Maybe it’s not as streamlined as Apple’s AirPlay, but Samsung’s AllShare system is an often-overlooked feature that lets you wirelessly beam content like music, videos, and photos among your devices at a moment’s notice.
So, you find a video you shot on your phone, tap a few buttons, and voila — there it is on your TV screen.
Though AllShare lets you share media among your phone, TV, computer, and tablet, its most practical use can be harnessed by those who own both a Galaxy smartphone (like an S2 or S3), and a Samsung Smart TV. AllShare is built into both of these devices, making it easy to beam content without buying any extra hardware or downloading any apps.
If you’re one of these people, the whole setup only takes about 10 minutes and will have you sharing family photos on the big screen in no time.
Step 1: Set up AllShare on your phone
First, make sure your phone and TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It’s always necessary to do this, during setup and while streaming.
Also head to Settings > More settings > Nearby devices, and check “File sharing.”
Finally, launch the AllShare Play app on your phone, which can be found pre-installed in your app drawer. You’ll be asked to either create an account, or sign in. If you created an account when you first set up your Samsung Smart TV, use that. Otherwise, create a new username and password.
Step 2: Set up AllShare on your TV
Launch the SmartHub (that big, colorful button on your remote), and go to the AllShare Play app. When it launches, log in by hitting the A button on your remote. Sign in with the username and password you used in the first step.
Setup is complete.
Step 3: Start streaming media
There are two ways to stream content from your phone to your TV.
Via your TV
The first option is to stream media by exploring your phone’s content on the AllShare app on your TV. With the power of DLNA, your TV can access your phone’s entire media library, and play its content without you ever looking at your phone.
In the AllShare app, select a category (Videos, Photos, or Music), select your phone in the sub-menu, and you’ll see relevant content from your phone appear almost immediately on screen.
With a good Wi-Fi connection, the setup works pretty swiftly. In Photos, you can view your pictures full screen, hitting the Tools button on your remote for more options. In the Music view, your complete library shows up, album covers and all, allowing you to play an individual song or even fire up a playlist. Just don’t forget about that Tools button on your remote for more options.
Via your Galaxy S3 (or S2)
The second and preferred way to stream media is by browsing through these photos, music, and videos on your phone, and “beaming” them to your TV.
With this method, you don’t even need to be in the Smart TV app — you can be watching an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” and interrupt it to show your friends an awesome photo of your puppy. (This, arguably, can be awesome and annoying at the same time.)
For this method, you’ll still need to be signed into AllShare on your TV and phone, and have them connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
To beam media, head to a photo, music track, or video. Tap the specific photo, track, etc. you want to play and you’ll see an icon appear (see photo). This icon shows up next to any type of content that can be streamed to your TV.
When you tap the icon, that content will beam to your TV, interrupting anything playing so that you can show off what AllShare can do.
While a video or song plays, you can even adjust your TV’s volume using the rocker on your phone. Your phone can also be used to fast-forward/rewind, and even pinch-to-zoom in on photos. The zooming isn’t perfect, but you most likely won’t be doing much of that, anyhow.
As mentioned, Samsung’s AllShare feature isn’t just for beaming content between your phone and TV — it also works with your PC and tablet, so that you can, for example, browse your PC’s content on your TV.