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Author Topic: Steam: now has working beta of in-home streaming capability for games and apps  (Read 4879 times)

40hz

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In beta and by invitation - but working quite well: Steam In-Home Streaming.



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Welcome to Steam In-Home Streaming

Steam In-Home Streaming a way for people with good home networks to seamlessly play their Steam games between two computers anywhere in the house.

This feature will be available for early feedback in an upcoming beta test. Beta participants will be randomly selected from members of this group, so join, have fun, and stay tuned for more details!

Linux to Linux...Windows to Windows...Windows to Linux and vice versa? Ok, this is seriously cool:

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Q & A
November 20, 2013 - slouken   


Q: Is this like other game streaming services I've heard about?
A: No, you are in complete control over the hardware on both ends and the network between them. There is no data center, no subscription, and it's completely free!

Q: Will this be fast enough for me to enjoy my favorite game?
A: This depends on your hardware, networking configuration and how fast you want it to be. It's free, so try it out and see!

Q: Can I use this to stream games across the Internet?
A: The feature is optimized for home streaming and Internet streaming is currently not supported.

Q: Can someone use my computer while I’m streaming a game from it?
A: No, your computer is dedicated to running the game and input is coming from both the remote client and the local system. It would be very confusing if someone were trying to use the computer at the same time.

Q: How do I get selected to participate in the beta?
A: We will be randomly selecting beta test participants from community members who have joined the Steam In-Home Streaming group

The Linux Action Show did a live demo of it in this episode. Fast forward to the 30:30 mark to skip the earlier show segments if you're not a Linux person.

Or watch via YouTube here:



 8)

Deozaan

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Sounds awesome!

I get the impression from the video that they've never used Steam before. They're pointing out some features as if they were new to Steam, or specifically for the streaming, but that's how things have worked on Steam for years.

But very cool!

« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 11:55:17 AM by Deozaan »

40hz

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^They've tried to make the LAS more newbie friendly at the request of many of their viewers. The old LAS, with cofounder Brian Lunduke, was definitely "sink or swim" if you weren't already familiar with the topics or technologies being discussed.  Their newer IT-oriented TechSnap show is much more geek if you're looking for something catering more to the pro.
 8)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 05:41:24 AM by 40hz »

40hz

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This does raise an issue that's being discussed in the Linux game dev world: Will Steam's In-home Streaming finally remove any motivation to develop native games for Linux? If you can develop for Windows, with its vastly larger userbase, why spend money porting to Linux at all? Especially now that a nix user can be told: "Just stream it from a Windows box"?

It's an interesting question. And a very real concern since the economics favors not porting. Many nix users who are diehard game fans already (of necessity) keep some flavor of Windows in house purely for gaming purposes. They either have a separate game box, run Windows in a VM, use a copy of CodeWeaver's CrossOver, or can dual boot into it. So the serious (i.e. buying) gaming crowd is already there.

Yep...very interesting question.


kamahl

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This does raise an issue that's being discussed in the Linux game dev world: Will Steam's In-home Streaming finally remove any motivation to develop native games for Linux? If you can develop for Windows, with its vastly larger userbase, why spend money porting to Linux at all? Especially now that a nix user can be told: "Just stream it from a Windows box"?

It's an interesting question. And a very real concern since the economics favors not porting. Many nix users who are diehard game fans already (of necessity) keep some flavor of Windows in house purely for gaming purposes. They either have a separate game box, run Windows in a VM, use a copy of CodeWeaver's CrossOver, or can dual boot into it. So the serious (i.e. buying) gaming crowd is already there.

Yep...very interesting question.

The people who are capable of streaming aren't the target market for porting games to Linux.  If someone has a Windows box to stream off, chances are they'd be willing to use that box for the game anyway.

Porting games to Linux has two major targets:  People who have no Windows machines (Or none that are gaming capable), and the potential market of the SteamOS boxes.  This second one is a huge market by it's very nature [Simplifying PC gaming to a level that Console owners are used to].  The people who buy a SteamOS box are doing so because the Can't/Won't/Don't want to set up a gaming PC.  This means they don't have a machine to stream off, and will be stuck with games that have been ported to Linux.

40hz

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The people who are capable of streaming aren't the target market for porting games to Linux.  If someone has a Windows box to stream off, chances are they'd be willing to use that box for the game anyway.
I think that's the point being made. There isn't enough of a current market to pursue Linux porting - and now that an alternative is available, there's even less incentive to pursue it at this point.

FWIW I've found almost every Linux user I know keep some Windows capability in-house. Even if it's just a VM, hand-me-down laptop, or a PC picked up cheaply second-hand. And since a diehard Linux zealot is far more likely to pick up a SteamBox (if they're an avid gamer) and stream from that, there's not much reason reason to create a native Linux port.

IMHO the biggest 'problem' Linux has for gaming is it's refusal to willingly allow any DRM mechanism into its environment. Something all the big game companies mostly insist on. So... No DRM on your PC? No game for you!

Deozaan

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In-Home Streaming is now out of beta and available for everyone.

And if it wasn't mentioned previously, one of the nice additional benefits of the In-Home Streaming feature is that you can now be signed into your Steam account on multiple PCs at the same time. This means you can also download games/updates to multiple PCs at the same time.  :Thmbsup:

(Or you can just play remotely, so that you don't need to download the game(s) on the second PC at all...)


skwire

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In-Home Streaming is now out of beta and available for everyone.

For what it's worth, we (my oldest daughter and I) tested this yesterday using my desktop PC (nice gaming rig) and her laptop (not much a gaming laptop, i.e., HD3000 graphics chip).  I used FarCry3 as the test game and the whole experience actually worked out pretty well.  For a game like that on her laptop, typically, we have to really reduce the graphic settings in order to make the framerate playable.  However, using the streaming functionality, we were able to play FC3 on her laptop with MUCH better graphical quality than if we played directly on her laptop.  There was some screen tearing on the laptop side that reminded me of the effect you get when you play with a framerate higher than the refresh rate of your monitor.  However, we could have probably reduced that by using a lower resolution to play at as I think her laptop was struggling to keep up with the video decoding that drives this functionality.  At any rate, it was pretty damn slick overall.   :up: to Steam.   :D

And if it wasn't mentioned previously, one of the nice additional benefits of the In-Home Streaming feature is that you can now be signed into your Steam account on multiple PCs at the same time. This means you can also download games/updates to multiple PCs at the same time.  :Thmbsup:

Mouser and I were discussing this very thing yesterday in IRC.  And, yes, this is a VERY nice side benefit.  Beforehand, if you logged into Steam from a second computer, it would punt you out of the first one AND remove your saved password.  A right PITA to re-enter if you use randomly generated passwords like me.

(Or you can just play remotely, so that you don't need to download the game(s) on the second PC at all...)

That is correct.  However, you CANNOT play games from multiple computers at the same time.  Not even different games.  That is, only one computer can be playing one game at any one time.

wraith808

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That is correct.  However, you CANNOT play games from multiple computers at the same time. Not even different games.  That is, only one computer can be playing one game at any one time.

Making sure I understand this... you cannot access anything from the shared library from multiple computers at the same time?

skwire

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Making sure I understand this... you cannot access anything from the shared library from multiple computers at the same time?

Correct.  I started Game-A on Computer-1 and attempted to start Game-B on Computer-2.  A warning box appeared stating that Computer-1 already had a game going and would be disconnected if I were to continue attempting to play on Computer-2.

Screenshot 2014-06-05 17.11.03.pngSteam: now has working beta of in-home streaming capability for games and apps
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 01:46:43 PM by skwire, Reason: Added screenshot. »

Deozaan

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In-Home Streaming is now out of beta and available for everyone.

For what it's worth, we (my oldest daughter and I) tested this yesterday using my desktop PC (nice gaming rig) and her laptop (not much a gaming laptop, i.e., HD3000 graphics chip).  I used FarCry3 as the test game and the whole experience actually worked out pretty well.  For a game like that on her laptop, typically, we have to really reduce the graphic settings in order to make the framerate playable.  However, using the streaming functionality, we were able to play FC3 on her laptop with MUCH better graphical quality than if we played directly on her laptop.  There was some screen tearing on the laptop side that reminded me of the effect you get when you play with a framerate higher than the refresh rate of your monitor.  However, we could have probably reduced that by using a lower resolution to play at as I think her laptop was struggling to keep up with the video decoding that drives this functionality.  At any rate, it was pretty damn slick overall.   :up: to Steam.   :D

I've also test this out somewhat. There are games that don't even run or run so poorly as to be nigh unplayable on my netbook that I have been able to stream without much issue.

But some games didn't work out so well. When there was a free Borderlands 2 weekend a few months ago, I tested it on my netbook. The main title screen looked really nice, and there's no way in Michigan that it would even run directly on my netbook! But while playing there was too much lag between my netbook and my gaming rig. It was hard to aim the correct way and with the speed required of an FPS game.

I imagine I would have had better results if I could have plugged straight into the LAN instead of using WiFi. But if my PC and my netbook are close enough to the router to be plugged in, then they're both close enough that I'd just use my PC to play games.

But for now I'm glad that I don't have to worry about downloading most games to my netbook (saving HDD space) and that I can play games on it that previously wouldn't even run.

Making sure I understand this... you cannot access anything from the shared library from multiple computers at the same time?

Correct.  I started Game-A on Computer-1 and attempted to start Game-B on Computer-2.  A warning box appeared stating that Computer-1 already had a game going and would be disconnected if I were to continue attempting to play on Computer-2.

Hopefully they'll allow that in the future. But in the meantime, there's still offline mode for that. (Which is how you'd accomplish it on Steam before.)

« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 01:59:23 PM by Deozaan »