Setting up Steam Link app in Samsung TV

In this guide I will try to provide necessary steps and some debugging tips to setup Steam Link app and Steam. In this guide, I use Mac OS, PS4 controller, HDMI cable and HDMI to USB-C connector. You will need to adjust the setup if you have different devices and OS. Lets get started.

Steps

  • Install Steam Link app in your Samsung TV (search the app in the application store).
  • Open steam and go to Preferences -> In-Home Streaming and check “Enable streaming”. In the Advanced Host Options you can enable Enable hardware encoding (all three options) and Dynamically adjust capture resolution. Make sure you don’t set any pin code for steam link. Even if you have to enable it during this step, make sure to remove it for next step. If steam tries to install some drives, let it do so. Also, make sure if the app installation prompts for Security and Privacy for any options during installation, make sure to press Allow at the bottom of Mac’s Security & Privacy settings. The installation may require couple of restarts, please do so.

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 9.06.53 AM.png

  • If your computer and your TV are in the same network your Mac username should show up in Steam Link app’s menu in your TV. Try clicking the computer name in your Samsung TV’s steam link app. If it errors out by saying you will need additional drivers in your mac, following steps should fix that.
  • To install additional drivers you may need to connect your TV with your Mac while steam app is opened. If you have HDMI cable connected to your TV, you can connect other end to your Mac (for newer Mac laptops you will need USB-3 to HDMI adapter) and steam should start the installation of necessary drivers. Since I have not tried other methods to connect the TV and Mac, I don’t know what else works for this step.
  • During the installation of the drivers your computer could complain about security and privacy warning. Go to Security & Privacy (General) option in your Mac and Allow the app. If you go to About this Mac -> Overview -> System Report -> Network -> Firewall, you should see com.valvesoftware.steam allowed for all connections. AmbrosiaAudioSupport software requires the firewall option. After restarting steam if you end up in loop of re-installing AmbroisaAudioSupport driver, you will need to make sure Security & Privacy (General) allowed (could be multiple times) this software.Screen Shot 2017-12-23 at 10.16.09 AM.png
  • Next, you will need to setup your gaming controller. This step is not a perfect setup though, because I was able to connect the controller to both TV and Mac, but not to steam link through TV. At least for now, until that works your Mac has to be within bluetooth range somewhere close. For this example, I have setup PS4 controller. To add PS4 to your Mac press and hold PS4 and Share button (for discovery), while you are in your Mac’s bluetooth preferences. You may need to hold the buttons while pairing to make sure it connects properly.
  • Open Steam->Preferences->Controller->General Controllers Settings and allow PS4 Configuration Support. The Detected Controllers section should show Playstation 4 Controller
  • After above setup steps you should be able to follow step 3 and connect Steam Link with your Mac. Once the connection is successful your TV may mirror your Mac desktop just like HDMI multiple screen setup. If you open big-picture mode it should take over the TV screen and you should be able to control your menu with the controller.
  • To be able to use the controller properly start steam in big picture mode, and after that you should be able to play it properly through the controller.

I was able to play games like Awesomenauts, although it was not seamless.  The app did not sync properly at times and the controller was sometimes not responding fast enough  to be playable enough. The screen resolution got messed up couple of times (although steam lets you set it to lower resolution and complains if you try to stream in high resolution). It took some time to start and the screen kept on going blank before it came up. Since the computer has to support the game and the streaming both, it might heat up quite fast. Considering, the samsung app is still new and I was not even able to connect it few weeks back, it is a great progress.

References

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