Nvidia Shield owner's question

I love my Shield. It’s amazing fast and smooth. Tablo is fantastic on the Shield.

But, I do not like the controller or remote.

I am using a Fire TV remote because I can setup alternate keymapping in Kodi to turn subtitles on/off, etc. Works great!

However, a lot of apps in Shield use voice search (Google Play Store, Youtube). Without a mic on the Fire TV remote I’m stuck.

Is there any way to turn off voice search and default to an onscreen keyboard instead? Anyone have an idea for an alternate solution?

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@tremors2 Yeah, just scroll up to the voice search from the main screen, then when the search pops up, press right on the d-pad, then a virtual keyboard will pop up. That’s what I do when I’m using my Harmony remote.

I’m surprised you don’t like the Shield Remote or Controller though, I think they are both great.

Thanks for the reply!

I’m not sure what the “d-pad” is on the Fire TV remote. Or, did you mean on the Shield controller / remote?

I would probably use the Shield remote, but it appears to lack some functionality needed by Kodi such as subtitles on / off.

When the voice prompt pops up, the microphone on the far left has “focus” (focus being where the invisible mouse cursor is) - so then if you use whatever key you use on the remote to “scroll right” one time, the invisible mouse cursor will be in the text entry area and the virtual keyboard will pop up.

In other words - when you get the voice prompt, pretend you’re scrolling right - and the keyboard will pop up.

I can’t find a way to disable voice search on the shield. Killing the supporting services did not impact the user interface.

I use a harmony remote and it works well, even in Kodi.

Many thanks! It works perfectly and solves my problem. Been looking for this solution for days now.

May I ask which model Harmony you have?

I think I’ll take another look at them.


Speaking of using Harmony remote in Kodi, if I accidentally hit the back key while a video was playing, the new menu will overlay on top of the video which is still playing in the background. What is the easiest way to go back to the video? Also, when the video is playing, I have to hit “OK” to display onscreen playback control for RW, FF, Play, Pause… etc, and then move the highlight to the function icon then hit enter. This is pretty cumbersome. Is there anyway to map those playback controls directly to the Harmony?

By d-pad, I meant directional pad, AKA the arrows you use to scroll around. Sorry, I should have been more clear :smile:

I use the Harmony Home Control. I love it because it uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IR, and RF to control everything in your house, even smart lights or smart thermostats. You dont need line of sight to control anything, so I can keep everything hidden away in a cabinet. It also has a nice phone app so you can control everything if you can’t find the remote. It’s a little pricey, but I love it - I bought one for each room.

Edit: I should also mention that each button is completely customizable.

I have been thinking about going down the Shield route and also going with a Fire TV remote ever since I found out it was compatible.

If you don’t mind could you tell us how well the buttons were mapped out to their intended function. I mean were you able to fast forward and rewind with the fast forward and rewind buttons or were they set to something else?

Also was this consistent across apps or did it vary from app to app?

@Xzyl - My most important apps on the Shield are Tablo and Kodi, as you might expect. These are two I consider necessary for me to be a “cordcutter”.

The FTV remote does work as expected for both. FF & RW both act as expected and they work so well on the Shield. The other apps I have used such as Youtube also work as expected.

There are also several alternate keymaps for the FTV remote that work with Kodi. The one I use allows you to turn off / on subtitles by pressing the three bar button on the FTV remote among other things.

I also own a Gen 1 Fire TV box. It’s an awesome device, but I consider the Shield to be in a whole different class, if only for its raw power. It’s like a supercomputer compared to the FTV box. IMO the rave reviews for the Shield are fully justified.


Can you please explain how to map a key on the FTV remote to a function in Kodi?

There are already several alternate keymaps for the FTV remote in Kodi:


You will need to either push the keymap to your Fire TV (via ADBfire or similar) or load it from a USB stick in the case of the Shield.

In my case, I am using keymap #3 for the subtitle on / off feature.

Hope this helps.

Thanks @tremors2. This is really good to know.

Another question:will I need to unpair the FTV remote from FTV first before pairing it with the Shield? I suppose the FTV remote can be working with only one device at a time, right?

I don’t recall having to unpair from the FTV. It did take a couple of trys to get it pared with the Shield though.

When you go through the paring process on the Shield and the FTV remote is detected, you will need to press the select button on your existing Shield controller to confirm / execute the paring.

BTW, you can buy extra FTV remotes on Amazon for about $14. I just picked one up for my Shield.

Thank You tremors 2.

exit button works for me.

Hey guys,

Just got my Shield hooked up and been trying to activate the subtitles while watching Tablo on the Nvidia Shield. Have Harmony remote but cannot figure out how to get the subs going any help greatly appreciated. Otherwise love the Shield butter smooth play woth Kodi, Plex and PlayOn!!

If you go to the “help” menu on the sidebar/top level menu part of the Android TV app, it maps out button functions on the Shield remotes. Use that as a guide and customize one of your buttons on the Harmony remote to match the button used on the Shield remote to activate CC.

Just keep holding the OK button on the remote during playback or live, and you will get a prompt on screen to turn on/off cc. Works the same way with Harmony.

Thanks Kamy & GCM!! holding the ok button harmony remote works fine. Any way to adjust font shading etc?

That will require enhancement to the Tablo app. I do find cc on Android app is a bit distracting when compare to Roku’s.