Invite via Email
Valve has launched the initial phase of beta testing for their new Steam In-Home Streaming service. I have no clue how many people go into this first phase, but I was lucky enough to get invited. I was at work today and casually checked email from my phone. To my excitement, this popped up in my inbox.
If you got invited, then you will likely receive a similar email. It comes from the address “firstname.lastname@example.org” if you’re curious. It doesn’t ask for any usernames, passwords, or any other Steam information, so don’t fall for any scams that people try to send you.
The email will have links to a Steam Support article with answers to some common questions, how to get setup, and how to get additional help. I highly suggest reading the support article and visiting the main streaming page.
All my tests are going to be with mouse, keyboard, and touchpad (on the laptop). I don’t have a proper controller to test controller input.
Router: Linksys WRT54GL (10/100M ethernet / 54Mbps wireless)
|Desktop (Host)||Laptop (Client)|
|Model Number||Custom||Toshiba P755-S5215M|
|CPU||Intel i5-2500K @ 3.3GHz||Intel i3-2310M @ 2.1 GHz|
|GPU||NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti||Integrated Intel HD|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3||Unknown|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit||Xubuntu 13.04 64-bit|
Honestly, reading the support article linked above would probably suffice, but that’s so boring. Don’t you want to follow along with someone who is in the beta? Sure you do! Here’s what I did to get setup.
- Get two computers capable of launching the Steam client. In my case, I have a desktop which will host all of the games and a laptop which will connect to the host as a streaming client. The host and client operating system doesn’t seem to matter. My desktop is running Windows 8.1, but my laptop is running Xubuntu 13.04. The connections worked perfectly fine.
- Make sure both computers are on the same local network so they can see each other. I’m using a relatively dated router (see The Gear section above), so my latency results are going to be on the low end if I’m going up against people with gigabit networks. Both computers are connected to the router via CAT5e cable.
- Login to Steam on each computer, go to Steam –> Settings and opt-in to the Steam Beta Client. Restart Steam, and you should see the following pop-up in the lower right (once both of your computers are connected to Steam). The pop-up actually shows up on both computers indicating who it is connected to. In fact, there is a separate pop-up for disconnection as well.
- Confirm the connection by going to Steam –> Settings –> In-Home Streaming. You’ll see the devices that you can connect to along with a bunch of streaming settings (see below).
Limit bandwidth: Auto/5/10/15/20/Unlimited Mbit/s
Limit framerate: Auto/30/60 FPS
Limit resolution: Desktop/1080p/720p
Disable hardware encoding: I’ve heard that the beta only uses software encoding, so I’m not sure if this option does anything.… Read more