Samsung AllShare Cast Hub review: Meet Samsung's version of Apple AirPlay

Mirror your Galaxy S3 interface on big HDTV screens. Sarah Tew/CNET

After I switched the TV set to the correct input, I was greeted by a slick setup animation that cycled through various steps to get the AllShare Cast Hub up and running. Unfortunately, while the graphics were stylish and clearly indicated what I had to do visually, their accompanying written captions were anything but straightforward.

For example I easily understood that I had to navigate to my Samsung Galaxy S III handset’s settings menu to enable the AllShare wireless function. I found onscreen directions to “press the reset key of the dongle when the red indicator starts blinking” completely mystifying. No reason for doing this action was given aside from that it was, “To connect new AllShare device.”

It wasn’t until I consulted the included printed documents that I learned I had to press the reset button for almost 30 seconds until the AllShare Cast’s indicator light shifted from a blinking red to a steady blue. It’s then and only then that I could successfully link my phone to the Hub.

The Hub displays fancy setup instructions on your HDTV. Sarah Tew/CNET

Once connected properly, I saw everything the Galaxy S III’s screen displayed replicated on my HDTV. This included Android menus, apps, and even games. I successfully listened to music and HD video streamed to my TV screen via my test phone. It was also mildly entertaining to play a few rounds of Angry Birds across a 55-inch canvas. One potential issue, though, is that the AllShare Cast Hub lacks discrete audio ports of any kind, so connecting the gadget to older home theater receivers (non HDMI) isn’t possible.

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