Over the weekend Jon explored how to set up the best HTPC solution, but Samsung and Valve have an altogether simpler alternative (provided you’re happy with streaming over your home network). Starting now, Samsung is integrating a Steam Link app directly into its smart TVs, letting users stream games from their PC in another room and beam it out of their television.
Effectively foregoing the hardware of Steam Link, this is an app that will come pre-installed on the TV and just requires a connection to your home network. Once connected, it will automatically detect any PC on your network running Steam, and then let you play these games from the comfort of your living room.
If you want to give this a go right now then you’ll need to have a 4K Samsung TV bought in 2016 or 2017, and you’ll need to live in the US. You just need to head to the Samsung Smart Hub and download the Steam Link app beta build. During the beta phase, it only works with a Steam Controller, but the final package will support all the usual gamepads and even VR.
As solutions go, this has to be one of the more elegant out there. If you don’t want to set your PC up in your living room, this is a decent, easy to use workaround that can provide comfy couch gaming and access to your complete Steam Library. The downside is that you’ll be streaming the games over the network. This can cause slight input lag, while the resolution caps out at 1080p / 60 frames per second during the beta. The final product will have 4K support, which would actually make the app a better solution than the physical Steam Link hardware itself. A wired connection will be the best solution for this, although Samsung claims you can use 5GHz wireless as well.
While perhaps not the absolute finest way to play your PC games from the couch, the Steam Link app certainly sounds like one of the easiest. Can you see a future in home streaming your PC content across your home? Or are you unwilling to compromise on the quality of your gaming experience? Let us know!