but did take a moment to explain Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube are not affected.
There's currently no word on when a fix will become available.
Vudu not so lucky
You may notice Vudu was absent from the 'not affected' list and that was not by accident. During the last couple of days Vudu has been sending out emails to users advising of the SHIELD issue and how it affects Vudu.
Due to the issue, Vudu confirmed it is now limiting playback on the SHIELD TV to HDX quality. Vudu also explained this is a SHIELD-specific issue and so Vudu customers can still stream in 4K in general. Just not via a SHIELD Android TV device.
For those affected, NVIDIA has said that SHIELD users can make use of Chromecast to bypass the issue for now. For example, casting content in 4K from another device to the SHIELD still works fine.
The issue only seems to affect playback when accessing services directly from the Android TV device.
No known cause, no fix in sight
What is concerning here is the lack of any real information from NVIDIA or Vudu. It does appear that the cause of the issue has yet to be determined and considering a fix will depend on the cause being identified first, it stands to reason users should not be expected an imminent fix.
In addition to NVIDIA confirming the issue to Android Headlines, the problem is also listed in the GeForce forums. In response to that post, some users have suggested Movies Anywhere is another of the apps affected.
Some users have also suggested the issue might be related to a recent update to the SHIELD TV. Specifically, the issue might be related to the SHIELD Software Experience Upgrade 8.0. This is the update that arrived in late July, bringing with it a system upgrade to Android 9 Pie.
NVIDIA has yet to confirm the issue is related to the Pie update.
In the meantime, anyone having issues attempting to play 4K content on a SHIELD might find their problem is related to this one.