Connecting Samsung DLNA TV to PC via LAN
I recently got a Samsung LCD TV and was pretty excited about the Ethernet Port. But very soon I discovered that my router was not supported and I could not connect to the Internet. However, I thought I must be able to connect the TV to my PC and stream content over it. I started looking for suggestions and learned about the DLNA standard. However, there was no properly written tutorial about streaming content on a DLNA device. All I found was bits and pieces on various forums. So I decided to try it myself. After an hour or so, I was finally able to connect the two devices. When I was done, I thought why don’t I write the tutorial myself? So here it is.
All 5 series and above Samsung LCD/LED TVs have Ethernet ports. The connection with PC is made through the DLNA standard. Many other devices also support DLNA including Sony PlayStation3. Samsung calls this AllShare. All Samsung devices having the DLNA certification will have AllShare logo on it. Once the two devices are connected, you will be able to play content from the PC on your TV.
Things you will need:
First of all, download and install the Samsung PC Share Manager on your Windows PC. Now connect the Samsung TV and your PC via Ethernet cable. Run PC Share Manager on PC. Go to the Share menu and click on Set Device Policy. Your TV should be listed there.
If it is not listed, make sure your TV is switched on and media sharing is enabled in the AllShare menu. Once your TV is shown there, click on the Accept button beside its name. You are now ready to stream media from your PC to your TV.
Normally you will be able to stream any type of file that you can play via USB. There is also a way to stream some incompatible media. However, it is still not possible to stream all types of content.
There are 3 ways to stream audio/video or images from your PC on to your TV. Each method is explained below. (Note that no matter what method you use, Samsung PC Share Manager will need to be kept running for it to work)
Through PC Share Manager
The first method is to use Samsung PC Share Manager to share folders and stream those media files. To do this, launch PC Share Manager. In the left pane browse for the folder you want to share with your TV. Drag the folder to the right pane. When you are done, click on the Set Changed State button on the toolbar. Keep in mind that this takes a long time and larger the shared folders, larger will be the time. So keep the number of shared files as low as possible. You can just share the content you want to play.
Once this process is complete, go to the TV. There should be a popup showing the newly connected device. If there isn’t one, go to the TV’s source menu and select PC Share Manager. Your shared folders will be visible there, grouped into Video, Photos and Music. You can play the supported files now.
If you are unable to connect the TV, go to the TV’s network menu. Select wired connection and assign settings manually. Assign any IP address and Default Gateway. Now assign the same Default Gateway to your PC and any other IP Address. Now try to ping the TV. To do this, open command prompt and type Ping -t <TV’s IP Address>. If you receive a response, then the connection is fine. This only to test if the devices are connected, this does not help in streaming media.
Streaming Directly from PC Library
You can also stream content directly from PC. This can be done only with Windows 7. To do this, you will need to enable media streaming on your PC. Follow the steps below:
- Open Control Panel
- Go to Network and Sharing Center
- Click on Choose homegroup and sharing options
- Click on Change advanced sharing settings…
- Scroll down to the Media streaming section and click on Choose media streaming options…
- Click on Turn on media streaming
- You TV should be listed there. Select Allow from the drop down beside its name if it is not already selected.
- Click on OK and close the window
Now go to the TV and go to the source menu. Besides AllShare, there will now be a source named Network with your PC’s name beside it.
On selecting this source, you will be able to see all the files in your media library. You can play any file from within your library as long as the format is supported by the TV.
This is the best way to share as you will be able to access all files on your PC from your TV and there won’t be any waiting time like the first method.
Playing via Windows Media Player
You can also use Windows Media Player to play media files on your TV directly. In the earlier methods, once the files/folders were shared, everything was controlled from the TV. However in this method, you will be playing audio/video from the PC directly on to the TV. This method is also very simple. You’ll need Windows Media Player (WMP henceforth) 12 which comes preinstalled on Windows 7.
First enable media sharing on your PC. To do this, follow the steps in method 2. You could also select Stream from WMP toolbar and click on Turn on media streaming… It will take you to step 6 directly. Once you are done, open WMP. Right click on any file you want to play on TV and select the Play To option. Your TV should be listed here. Click on the TV’s name and the media will start playing on the TV.
When you do this for the first time, your TV will ask whether to allow the device to play media on your TV. Select allow and the media will start playing. If you select deny by mistake or you want to block it for some reason, you can change it later from the AllShare menu.
You can queue files to play one after the other and they’ll keep playing. You can control the volume of your TV from within WMP itself. Play/Pause and seek also work. You can also pause from the TV and resume from the PC, yes the settings are transferred. The media won’t be playing on PC at this time. So you can play a different video on your PC too.
I thought I would be able to bypass the codec limitations of the TV using this method. However, WMP proved too stubborn for this. Even after installing the codec packs required, it won’t add .mkv files to its library. And only files which are there in the library can be played on the TV. However, I still think there must be a way to this as I was able to play a .wma audio stream on the TV even though this is not supported natively by it.
Third Party Applications
Since DLNA is an industry standard, I thought there must be some third party application too. I found a free software named Serviio which is a DLNA media server. This did not work for me though. The TV did not detect a server. However, I still mentioned this here because it might work for other people or other devices (like a TV from some other company). Also, Serviio is available for Linux as well.
If you have any questions or suggestions on this topic, or if I have left something out, do leave a comment to let others know. Or just leave a comment if this post helped you connect your devices.