OS Neutral Steam In-Home Streaming

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by kelub, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. kelub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #1
    I just wanted to mention that I tested the Steam In-Home Streaming option yesterday. I had an older box laying around so I threw Ubuntu on it, loaded the steam client on it, and was able to launch any Steam title installed on my primary system. The "host" must be a Windows PC, but the "client" can be Linux, OSX, or Windows.

    Over wireless it was a little laggy, which their documentation forewarned of; however over wired it was pretty much flawless. (To be fair, the wireless card on the client box is a 1-antenna 802.11N USB dongle that was a bit far from the access point; wireless is likely much better under more ideal circumstances.) I used Fallout: New Vegas as a test and was able to play it on the Linux client with ease. All of the hardware rendering etc occurs on the host machine. The game actually launches on the host computer and then streams the output to your client, as well as processes keyboard and mouse input from the client.

    Anyway, I'm not too sure how many people are aware of this new option, but it's a nice way to play a system-intensive game on, say, a Macbook Air across the house from a gaming rig, or to use a HTPC to play your favorite PC game on your TV without moving the gaming computer.
     
  2. Confusius macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York
  3. DaveNinja macrumors 6502

    DaveNinja

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #3
    that sounds pretty cool. I could run The Sims 3 from the Win8 partition on my Macbook and my daughter could play it on her linux laptop. a little lag in that game would be acceptable
     
  4. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    #4
    I may try this with my gaming rig and rMBP. My rMBP is acceptable as far as performance goes, but it can't beat the 680GT in my gaming rig. I'm also wondering if this would stop the fans from blasting at full speed the entire time I'm in pretty much any game.

    Will it play at a resolution that's higher than the monitor is capable of on the host machine? I know a lot of games auto detect that, so if it's launching on a computer that has a monitor with a max res of 2560x1600 and the rMBP is capable of 2880x1800, will you be able to choose a 2880x1800 resolution for the game?
     
  5. kelub thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #5
    Good question. The game itself is literally being played on the host machine so I'd imagine it'd be limited by its maximum resolution. I only tested it the other way - my client box/monitor was running at 1680x1050 and my host system was at 1920x1080. Since it's technically streaming H.264 video of your host machine, I'm not sure how the resolution comes into play. At the time I was testing it didn't occur to me to start poking around, I was honestly just blown away that *it worked*. I'm in the middle of tearing down my entire setup and rebuilding/redoing it all so when I get a chance I'll re-test it.

    Regarding fans on the client machine, I would imagine that it would not tax that system any more than watching a video would, so it should significantly reduce the heat buildup / wear & tear on the client. I do want to test it on a laptop next; my wife has a little $300 Dell from a year ago that's great for what she uses it for but wouldn't be able to play anything in my Steam account - once I get setup again I'll have to see how it affects her laptop.
     
  6. DaveNinja macrumors 6502

    DaveNinja

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #6
    I'll have to try it out with my celeron NUC running linux that i use as a HTPC. i can install steam on it and stream the files from my MBPr running Windows. To me, it seems like there is just too much going on for it work but i'll be happy to be wrong!
     
  7. kelub thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #7
    My client box is an HP Compaq 5850 business workstation. I has an AMD Athlon X2 2.5GHz CPU and 4GB RAM. The video card is an on-board AMD radeon HD3100IGP. The hard drive is a 160gb 10kRPM drive, but that hardly matters.

    It's a 4-5 year old office workstation meant to do nothing more than open Word and Excel. The video card is decent - I gave one to my 4yo and he can play Half-Life 2 with all of the lowest settings (yes, my 4yo plays Half-Life 2, not sure if that makes me an awesome dad or a terrible one) but for the most part it's a pretty puny system. I use the same box as my home media server - it basically runs Win7 with iTunes and hosts video to my Apple TVs.

    All that to say: it cannot play Fallout: New Vegas at 1680x1050, with the settings up to a respectable level, and maintain smooth, consistent framerates.

    I should reiterate that when I first tested it over wireless, there was a bit of lag. The wireless NIC in the client is a little USB dongle, the AP was a ways off, and my host system is also wireless. When I wired the two systems together the performance was impressive.

    I hadn't intended on putting this on youtube, but I did shoot a very short video of my test to send to a couple of friends. I just uploaded it so I could share it on here, just to give y'all an idea. It's not great - again I was shooting it to send to friends, not necessarily to upload publically - but hopefully it'll at least give you some idea of what it looks like and how it works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duy7rZ0L4_Q
     
  8. kelub thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2010

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