Showcasing a new user interface prior to CES 2017 next week, the Samsung Smart View app was just updated with new functionality that allows direct streaming from third party video apps like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Youtube. Similar to mobile device casting on devices like a Chromecast or Roku, users will be able to send video from the app directly to a Samsung television.
While Netflix isn’t shown in the image examples on the App Store page for the Samsung Smart View app, it’s possible that the app will support Netflix at some point in the near future. Among the icons for the streaming services, Samsung has included a Live TV icon for perusing upcoming and recently watched shows. Samsung has also updated the interface for browsing photos and music stored on your mobile device as well as the virtual remote control interface; ideal if the physical remote gets lost in the couch cushions.
Along the top of the new user interface, users will be able to tap a drop-down menu and select the Samsung television that will receive the video stream. There’s also a search function to the right of the drop-down menu, potentially opening up the possibility of a universal search function across all stored media and streaming apps.
The push to add Chromecast-style streaming from mobile devices is likely a response to competitors like Vizio that are directly integrating Google Chromecast in new models. Prior to this point, the Samsung app was limited to local media only.
It’s possible that the 2013 acquisition of Boxee by Samsung may have led to this eventual addition of mobile casting to Samsung HDTVs. The Boxee team was initially working on a concept that would have transferred the user interface to a tablet, basically doubling as a remote control and guide for perusing streaming content. Unfortunately, that project was scrapped during 2015 and Samsung laid off the majority of Boxee’s staff.