When I was shopping for a replacement NVIDIA Shield TV remote control, i wanted something that would give me more functionality in an ergonomic, easy to use design.
If possible, I wanted to be able to control everything from one device.
My favorite NVIDIA Shield remote control is still the original 2015 version, with its rechargeable battery and metal case. Unfortunately, though, you can’t buy those any more.
However, with so many options to choose from, it’s really hard to find which remote control to buy.
Remote controls have come a long way from the ones our parents used. But its still common to sit down on the couch to watch a movie or show and finding out that our remote control doesn’t work right.
In this article, I’ll break it all down for you so you can get the best replacement NVIDIA Shield remote for you and your individual streaming setup.
For more great articles like this, head on over to my NVIDIA Shield TV resource page. There you’ll find all of my tips, tricks, reviews and tutorials to help you get the most out of your NVIDIA Shield.
Best Overall NVIDIA Shield Replacement Remote: Logitech Harmony Elite
When it comes to replacement remote controls, the Logitech Harmony Elite is in a class all it’s own.
It gives you fingertip control over approximately 270,000 home entertainment and smart-home devices via Bluetooth, IR and Wi-Fi.
The Harmony Elite is the same remote control as the award-winning Harmony 950, but includes the Harmony Hub as well. The Harmony hub is at the center of this remote control’s operations and connects to your router or modem via an Ethernet cable.
Using the included app, setting up the remote to work with your Shield TV is pretty straightforward.
After the connection is established, you don’t need to maintain a line of sight with your Shield TV. That means you can hide your NVIDIA Shield TV in a cabinet or behind the TV itself.
Although I’m focusing on the Harmony Elite as a replacement for the standard NVIDIA Shield remote, it’s also an amazing choice for controlling other devices. You can control up to eight separate entertainment devices, such as your TV, cable box, streaming boxes, or digital video players. Additionally you can control dozens more home automation products at the same time.
With Alexa support, or several customizable one-touch macro buttons, you can allow single button presses to perform multiple actions for your activities.
For instance, you set up a “movie mode” that will dim your lights at the same time you turn on the TV, select the correct input, and change your speaker mode from stereo to surround sound.
The Harmony Elite is pretty sleek, sporting an LCD touchscreen with haptic feedback and ample backlighting on all the buttons. It’s the best overall choice for a replacement NVIDIA Shield remote control.
However, it’s not without its faults.
First, the Harmony Elite remote is not cheap. It’s easily the most expensive universal remote of it’s kind. Secondly, Logitech has stopped producing the entire line of Harmony Remotes, although they have pledged to maintain support for it’s avid user base.
- Take command of up to 15 devices, including smart-home gadgets and all manner of audio and video equipment
- Color touchscreen
- Backlighting for all buttons
- Works with the NVIDIA Shield TV device using Wi-Fi
- Customizable activity buttons
- Logitech has discontinued making this particular line of remotes (software support continues)
- Initial setup with NVIDIA can be tricky
- All-in-one control of up to 15 home entertainment and connected home devices
- Full color touchscreen
- Controls channels, movies, volume, 50 favorite channels and smart home devices like Philips Hue lights
- Touch an Activity like “Watch a Movie” to automatically power on and switch devices to the right settings.
Best Value Replacement NVIDIA Shield Remote: SofaBaton U1
If you like the idea of controlling up to fifteen devices, including your NVIDIA Shield TV with one remote control, but you don’t want to fork over hundreds of dollars for a Harmony Elite, the SoftBaton U1 is a solid value.
It doesn’t have Wi-Fi capabilities or a fancy touchscreen, but it can control about half a million individual devices via IR and Bluetooth.
You can pair this remote to over 6,000 brands by using the SofaBaton App on your smartphone. Find your device, press a couple of buttons, and you’re done, with no need to search for or enter complex codes.
Using the integrated OLED screen, simply scroll through a list of paired devices, and take control of them with this simple handheld remote control.
You can also create macro commands to perform strings of commands by only touching one button. For instance, set one button to power on your TV, projector, and AV receiver all at once without needing to switch between devices. You can even build delays into your macro commands in case devices need to power on in succession instead of all at the same time.
The biggest drawback of this remote is that it lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, so it can’t control devices that need that functionality, like Sonos.
- Insane compatibility with hundreds of thousands of devices
- Customizable control of up to 15 devices at once
- OLED display screen
- Smartphone app for easy pairing
- Bluetooth and IR control
- Simple power from AA batteries
- No Wi-Fi connectivity
- Lacks some high-end capabilities compared to other more expensive remotes
The Best Budget NVIDIA Shield Remote Control: WeChip G20
If you’re looking for a quick, affordable, and easy replacement for your 2015 or 2017 NVIDIA Shield remote control, the WeChip G20 might be your best bet.
One of the things some people don’t like about the original remote that comes with the Shield TV kit is the volume control. There is a slider instead of the traditional set of up and down keys, and there isn’t a dedicated mute button. On the other hand, this remote has up and down volume keys, so if you prefer that button arrangement, you’re in the right place.
This remote uses a USB dongle to interact with your device. If you’ve used an aftermarket wireless mouse with your computer, you’re familiar with the ease of pairing utilizing this type of setup. Insert the dongle into a USB port on your Shield TV, wait for it to reboot, and get clicking. It’s that easy.
The WeChip G20 was one of my favorite air mouse remote controls, not only as a replacement for the NVIDIA Shield TV, but for generic Android boxes as well. You can check out my entire list of air mouse remote controls here to see my other top picks.
This remote offers voice control and a decent range of operability with various devices from different manufacturers. The buttons are well spaced out, making it easy to select the right one without having to look down at the remote for every click.
There are only eighteen keys so that you can get very familiar with this remote very quickly, easily toggling it back and forth from remote mode to air mouse mode.
Its simplicity is key to making it easy to use, but it lacks some high-end features. But, at its very affordable price point, you shouldn’t expect to see all the bells and whistles found on models that cost twenty times as much or even more.
Make sure to remember that the WeChip20 won’t work with the 2019 NVIDIA Shield TV “Tube”, but it will work with the 2015 and 2017 models, as well as the 2019 Shield TV Pro.
- Very affordable
- Easy to use with only tactile feedback
- Simple layout
- Ideal remote control for Shield TV before 2019
- Won’t work with the 2019 model NVIDIA Shield TV “Tube”
- No display screen
- Limited pairing capabilities (Radio Frequency and USB wireless only)
- No backlighting on buttons
A cross between a Fire TV remote and an NVIDIA Shield remote, the WeChip G20 has a smooth, polished texture at a great price-point.
Official Replacement NVIDIA Shield Remote: NVIDIA Shield Remote (2019)
When it comes to buying a replacement remote for your NVIDIA Shield, most would expect that you can’t go too far wrong by just getting the official 2019 version NVIDIA Shield remote control.
In my opinion though, the overall design and layout of the current NVIDIA Shield remote is a step backward from the 2017 and 2015 models.
The 2019 model is triangular, making it awkward to hold. The button layout is a little bit bizarre too.
For instance, the forward advance and reverse buttons are one on top of the other. Pretty much every other remote control layout has forward on the right and back on the left. Usually, the play, pause, or select button is in the middle for continuity between different remotes and solid tactile feedback for the user.
Additionally, for some reason, the Voice Assistant button (a prominent feature of every Android TV device) was put between the Home button and the Volume Up button, where it’s neither intuitive nor easy to find.
On the other hand, the Netflix button has a very wide space for itself at the bottom. Quick note: Find out how to disable it here!
If you need a new remote for your NVIDIA Shield, this one will work, but it might be a little bit annoying to hold and use. In fact, I like the 2017 model remote control so much that I wrote a guide to troubleshoot and fix it so that you don’t have to replace it.
- Works well with all versions of NVIDIA Shield
- Odd button layout
- Awkward to hold
- Not as affordable as it should be for what you get
Great functionality, but a design that may take some getting used to. This backlit remote has a comfortable D-pad, long battery life and a dedicated Netflix button.
What Remotes Work with NVIDIA Shield TV?
In general, modern remote controls fall into three general categories:
- Infrared (IR)
All three types should work with an NVIDIA Shield, but if you have a 2019 model, you will need to utilize a separate adapter for retaining IR-remote functionality. Before investing in a new remote control, make sure you understand which version of NVIDIA Shield TV you own.
Although less common, some remotes even work on your Wi-Fi network.
These four remote controls are our picks for replacement remotes for your NVIDIA Shield TV.
- Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control & Hub
- SofaBaton U1 Universal Remote Control
- WeChip G20 Voice Remote
- NVIDIA Shield Remote (2019)
Basic Differences Between 2015, 2017, and 2019 Shield TV Remote Controls
Each version of the NVIDIA Shield has come with its own remote control. The 2019 version has a dedicated Netflix button, motion-sensitive backlighting, and other additional controls. But it’s our least favorite of the three. All three work with the NVIDIA Shield App if you prefer to use your smartphone as the controller.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the features of each remote, in chronological order:
2015 Shield TV Remote
- Metal construction
- Small in your hand
- Voice command, volume touch control, back, and selection buttons only
- Backlit voice button
- Headphone jack on the bottom of remote
- Rechargeable battery
2017 Shield TV Remote
- Plastic construction
- Small in your hand
- Voice command, volume touch control, back, and selection buttons only
- CR2032 battery
- IR Blaster for controlling other devices
- Backward compatible
2019 Shield TV Remote
- Plastic construction
- Triangle shape, bigger in your hand
- AAA batteries (heavier)
- Volume touch control replaced with separate buttons for up and down
- New buttons including Netflix, menu, and media controls
- Voice command
- Motion-sensing backlighting
- Backward compatible
Ease of Charging
Any remote you get should have a relatively long battery life. But be careful to make sure you understand the type of batteries it uses. Some remotes need standard household batteries that can be changed easily.
Other remotes need more specialized batteries. Some other models require you to charge them in a cradle to boost your batteries. It’s really up to you to decide which style you prefer.
Most remotes these days have some version of voice control. To take advantage of your remote’s voice control capabilities, you usually have to press a button. Make sure that you choose a remote that will make doing so easy.
For instance, if the layout doesn’t work for you how you typically hold the remote, you may end up hitting the wrong button and getting frustrated when trying to activate voice control.
If you usually use your remote control in the dark, backlighting is essential for finding the right button when you need it. Some remotes can sense your motion and will automatically turn on the backlighting. With the remote’s buttons being illuminated, it becomes much easier to use.
There are some remotes that only illuminate the backlighting when you press a dedicated button, and some others only light up certain keys. Find one that works for you and how you use your remote. Even inexpensive models should have a backlight function.
One of the biggest developments in remote controls is their integration with apps that turn your smartphone into another remote. There are quite a few scenarios where this is a big help.
Use your smartphone app as a remote control when:
- The app has expanded capabilities or a better layout than the physical remote
- Makes scrolling through menus simpler and easier with a touchscreen
- If you misplace your physical remote
- If two people are sharing remote control duties
- Your physical remote needs new batteries or a recharge
- You’ve briefly stepped out of range of a line of sight connection
Universal Remote vs. Single System
Some remotes control one system and one system only. They’re sort of archaic at this point. Even a low-end TV remote can usually control a cable box or vice-versa.
However, some remote designs try to achieve universal control of devices, equipment, and smart-home gadgets. The more systems you control with one remote, the more complicated things tend to get. But you can easily find a replacement NVIDIA Shield remote that controls many different devices, like the Logitech Harmony Elite and the SofaBaton U1.
Most manufacturers have a listing of their compatibility. Check out their websites for more information about specific remotes and how they can interact with other systems, including the NVIDIA Shield.
Methods of Control
Since there are so many types of devices on the market, you need to ensure that the remote you are looking for works with your hardware. On the NVIDIA Shield’s 2019 version, NVIDIA removed the USB port. That makes it incompatible with a remote control like the WeChip G20 Voice Control, as it relies on a connection to the device through its USB port via a small device or adapter called a dongle.
Remote controls use a few ways to connect with devices, so make sure you understand what you’re trying to control and whether your new remote might work with them before buying it.
- RF — radio frequency, good range, but limited compatibility
- IR — infrared, requires line of sight visibility between devices (some remotes come with IR blasters to detect signals and relay them to devices hidden inside of a closet or cabinet)
- Bluetooth — wireless connectivity, best over short distances
- Wireless via a dongle, good range but requires a USB port
- Wi-Fi, excellent range but requires Wi-Fi hardware in the remote and with your devices (sometimes a separate hub connects to devices without Wi-Fi via hardwiring, enhancing compatibility)
NVIDIA Shield Remote Control FAQ
Some questions are bound to come up. Let’s answer some of the most common ones, so you have everything you need in a straightforward guide.
How do I replace my NVIDIA Shield remote if I lose or break it?
Buying a new remote is easy. With the exception of the Harmony Elite, each remote control in this review is quite common, both online and in stores.
Can I Buy A New NVIDIA Shield Remote Just Like The One For My 2015 Or 2017 Model?
Unfortunately, if you have your heart set on finding a new 2015 or 2017 version of the NVIDIA Shield remote control, you’re out of luck. NVIDIA now only sells the 2019 model.
But, you may be able to find used models of the 2015 or 2017 remote. You might even have some luck repairing one. Check out my guide to troubleshooting the NVIDIA Shield remote here.
How Hard is it to Program and Setup a New NVIDIA Shield Remote Control?
A simple rule of thumb is that remote controls become increasingly difficult to set up when they can perform many functions and pair with a vast number of devices.
With the use of integrated apps and other data-sharing methods, you don’t have to search through lists of codes on a sheet of paper to find your specific device like in the old days. But, programming, pairing, and using remote controls can get complicated.
If you’re not into the idea of a complicated setup that controls your whole array of devices, a simple remote to control your NVIDIA Shield and the TV it’s hooked up to might be your best bet.
Can I Use an Xbox Controller With The NVIDIA Shield?
Depending on which model Xbox controller you have, it may very well work with the NVIDIA shield. Third-generation Xbox One controllers manufactured after 2016 will work, as will some older models.
If you want to learn how to use your Xbox controller with your NVIDIA Shield TV, you can check out my step-by-step connection guide here.
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