I just got a new Samsung TV with AllShare.
Without any previous setup on my part (only adding my account), the TV found my new Windows 8 computer as a device, but I never setup any software on it.
Is it possible that Windows 8 already has some file/media sharing protocols installed that AllShare can use so I don't have to install and run extra software for it?
If yes, how do I configure it?
Allshare is just Samsung rename of DLNA and Windows has had a built in DLNA server for quite some time now, if you went with express settings for WMP12 & network sharing it would have activated the DLNA server.
WMP12 only supports certain media and not all the types Samsung may support, use other DLNA servers like Mezzmo or Serviio on your PC to stream those instead of WMP12 or the god awful Allshare software itself.
Samsung devices support both Windows DLNA sharing (Media Player etc.) and the Samsung-specific AllShare implementation. If you install Samsung's AllShare software on your PC, your TV will actually see two media sharing devices on the network, accessing the same content through different interfaces (different folder structures etc.). Both will work. You can actually try installing Samsung's AllShare software and see which interface you like better.
Heh, that would be a little weird to see that computer twice - and overkill, too.
Nah, I'm perfectly fine using DLNA and just putting only videos in there that I want to watch on the TV - otherwise I have an old Linux box as storage server.
Well, I'm experimenting with my Samsung as well. I notice that DLNA sharing does not display video thumbnails for some reason. And also DLNA sharing refuses to play MKV files (which are technically supported by Samsung players). It displays MKV files in the list, but when I ask it to play one, it just skips it and begins playing the next non-MKV file in the list.
Samsung AllShare interface displays video thumbnails and successfully plays MKV files. (Seeking in MKV does not work for some reason though.)
P.S. Seeking in MKV begins to work perfectly once the MKV file is fed through 'mkvmerge' with '--clusters-in-meta-seek' option.
Hm, that's interesting points there.
I'm not a big fan of the TV interface to play these videos - it takes a lot of clicks to find the one you're looking for.
But so far it has played everything I tried, including DVD files (except it played right through the menu pages without any interaction and kept going through the files, so not too useful, either).
I'm guessing I'll convert whatever it can't play, and I can live without thumbnails.
User Serviio instead of WMP or Allshare on the PC, you can customize the DLNA structure layout cutting it down to minimal folder listings of media, same as on your PC though keep in mind DLNA is not a real time display of your PC, the DLNA server scans media in folders building a database and it's this database your actually browsing on the DLNA client.
Serviio also supports a lot more media formats and has Samsung specific profiles.
I'm using a low-powered fileserver as source, which means that real-time transcoding is out of question for me. In other words, in my case "supporting video formats" is purely a matter of what the player supports natively in its firmware. What the sharing software supports is completely irrelevant. All I need is a piece of software that would "expose" the original video files to the player.
Considering the above, is there any benefit in using Serviio as opposed to Samsung AllShare for me?
Serviio and Mezzmo both display thumbnails, having already gone thorough the trial version of Serviio and now trying out Mezzmo, I'm inclined into purchasing one of them, right now Mezzmo gets the nod. If you don't want to spend any money, stick to the free inferior Samsung AllShare.