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Post by Dan @ 10:50am 16/10/13 | 13 Comments
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.



steamsteamosvalve softwarestreaming





Latest Comments
groganus
Posted 11:35am 16/10/13
I figured it would be something like this,

I wonder if I can play x game on my TV
While my son plays y game on his very under powrered laptop.

All of which is being "Streamed" via my beefy game rig at my desk.
ph33x
Posted 11:39am 16/10/13
It is a good day to game.
Whoop
Posted 06:54pm 16/10/13
s*** yeah. imagine having like 5 computers at home to use as "cloud" gaming machines. OMIGAWD THE FRAME RATES.
trillion
Posted 09:47pm 16/10/13
i like the ubiquity concept, it's dreamy like the idea of 'synergy' or 'the cloud'

on the surface, it seems like it's similar to the technology of receiving a remote x session of an Xwindows server on your desktop, it's just taken the advent of the relatively high bandwidth wireless to stream those high rates of bitmap data that GPU's are designed to crunch through

the Nvidia Shield handheld seems to work to a similar streaming idea, although it would be cool if Valve managed to make this work across any of the Android tablets or phones regardless of underlying hardware specification semantics

the idea was around a while back when virtual machines were becoming a thing and i saw a tech demonstration of piping desktop sessions running a game to 'dumb terminals' or lower powered hardware endpoints than the virtuals server on the LAN. but that was over something like 1000Mbps Ethernet and not a low latency wireless bandwidth
ph33x
Posted 10:54pm 16/10/13
Yeah the shield idea works through a hardware H.264 encoder built into the 6xx and 7xx series cards. It streams from the encoder directly over IP.

Soon enough, a driver update from NV will have ShadowPlay, where you can use the same encoder to record game sessions direct to your HDD through full hardware.
midunno
Posted 11:39pm 16/10/13
Wheres the wireless is s***, holy f*** laaagg, argument gone. It will come like a tidal wave.
Whoop
Posted 12:53am 17/10/13
Soon enough, a driver update from NV will have ShadowPlay, where you can use the same encoder to record game sessions direct to your HDD through full hardware.
I wonder how many games would allow that to happen and how many would make them disable that feature because "copyright".
trillion
Posted 09:29am 17/10/13
^ i can't imagine why, it's not like you're signing into some kind of NDA as a user/player of the game?
ph33x
Posted 10:06am 17/10/13
I wonder how many games would allow that to happen and how many would make them disable that feature because "copyright".

I can't think of a game that has disallowed FRAPS or any of the other software recorders. It's not vector based, just image capture + compression on the fly.
TiT
Posted 01:26pm 17/10/13
Welcome to future of gaming where you will be able to rent servers to play your games on. I guess playing $200-$500 a year to play your steam games is cheaper than buying decent computer every couple of years.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 01:29pm 17/10/13
Providing latency is low enough to play. At 60ms+ it isn't..
TiT
Posted 01:51pm 17/10/13
Providing latency is low enough to play. At 60ms+ it isn't..


Correct but we are all getting FTTH :|
Whoop
Posted 07:09pm 17/10/13
I can't think of a game that has disallowed FRAPS or any of the other software recorders. It's not vector based, just image capture + compression on the fly.

Because that's the way the world is headed.

Game X maker tells video card Y creator "Don't let users record our game unless they have the 'game recorder' DLC" and card creator Y who has a long standing relationship with game X complies, disabling the ability to record unless the user pays game X for the privilege.
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