Owners of a 2016 or 2017 Samsung smart TV can now directly stream Steam games

Steam Link App
PC gamers with a Samsung smart TV wanting to stream their Steam library across the local network without a Steam Link set-top box can now do so with the new Steam Link App. The catch is that it only works with Samsung’s 2016 and 2017 portfolio of smart TVs, and is still considered as a beta application, so expect a few glitches for now. The app is currently available through the Samsung Smart Hub.

“During the beta, playback of 1080p video at 60 FPS and support for the Steam Controller are included,” Valve Software said in June. “For worldwide release later this summer, support for streaming 4K resolutions and additional controllers will be added.”

The Steam Link app is based on the same technology that powers Steam’s in-home streaming feature. For the uninitiated, this starts with a gaming-capable PC signed into Steam and connected to the local network. The “client” device, such as a non-gaming laptop, must also be signed on using the same Steam account and local network. A wired connection is best for stable, high-quality streaming.

However, Valve Software also provides a stand-alone set-top box called Steam Link that merely serves as a client device and connects directly to an HDTV. Typically sold for $50, the box initiates the Big Picture mode on the host PC gaming machine to provide a streamed, console-like interface. It’s compatible with mouse and keyboard-based input, Valve’s Steam Controller, and third-party game controllers for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Steam Link first hit the market in early 2015 as part of Valve Software’s Steam Machines initiative. The company wanted to compete directly with consoles in the living room arena by getting computer manufacturers to create powerful, compact desktops capable of high-resolution PC gaming. That initiative also included the creation of a unique gamepad (Steam Controller) and a set-top box (Steam Link) for extending a Steam Machine’s reach–– or any capable gaming PC, for that matter — to other TVs in the house.

Hints of a dedicated app for Samsung smart TVs surfaced in October 2016 that would eliminate the need for Valve’s set-top box. Valve said in June that a Steam Controller is required even though the Samsung app seems to work just fine with an Xbox 360 controller. Steam’s in-home streaming service is completely free to use.

This isn’t the first time we have seen a marriage between streaming game services and smart TVs. LG once signed a deal with game streaming subscription service OnLive to include an app for LG-branded Android TV-based HDTVs. Sony includes an app for its PlayStation Now game streaming service on its Bravia-branded HDTVs along with its TV streaming app, PlayStation Vue.

As for Samsung customers owning a smart TV prior to 2016, a Steam Link app may not be in the cards presumably due to the older components within. Valve’s Steam Link set-top box is powered by a Marvell DE3005-A1 processor and a Vivante GC1000 graphics chip along with memory, storage, and networking components. An older Samsung smart TV would presumably need equal or better components to handle Steam Link game streaming.


Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for April 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Kick off your streaming career with our complete guide to Twitch broadcasting

Streaming games on Twitch for the first time can be daunting to say the least, but with a few simple steps, it's remarkably easy to do. Here's how to do so using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 console.

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we have a guide to help you unlock every allied race in Battle for Azeroth.

Amazon sale knocks 20% off Nintendo Switch, Pro Controller, and games

A new wave of savings on gaming content is crashing down in celebration of Earth Day. Amazon is slashing prices up to 20% off for used Nintendo Switch consoles, games, and accessories like the Switch Pro Controller.

Wired headphones are so 2018. Here's how to pair a Bluetooth device to your PS4

One of the best aspects of modern consoles is how easily you can pair them with other devices. Here's our quick primer on how to connect a Bluetooth headset (or really any Bluetooth device) to your PlayStation 4.

Here are the best games to play with your friends on the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch's hybrid design adds convenience to your gaming time, allowing you to play Switch games both at home and on the go. The design also benefits multiplayer experiences, from co-op to competitive and online to offline.

Get Nindie with it and check out these awesome indie games for the Switch

The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch indie games.

Epic Games bans more than 1,000 cheaters in 1st week of Fortnite World Cup

Epic Games has already banned more than 1,000 cheaters in the Fortnite World Cup. The developer is taking cheating seriously, especially as players are competing for a $1 million prize pool in every week of the qualifiers.

Mortal Kombat 11 DLC characters reportedly leaked: Who’s next after Shang Tsung?

A datamine on Mortal Kombat 11 reportedly revealed all the DLC characters that will be added to the game's expansive roster. The leak corroborates the hint that the anti-hero Spawn is on his way to joining the fighting game.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.