Steam in-House Streaming Beta

#1 Edited by Mijati (939 posts) -

The first round of Beta Invites went out a few hours ago, wondering if anyone else here got one?

I've tried it a little bit so far and seems to run great. Had a bit of lag with Bioshock Infinite during menus but I think that was because steam was downloading games in the background, switched that off and running fine otherwise.

Need to hook a controller up to my Laptop and try it properly but so far seems pretty damn good. Just need to be logged into Steam on both computers and it'll automatically detect them. Then you get the option of all games installed on one PC or all locally installed games. Takes just as long to load games as it would on the main PC.

Online
#2 Edited by crithon (3338 posts) -

so it's basically streaming from one machine to another? Any way you can set it to tablets? Or a web browser? How's the input lag?

#3 Posted by Mijati (939 posts) -

@crithon said:

so it's basically streaming from one machine to another? Any way you can set it to tablets? Or a web browser? How's the input lag?

I imagine any tablet that runs Windows would work but as there's no Steam client for Android and iOS wouldn't be able to use those right now. But you can stream from Windows -> Linux which is fantastic. Seems to be minimal input latency but still need to check with a controller.

Online
#4 Edited by billymagnum (837 posts) -

man im always late to these damn steam groups that just pop up

#5 Posted by AlexW00d (6307 posts) -

@mijati said:

@crithon said:

so it's basically streaming from one machine to another? Any way you can set it to tablets? Or a web browser? How's the input lag?

I imagine any tablet that runs Windows would work but as there's no Steam client for Android and iOS wouldn't be able to use those right now. But you can stream from Windows -> Linux which is fantastic. Seems to be minimal input latency but still need to check with a controller.

I got into the beta but i'v not been able to check, does the controller have to be plugged into the thing receiving the stream? Or can it be plugged into the streaming machine. Mostly cause I don't know if Ubuntu will support my PS3 controller.

#6 Posted by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -

I got the beta invite last night, but was too tired to bother with it. Anyways, I have been wanting to test this streaming with my beefy rig to the living room television (which I can hook up my laptop for that). Testing will definitely come late this afternoon.

#7 Edited by Mijati (939 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@mijati said:

@crithon said:

so it's basically streaming from one machine to another? Any way you can set it to tablets? Or a web browser? How's the input lag?

I imagine any tablet that runs Windows would work but as there's no Steam client for Android and iOS wouldn't be able to use those right now. But you can stream from Windows -> Linux which is fantastic. Seems to be minimal input latency but still need to check with a controller.

I got into the beta but i'v not been able to check, does the controller have to be plugged into the thing receiving the stream? Or can it be plugged into the streaming machine. Mostly cause I don't know if Ubuntu will support my PS3 controller.

I believe it can be plugged into either but it's designed to be plugged into the receiving PC. Although the way it works is that the game is running on the main PC so I see no reason as to why you couldn't connect your PS3 controller to the streaming PC.

I've tested some more. I used F1 2013 to test for any performance issues and there didn't appear to be any, other than the usual slow down when I decided that I needed to crash into everyone at the first corner of Monaco! But other than that the game was fine and had no issues with it.

To test controller latency I tried playing Spelunky and honestly I could not tell any difference at all. Felt just as responsive as when I play on my PC.

Some cool things to note: You can remotely download games. So if you decide you want to play a game you don't have installed you can remotely tell it to download to your main PC and it'll do so. I could then launch and play the game without needing to ever touch the original computer. Which is pretty damn awesome.

Unfortunately, due to the way it's setup you cannot be using the main computer while streaming to another one. This is due to the fact that as I said the game runs on the main PC so unfortunately this won't enable someone to be playing Steam from your PC while you're browsing the web or whatever. (Although maybe if you had a game that allows input while being in a background window it might work? but I doubt it).

Overall I'm very impressed. Going to be spending the afternoon lying in bed and playing a bunch of games. This in turn should eventually lead to me actually playing some of my 700+ steam games as when I'm sitting at my PC I always want to do something else rather than play games but in my bedroom on my TV in there is another story!

I'd love to test a steam controller with this thing and see how it works for mouse based games. I have a wireless mouse + keyboard for my laptop but they're terrible for gaming on as I only picked them up just to make it so I could browse the internet and navigate stuff while in bed! Might have to pick myself up a decent set of wireless keyboard and mouse if I continue to use this.

If there's anything anyone wants me to test then let me know and I'll see what I can do. I have a whole bunch of games so if you want me to test something specific to a game I probably have it :P.

Online
#8 Posted by crithon (3338 posts) -

@mijati: wow, sounds sweet. Yeah, I mean streaming was one of the promises brought out by Steam OS, and I'm really glad to hear your reaction. Man, It's be night just to throw it up onto another screen to show other friends.

OH BY THE WAY, Are you afraid you'd be having too high of a resolution on smaller screens? like text and menus might look weird? Just curious if your gonna try to pick one prefered setting before you go from other devices

#9 Posted by Mijati (939 posts) -

Resolution gets up/downscaled towards the device you're playing on so as I have my laptop set to 720p (Because I can't see and navigating windows from bed was impossible at 1080p for me :P) and that's worked fine for me.

Also, when a game opens a window for whatever reason (such as uPlay) then steam will only be displaying that window on the 2nd PC in full screen. So it seems like steam is smart enough to know what programs count as that game running and will display that which means when they have 3rd party software before getting to the game then you can navigate it just fine.

The only time that's not true is when remotely installing games and running from the first time where you need to press some buttons to accept directx install etc. that doesn't remotely pop up :(

Online
#10 Edited by cadwr (55 posts) -

So far I've been impressed with in-home streaming. I streamed Bioshock Infinite at 1080p with maxed settings out to my very low-power HTPC in the living room of my apartment and it worked really well. I'm going to be testing out some other games today to see how reliable it is.

#11 Posted by billymagnum (837 posts) -

so i got in yesterday, just tried it streaming to a not so great laptop. gotta say its pretty impressive.

#12 Edited by Snail (8617 posts) -

Question: Can you add a movie to the Steam library as though it were a game, and have that stream to another computer? That would be pretty cool.

I know Valve has stated SteamOS will be a multimedia center, rather than just a games platform, but I'm still curious if this works under the current Steam client.

#13 Posted by billymagnum (837 posts) -

i know i have indie game the movie in there, ill give it a shot when i get home. as far just adding any movie i cant say

#14 Edited by cmblasko (1282 posts) -

@mijati said:

@alexw00d said:

@mijati said:

@crithon said:

so it's basically streaming from one machine to another? Any way you can set it to tablets? Or a web browser? How's the input lag?

I imagine any tablet that runs Windows would work but as there's no Steam client for Android and iOS wouldn't be able to use those right now. But you can stream from Windows -> Linux which is fantastic. Seems to be minimal input latency but still need to check with a controller.

I got into the beta but i'v not been able to check, does the controller have to be plugged into the thing receiving the stream? Or can it be plugged into the streaming machine. Mostly cause I don't know if Ubuntu will support my PS3 controller.

Unfortunately, due to the way it's setup you cannot be using the main computer while streaming to another one. This is due to the fact that as I said the game runs on the main PC so unfortunately this won't enable someone to be playing Steam from your PC while you're browsing the web or whatever. (Although maybe if you had a game that allows input while being in a background window it might work? but I doubt it).

That is really disappointing to me. I am in need of a solution for this kind of situation so I can use my PC to play games without preventing my wife from being able to use it. I don't see why the Steam client on the remote machine can't process the game in the background and only accept input provided by the local machine.

#15 Posted by Shivoa (634 posts) -

@snail: It sounds like you really want a DLNA or something setup for what you ask, but answering the question of being able to do exactly what you asked (not the best way to do what you want): you can add any program to the Steam shortcut list. That list appears on all Steam clients logged into your account and when run remotely then it captures the window that appears and streams it. Devs have been messing about with this by adding Visual Studio to their list of Steam shortcuts and so running their IDE remotely via video streaming, because devs like to mess about with stuff. You could add MPC-HC/VLC/WMP.any other video program to your shortcuts on one machine and then load it remotely from the other PC via Steam and it would give you the main window from which you can open the file and start the video playing. Video & audio captures on the main machine would stream to the other via Steam.

The only issue I noticed is Steam tries to only grab the 'contents' of the program you open if it has a DirectX/OpenGL surface (ie it strips the window edges surrounding the content when it detects what could be 3D content - like the surface a video player decodes the video to) and so this strips the menu with file>open etc from stuff like MPC-HC. I had to know the shortcut for open was ctrl-O to bring up the Windows 'open file' dialogue to select the video file I wanted (Steam realised there was a new screen and so resized the block it was cropping to include the file browser, as this is bigger than the MPC-HC window without a video in it) but once I'd opened the file then it streamed perfectly to my second machine.

Lag isn't an issue with streaming video but I probably saw it worse than most when I just tested that to make sure (as my gaming PC was busy processing data so the CPU and GPU were 100% loaded before I started). Here are some photos to make that text comprehensible, the graph at the bottom it a debug thing, you can turn it off (it's easier to show than tell for some stuff that is a bit weird like variable window size capturing):

Stream, video player crops menus by default, resizes crop when you do ctrl-O and new window appears, I'm playing back a video capture of a Brothers bug!

Link to Brothers bug video online, if anyone cares.

#16 Posted by Snail (8617 posts) -

@shivoa: Hah, running an IDE through Steam and then streaming it to another PC is a neat idea.

Yeah, I've thought of building an HTPC and installing OpenELEC on it or something, but I think I'll wait to see SteamOS, because it sounds like it'll englobe all sorts of multimedia entertainment, not just video-games. So it's like a media center but also with my Steam games on it. That's great.

As for the file-sharing, when I run out of cloud storage I guess I might set-up an NAS. Or maybe in the future Steam will make it real easy and intuitive to share all types of multimedia content across devices.

Again, waiting for SteamOS. It sounds like a great thing.

#17 Edited by jayjonesjunior (1090 posts) -

Just got the invite today and the first thing i did was to test with non steam games and it works flawlessly.

(My big gaming PC is connected directly to the router in my bedroom and the notebook i used as a "client" is connected to an old router acting as an access point in the living room, basically it is going through WiFi but using big antennas to do so.)

#18 Edited by crithon (3338 posts) -

hmmmm, I just tried this out just now, and I did it on purpose to see how far I could push it. And well first game I loaded up was QUAKE 1. Well and first thing that happen was a crash and i could hear the games sounds coming in from the other room. It turns out the default Quake set up can't have an overlay because it's still running on MSDos, but Quake running with open GL runs well, still a bit of blurriness in the distance and I'm running at the healthy id software character running speed of 30 MPH.

Then I popped in Plants VS Zombies, this game runs native at 800x600 so because of the streaming there was some odd alignment problems with the cursor. It was a bit frustrating so.

Saints Row 3rd, I started noticing right up in the begining the pop up window that loads up the game saying DX11 or DX9 it at full screen. I guess that's the point, what ever can allow a steam UI overlay will just become the full screen. The game ran decent although there's a lot of noticeable jumps in the stream like you would see in a multiplayer game.

Then I popped in Metal Gear Rising, so the game still ran around 30 FPS, there was really painfully bad input latency especially in the Zandatsu mode.

Finally L4D2, which always runs like a dream. Ran perfect, I guess this will be the standard valve hopes to show off to everyone. The little UI menu showing off the input latency, video buffering and ping time is wonderful. But I'm still curious about games that cannot run on Linux, this streaming should be the solution. It still feels like it's an overlay over another overlay over another overlay, so this is modest at best, lets hope it gets better within time.

#19 Posted by TriBeard (134 posts) -

I just got in, but haven't had a chance to try it out because my good router with all gigabit ethernet is at home and the one I have at my apartment only has one gigabit ethernet port. Do any of you guys that have tried it out have AMD GPU's, or are you all nvidia? If you have AMD's, how has it been?

#20 Posted by JJWeatherman (14560 posts) -

Tested has a video up.

#21 Posted by StarFoxA (5161 posts) -

I've tested it a bit streaming from my PC to my MacBook. Seems to work well, I managed to secure an outpost in Far Cry 3. Can't seem to get it to recognize controller input on my Mac, though.

#22 Edited by crithon (3338 posts) -

@starfoxa: I'm experiencing that too with Blood Dragon and Assassin's Creed 3, might be a Ubi Play overlay which requires mouse to hit the play button.

#23 Posted by StarFoxA (5161 posts) -

@crithon: I tried it in Burnout Paradise and Red Faction: Guerrilla too. Couldn't get it working there either.

#24 Edited by Korwin (2893 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

@mijati said:

@alexw00d said:

@mijati said:

@crithon said:

so it's basically streaming from one machine to another? Any way you can set it to tablets? Or a web browser? How's the input lag?

I imagine any tablet that runs Windows would work but as there's no Steam client for Android and iOS wouldn't be able to use those right now. But you can stream from Windows -> Linux which is fantastic. Seems to be minimal input latency but still need to check with a controller.

I got into the beta but i'v not been able to check, does the controller have to be plugged into the thing receiving the stream? Or can it be plugged into the streaming machine. Mostly cause I don't know if Ubuntu will support my PS3 controller.

Unfortunately, due to the way it's setup you cannot be using the main computer while streaming to another one. This is due to the fact that as I said the game runs on the main PC so unfortunately this won't enable someone to be playing Steam from your PC while you're browsing the web or whatever. (Although maybe if you had a game that allows input while being in a background window it might work? but I doubt it).

That is really disappointing to me. I am in need of a solution for this kind of situation so I can use my PC to play games without preventing my wife from being able to use it. I don't see why the Steam client on the remote machine can't process the game in the background and only accept input provided by the local machine.

Because the video capture/encode is coming directly from the GPU frame buffer, so whatever the GPU is drawing is what's being captured. You would need an entirely different background buffer that it could render out to in order to achieve what you want.

#25 Posted by crithon (3338 posts) -

@starfoxa: Trail and error, trail and error. Although I can't help but wonder if this will continue even if you have the steam controller plugged in working as mouse substitute?

#26 Posted by crithon (3338 posts) -

hehe, just tried running photoshop on it, that ran at 15 fps, and different monitor sizes do effect where you can click on. This is fun to just dick around with it.

#27 Edited by Rowr (5824 posts) -

Just tried this out on a few games as it just launched to the public, and holy fucking shit, as someone with a my computer on one end of the house and my tv/theatre room in the other this is a gamechanger.

RIP gaming laptops.

Finally with a multi monitor setup in my computer room, and home theatre in the other I finally have the potential of the best of both worlds.

I can stream games to my Lenovo yoga pro 2 with the quality of my goddam GTX 690. What the fuck is actually going oooon. TECHNOLOGY BITCHES.

#28 Edited by Mcfart (1659 posts) -

I gave it a go. It works. It works fairly well. But I've no need for this. The most popular PC games nowadays work on any laptop (LoL, Dota 2, Minecraft, Terraria), and while playing PC games on the TV is cute, it still requires plugging in your laptop or whatever. I can see why this is a good idea for people that (for some reason) put their desktop in an un-ideal location, but the rest of us already solved these logistical problems ages ago. If it could be streamed over the Internet...maybe?

#29 Posted by Wired_Abyss (38 posts) -

I tried this out, and it didn't work great at all. Only one game ended up working very well, and it was basically 8-bit, not even Splunky was running well. My PC's are more than capable, and my wireless should be more than fast enough, so I don't know what my issue was.

#30 Edited by Mcfart (1659 posts) -

@wired_abyss said:

I tried this out, and it didn't work great at all. Only one game ended up working very well, and it was basically 8-bit, not even Splunky was running well. My PC's are more than capable, and my wireless should be more than fast enough, so I don't know what my issue was.

It's not designed to work over wireless.

Stupid I know. I ask again, what is Valve's audience for this Linux/LAN streaming? 5 people that would actually use it? The worst part is that you need a strong PC to host the stream (not that mainstream), AND that PC is completly useless while streaming. At least the Wii U Gamepad has a purpose for families; parents can use the TV while the Wii U streams to the Gamepad.

I would say they should drop this Steam Machines garbage, but like Nintendo, Valve are going let stubbernly crash and burn before giving channeling Satarou Iwata's "We fucked up".

#31 Edited by Wired_Abyss (38 posts) -

@mcfart said:

@wired_abyss said:

I tried this out, and it didn't work great at all. Only one game ended up working very well, and it was basically 8-bit, not even Splunky was running well. My PC's are more than capable, and my wireless should be more than fast enough, so I don't know what my issue was.

It's not designed to work over wireless.

Stupid I know. I ask again, what is Valve's audience for this Linux/LAN streaming? 5 people that would actually use it? The worst part is that you need a strong PC to host the stream (not that mainstream), AND that PC is completly useless while streaming. At least the Wii U Gamepad has a purpose for families; parents can use the TV while the Wii U streams to the Gamepad.

I would say they should drop this Steam Machines garbage, but like Nintendo, Valve are going let stubbernly crash and burn before giving channeling Satarou Iwata's "We fucked up".

Wow, then it's use case is incredibility limited. Also, it's close enough to connect ethernet to, why not just move your main PC? I don't even know anymore...

#32 Edited by AlexW00d (6307 posts) -

@mcfart said:

@wired_abyss said:

I tried this out, and it didn't work great at all. Only one game ended up working very well, and it was basically 8-bit, not even Splunky was running well. My PC's are more than capable, and my wireless should be more than fast enough, so I don't know what my issue was.

It's not designed to work over wireless.

Stupid I know. I ask again, what is Valve's audience for this Linux/LAN streaming? 5 people that would actually use it? The worst part is that you need a strong PC to host the stream (not that mainstream), AND that PC is completly useless while streaming. At least the Wii U Gamepad has a purpose for families; parents can use the TV while the Wii U streams to the Gamepad.

I would say they should drop this Steam Machines garbage, but like Nintendo, Valve are going let stubbernly crash and burn before giving channeling Satarou Iwata's "We fucked up".

Wow, then it's use case is incredibility limited. Also, it's close enough to connect ethernet to, why not just move your main PC? I don't even know anymore...

It definitely does work over wireless... And you definitely don't need a strong PC to receive the streamed game. I used my 5 year old laptop connected to my TV downstairs to stream games from my PC up stairs, all over wireless. You guys have some weird problems with your specific set ups, you should probably fix those before calling it a fuck up.

#33 Posted by Wired_Abyss (38 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@wired_abyss said:

@mcfart said:

@wired_abyss said:

I tried this out, and it didn't work great at all. Only one game ended up working very well, and it was basically 8-bit, not even Splunky was running well. My PC's are more than capable, and my wireless should be more than fast enough, so I don't know what my issue was.

It's not designed to work over wireless.

Stupid I know. I ask again, what is Valve's audience for this Linux/LAN streaming? 5 people that would actually use it? The worst part is that you need a strong PC to host the stream (not that mainstream), AND that PC is completly useless while streaming. At least the Wii U Gamepad has a purpose for families; parents can use the TV while the Wii U streams to the Gamepad.

I would say they should drop this Steam Machines garbage, but like Nintendo, Valve are going let stubbernly crash and burn before giving channeling Satarou Iwata's "We fucked up".

Wow, then it's use case is incredibility limited. Also, it's close enough to connect ethernet to, why not just move your main PC? I don't even know anymore...

It definitely does work over wireless... And you definitely don't need a strong PC to receive the streamed game. I used my 5 year old laptop connected to my TV downstairs to stream games from my PC up stairs, all over wireless. You guys have some weird problems with your specific set ups, you should probably fix those before calling it a fuck up.

I'll have to try it over wireless again then, and have to do Steam's weird streaming diagnose thing.

#34 Posted by Rowr (5824 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@wired_abyss said:

@mcfart said:

@wired_abyss said:

I tried this out, and it didn't work great at all. Only one game ended up working very well, and it was basically 8-bit, not even Splunky was running well. My PC's are more than capable, and my wireless should be more than fast enough, so I don't know what my issue was.

It's not designed to work over wireless.

Stupid I know. I ask again, what is Valve's audience for this Linux/LAN streaming? 5 people that would actually use it? The worst part is that you need a strong PC to host the stream (not that mainstream), AND that PC is completly useless while streaming. At least the Wii U Gamepad has a purpose for families; parents can use the TV while the Wii U streams to the Gamepad.

I would say they should drop this Steam Machines garbage, but like Nintendo, Valve are going let stubbernly crash and burn before giving channeling Satarou Iwata's "We fucked up".

Wow, then it's use case is incredibility limited. Also, it's close enough to connect ethernet to, why not just move your main PC? I don't even know anymore...

It definitely does work over wireless... And you definitely don't need a strong PC to receive the streamed game. I used my 5 year old laptop connected to my TV downstairs to stream games from my PC up stairs, all over wireless. You guys have some weird problems with your specific set ups, you should probably fix those before calling it a fuck up.

I'll have to try it over wireless again then, and have to do Steam's weird streaming diagnose thing.

Yeh you guys are totally talking shit for the most part... It IS designed to work over a home network. I'm guessing any range of router settings and interference can mess with it, so yeh if it's not working its probably a bitch to troubleshoot for the non tech savvy.

@mcfart said:

I gave it a go. It works. It works fairly well. But I've no need for this. The most popular PC games nowadays work on any laptop (LoL, Dota 2, Minecraft, Terraria), and while playing PC games on the TV is cute, it still requires plugging in your laptop or whatever. I can see why this is a good idea for people that (for some reason) put their desktop in an un-ideal location, but the rest of us already solved these logistical problems ages ago. If it could be streamed over the Internet...maybe?

Well, the most popular CONSOLE games these days also work on PC. So if you wanted to basically do that, this does. I'm sure many people have found solutions, but I'm also sure there is a large amount of users that this benefits.

I'd say there would be a lot of people that have their PC in a dedicated study as opposed to sitting in their living room, most in fact i would guess. My laptop won't run DOTA 2 or something like dow 2 retribution or tropico 5 at max settings though. I figure if the nvidia shield can stream over the internet, it wont be long before this can also.

#35 Edited by tastyhouse (111 posts) -

has anybody tried this with any FPS games? I tried dishonored on wired gigabit, pretty substantial laptop too and I'm getting input lag which isn't awful per se but makes an FPS unplayable over streaming. I've read some reviews saying the latency is imperceptible, I feel like thats a pretty big exaggeration. I definitely notice it.

Also this is with a controller, not a mouse

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