Valve Software's In-Home Streaming functionality for Steam hasn't been made available for public use yet, but after "some tinkering" the sleuthy folk at SteamDB
have uncovered parts of the interface for the new tech in the latest beta version of the Steam client, offering some small insights into how it will work (thanks Polygon
The concept behind In-Home Streaming in Steam is to enable Steam customers to use the computational power of their gaming rig to play games on other less powerful devices on other screens in the house, the most typical example being the loungeroom TV --similar to online streaming services like OnLive and Gaikai, but on a home network.
In-Home Streaming was originally revealed as part of Valve's SteamOS announcement
, but is planned to be integrated in the Steam clients on PC and Mac as well.
The images captured by SteamDB show a simple interface that lists locally available host devices and a couple of options to limit framerate, bandwith, and disable hardware acceleration to improve streaming performance. To reiterate, it's not functional yet, but SteamDB explains how the process should work once it is officially released:
To make explaining easier, I'll call the host Steam computer where all the games are installed on the "Desktop" and the device the streaming will be done on the "Steambox".
You're in your living room, you have the desktop and Steambox clients linked up and you want to play a game!
Let's say you have Team Fortress 2 on your Steam account and don't think it'll run on your Steambox setup. You'll have to stream it off your desktop. If TF2 is not installed on your desktop you can install it remotely. When you have it installed you can simply press "Play" and it should start streaming. All of that from your couch.
In addition the streaming stuff, SteamDB also uncovered more references to remote control via HTTP
in the Steam Client, which suggests that work is progressing on a web interface that is being engineered to enable users to interface with the media playback features of Steam via a webpage frontend.