Your Samsung GALAXY Note 3 gives you access to an amazing range of movies, multimedia and games, perfect for entertaining yourself when on the move. But when you're at home, you might prefer to enjoy this great content on a larger scale.
What you want is a way to integrate the Note 3 into your living room, so you can experience music, movies and more on a larger screen and through bigger speakers, using your Note 3 to control everything from the comfort of the sofa.
Thanks to the GALAXY Note 3's innovative design and features there are a number of ways to get more from your multimedia. In this guide we will look at the gadgets, apps and built-in features that can help you achieve lounge nirvana.
Provided you have a compatible TV or media player, by far the easiest way to connect a GALAXY Note 3 to your TV is to use Samsung Link, a Samsung service that helps you to share and play content across your smart devices anytime and anywhere.
Samsung created Samsung Link to make it even easier to share multimedia content between its range of electronic devices. Using Samsung Link you can connect the Note 3 (and other compatible Samsung GALAXY devices) to Samsung's Smart TVs and Blu-ray players, wirelessly.
You can even use Samsung Link to connect to a Windows PC running the client software.
If you don't own a recent Samsung Smart TV or Blu-ray player then help is at hand in the form of Samsung's AllShare Cast Wireless Hub. This smooth, pebble-like box plugs into your TV and acts as a wireless connector for your Note 3, allowing it to connect with almost any HDTV.
By going into Settings > Connections > Screen Mirroring your TV, Blu-ray or AllShare Hub should appear as an available device for you to select and allow you to begin sharing.
DLNA is a technology for sending video and audio from electronic devices to a compatible TV and the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 supports it out of the box. While not as fully-featured as Samsung Link, it works well if all you want to do is watch a movie or show a photo slideshow that you can control from your Note 3.
DLNA sharing is built into the Video Player app on the Note 3 – just select a display device from within the app and any compatible DLNA display on the same Wi-Fi network will appear as an option. After a few seconds of buffering both pictures and sound will be sent to the TV rather than the Note 3's screen and speakers.
Most of the devices and apps mentioned here use Wi-Fi but if you don't mind wires then there is a low-budget alternative available. The Samsung GALAXY Note 3 supports the MHL standard, allowing users to connect the phone to an MHL display via an MHL cable or an MHL-to-HDMI adapter (such as the Samsung MHL 2.0 adapter) for existing TVs.
By attaching the Samsung MHL 2.0 Smart Adapter to the micro USB port (the same port you use to charge the phone or sync with a PC or Mac) you can plug in a standard HDMI lead from your TV and mirror the display of the Note 3 onto almost any HD-ready TV.
The HDMI adapter requires its own micro USB power supply, which will also keep the Note 3 juiced up while you watch. This can plug in directly to the mains, but many TVs now support power over USB so you can simply connect it to a spare USB port at the back of the TV.
Once connected, the TV will display exactly what is on the screen of the phone. By rotating the Note 3 you can get a full HD widescreen display – ideal for viewing photos, playing videos with stereo or surround sound or even playing games using either the Note 3's screen as a controller or a gamepad connected via Bluetooth.
If you care more about the music on your GALAXY Note 3 than watching videos or browsing photos, you may not want to listen to it through your TV. For audiophiles who have spent time assembling their own Hi-Fi sound system with hand-picked components and even specially-made speaker cables, Sonos Connect is an easy way to play music from your Note 3 through your gear, wirelessly.
Sonos Connect is a wireless device that connects to your stereo, Hi-Fi or home theatre set-up using standard digital, analogue or optical audio connectors and then to your Note 3 using Wi-Fi. You can control the playback of your music as well as sound levels using the free Sonos Controller app from Google Play. The app also allows easy streaming of thousands of internet radio stations and services like Spotify, Last.fm and Rdio.
Google's forthcoming Chromecast dongle takes a slightly different approach to getting multimedia onto your TV using your Note 3. Rather than letting the Note 3 do all the work, this nifty little device slots into one of the HDMI ports on your TV and uses its own Wi-Fi connection and CPU to fetch content for you – freeing the Note 3 up to do other things once you have chosen what to watch.
Compatible apps such as YouTube and Netflix offer support for streaming to the dongle.
Chromecast is lacking a UK release date at the moment, although it is expected to launch in the next few months.
Another device that is yet to receive a UK release date, but one we are particularly looking forward to. HomeSync is the innovative new media-streaming hub from Samsung that promises to act as a complete multimedia helper for your lounge.
The HomeSync box plugs into your TV and connects to your home Wi-Fi. Using this, it can talk to the Note 3 – or other Samsung devices such as the GALAXY Note 8.0 – as well as accessing the internet directly to surf the web and stream video from third party services like YouTube.
You can stream video, music and games straight from the Note 3 and HomeSync will display them at full 1080p resolution on your HDTV, also allowing you to use the Note 3 as a remote control or gamepad.
HomeSync also supports using your phone as a motion-sensitive 'mouse', making it ideal for web surfing on the big screen. The Note 3's screen can even act as a touchpad to make it easy to play touch-centric games.
HomeSync supports screen mirroring so almost any app running on the Note 3 can be used on the big screen. The HomeSync box will come with 1TB of local storage that you can fill up with your photos and videos as well as downloaded movies.
Finally, the HomeSync app for the GALAXY Note 3 will automatically upload your files, and it supports up to eight login IDs for the whole family so you don't get your personal content mixed up.