Samsung Electronics has a new Steam Link app on its Smart TVs. Game streaming can now be done directly on the TV and it works amazingly well as it does via the Steam Link hardware. This new Steam Link functionality is as a result of the collaboration between Valve and Samsung. Though the collaboration between Valve and Samsung is still in beta, it's worth trying for easy PC gaming in the living room. With this Steam Link, a controller can be connected to a Samsung TV to play PC games without a PC, console or set-top box.
While still in beta, some glitches from this functionality are still expected. A post on Steam forums indicates that only the Steam controller would work with the beta version of the app. However, a user confirmed on Twitter that using the Steam controller was frustrating, nevertheless, a wired Xbox 360 controller worked perfectly with no issues or dropped inputs.
The experience from streaming via this Steam Link is simply amazing. Playing Hollow Knight for about two hours without lag or control input issues is commendable for an app still in beta, said a user. You will be barely reminded that you are streaming. Funny enough, some 2D games like Broforce which is expected to run with relative ease, did not. "Better" games like Dark Souls 3, Dishonored, Castle of Illusion, Enter the Gungeon and even the hilarious Jazzpunk ran flawlessly with no issues and settings maxed out.
Judging from comments on Steam forum, users seem to have mixed results. While some are having trouble getting their TV to recognize their PC, others complained of lag issues, sound issues, and controller identification problems. It appears that the app works perfectly on all of Samsung's 2016/2017 4K TV models. However, with the app still in beta, it's only going to get better. A user on Steam forum expressed his desire to see a finalized app which comes with a solid support for Xbox and PlayStation controllers considering the fact that for now, the Steam controller was recognized but didn't work properly.
A few years ago, having a PC in the living room was the only practical way to make PC gaming on the couch a reality. If all the setbacks currently associated with this beta Steam Link app are addressed and it works on all Samsung TVs without problems and subsequently, other TVs, no one will need a PC in the living room for gaming as controllers can simply be attached directly to the TV for playing games.