Steam in-home streaming beta invites being sent out, user reactions mixed

While Steam Machines come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, they all share one limiting factor, their inability to play games that have not been modified to run on the linux-based SteamOS. Just recently, Valve sent out an unspecified amount of beta invitations to test out the technology it hopes will address this problem, in-home streaming. Many users have already shared their experiences via the Steam forums and the reactions, as might be expected in a beta, have been mixed.

Many users reported that while certain games worked fine, other games would not work at all. Others described stuttering and streaming during gameplay. Router related issues also appear to be common. Some have reported odd visual issues, as seen below.

Conversely, one user was able to successfully stream the Day Z beta to his TV, over 802.11g wireless no less.

Valve has a lot of time to work out the kinks, but it’s hard to imagine that Joe and Jane gamer will be willing (or even know how) to modify their router settings in order to allow in-home streaming to function. At least they have a large pool of potential testers to choose from.

Perhaps the best news is that you will not need to even purchase a Steam Machine to take advantage of this technology. If you’re lucky enough to get invited to the beta, you can test it out from one Windows PC to another. You can sign up for the beta here by joining the “Steam In-Home Streaming” group.

Source: steamcommunity.com \ image via steamcommunity.com

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so valve is trying to convince people to buy a freaking console in order to connect remotely to their PC in another room and play the game? Wow. only morons will pay for this, waste of money and electricity and wi-Fi bandwidth

That's ignorant. I suppose several people are morons, myself included. I mentioned some fairly good reasons why this would be useful or at least useful for someone like me in previous replies. I'll save the redundancy of re-posting those reasons here. Valve is not selling machines, selected OEM's are. You can build your own machine cheaper than what OEM's will sell similar machines for, The only thing Valve is going to be selling is the controller afaik, the OS is free and they'll likely take a cut from any OEM sales. I don't think this would saturate the local network and with a properly configured router once kinks are ironed out there will likely be little to no issues. If streaming over the internet then you can worry more about bandwidth saturation and latency issues. Regarding any wifi issues, not really an issue for those whose systems are networked via Ethernet. Electricity is a non issue and machines don't have to be powered on 24/7. Modern systems are more energy efficient and have options to reduce power consumption. I did the math and if I left my system on 24/7 my electric bill would maybe me $20 - $30 at most, maybe less excluding other devices, lights and appliances. That's only if my hardware was sucking the full 800w from the PSU without power saving options taken into consideration.

Remember "OnLive"? Anyone? This has been done/tried before and we all know how resounding a success it was for them don't we? I mean EVERYONE has an OnLive box in their living room now...

Bah..

The difference here is if I am not mistake streaming is limited to or can be configured to use your local network. You already have the game content on a local dedicated box so it's a matter of streaming it to devices over LAN. Latency and lag with a proper router is going to be minimal to non-existent compared to OnLive where the content is on their servers and streamed over the internet. With OnLive you are at their mercy as well as the mercy of your internet connection.

Off topic: Sorry for some minor grammar/spelling issues. I am exhausted and my keys are sticky because I spilled some orange juice on them. It bugs me because now I can't go back and correct it.

I'm confused, is that directed at me? The forum software thinks so. I really don't think Valve intended this feature to be used other than for streaming to devices over a local area connection. Just because it can be done doesn't mean that it should. With consumer grade hardware and internet connections the results aren't going to be favorable. It is more feasible with OnlLive with their business grade hardware and super fast Gigabit connections and even then there are latency issues. If lucky, depending on connection speed and other factors, internet streaming over short distances may be possible with minimal latency but that doesn't mean it's going to be recommended or the norm.

Imho this is not intended to be used like OnLive. You have a dedicated box with the OS, you have other machines around the home. If you wanted to play on the TV in the other room or sit outside in nice weather and play a game on your cheap laptop, let your family connect and stream to their system this makes it possible, I can now set up a box, let it do the hard work and stream games for my sister to play across the yard on her low spec laptop at my parents place.

I was replying to Xionanx since it is being assumed this is only intended to work like OnLive and will be plagued by latency, not taking into account the fact you can likely stream over your local home network with minimal latency issues

Edited by Xtreme2damax, Jan 17 2014, 8:04am :

No it's not intended at you. The forum software will say someone replied to you for everyone who posted after you even if they replied to the op.

Games don't make kids violent lagg does. I can see a new generation of angry kids after this.

Why can't you just stick with 1 machine, 1 operating system and less lagg. Install windows, install game, play game.. Simple.

Why buy a gaming PC, then a steambox install windows on gaming machine, setup router, connect steambox to TV, insure connection is quick enough, stream game from windows machine to the steambox and face higher latency and cost.

Pointless overcomplicating. If it works don't fix it PC + Windows is fine game developers should take note in what operating system is the most used and focus on that operating system only allowing more time and money to be spent on the games they release.

People want to play games in their living rooms, people don't want a PC in their living room, Valve want to sell games to people who are more likely to buy a console, because they can easily play them in their living rooms.

There are plenty of games this will work quite nicely for, not every game requires millisecond timing.

Well I am looking forward to this because I can set up a dedicated box and with the family sharing option, stream games over the network that my sister can play on her low spec laptop or on a television.

Vester said,
Games don't make kids violent lagg does. I can see a new generation of angry kids after this.

Why can't you just stick with 1 machine, 1 operating system and less lagg. Install windows, install game, play game.. Simple.

Why buy a gaming PC, then a steambox install windows on gaming machine, setup router, connect steambox to TV, insure connection is quick enough, stream game from windows machine to the steambox and face higher latency and cost.

Pointless overcomplicating. If it works don't fix it PC + Windows is fine game developers should take note in what operating system is the most used and focus on that operating system only allowing more time and money to be spent on the games they release.

"Pointless overcomplicating" is why the majority of people are PC gamers. We have been bragging for years about the flexibility and power of PC gaming. If you want very littly complication, that is what consoles are for. When I say "console", I am not including SteamBox, which is very much so a PC.