Steam Streaming Page 2

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  • THFourteen 6 Feb 2014 11:16:58 33,098 posts
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    Dirtbox wrote:
    Tricky wrote:
    that's the advantage that something like Nvidia's Gamestream has where it's most definitely using the H.264 encoder in the Kepler cards and benefits hugely from that.
    It's also it's disadvantage, you need specific hardware, and setting up of software aside what you already have. This works fine doing 1080p@60 frames across a LAN on any hardware or OS. Just not with everything (yet), that alone sets it up to kill Gamestream stone dead already.
    Wasn't there some chat that the Steam technology had specific tech that made it work better with either NVidia / ATI cards?

    My PC needs a new gfx card (currently sporting a Radeon 6850) but I'm waiting till the streaming settles down till i decide which brand to go for.

    I only need it for the Witcher and Dragon Age this year, so i can wait :-)

    Edit : hmmm so on further googling it seems that it was "rumoured" to use NVIDIA streaming tech but nothing ever confirmed.

    Edited by THFourteen at 11:41:32 06-02-2014
  • neilka 6 Feb 2014 11:42:33 15,823 posts
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    Thread title to be sung to the tune of

  • warlockuk 6 Feb 2014 13:29:55 19,142 posts
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    How freely/frequently do they dish out keys/invites to the beta bumparty?

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • Dirtbox 6 Feb 2014 16:14:00 77,648 posts
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    CosmicGypsy wrote:
    Tried this on an AMD X2 4200+ and 4XXX series AMD GPU and it was dire. I know it is old kit, but but it should be able to stream and encode. It is certainly better than most Netbooks.

    Looks like there is a lot of work to do for this to be what a lot of use seem to be hoping it will be.
    It depends on the game at the moment, some stream better than others and if your host PC isn't up to scratch, it's not going to be able to handle encoding and playing the game. And your network is the biggest factor of all.

    Is that the host or the client? Because if it's the client then your network is likely to blame.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 16:17:22 06-02-2014

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  • Dirtbox 6 Feb 2014 16:18:32 77,648 posts
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    warlockuk wrote:
    How freely/frequently do they dish out keys/invites to the beta bumparty?
    They're pretty free with beta invites, but how often they send them I'm not sure. Probably a week tops.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 16:19:29 06-02-2014

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  • warlockuk 7 Feb 2014 09:30:52 19,142 posts
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    Last night they made everyone in the group a beta member. Woop.

    Gave it a quick go with a 2006 Mac Mini with DVI-HDMI + Optical out (I never realised the headphone jack was ALSO an optical socket. Most impressed).

    1080p was, obviously, a bit poor - I don't think the device hardware decodes h264; Locking it to 1280x720 30fps was surprisingly decent. Quite heavy latency with the decoding unfortunately - around 150-200ms.

    I'll give it a go with my laptop tonight - that's an i3 or an i5 and much more recent so I should have a better overall experience.

    Funny thing is as I was setting it up on the TV the fiancee said "You can just go upstairs you know, I won't mind if you bugger off and let me watch TV."

    DAMN YOU, WOMAN!

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • DodgyPast 7 Feb 2014 11:32:05 8,435 posts
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    Superb news. Will be making quite a lot of use of this in the future.
  • L0cky 7 Feb 2014 18:15:45 1,514 posts
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    Gave it a go as well, from a quad core i5 2500K, 16gb ram and Gefore GTX250/550Ti combo to an Asus nettop with a crappy 1.8ghz Atom processor, and an nVidia ION 2 GPU (not a tegra as I said earlier, it's older than that but does have h.264 decoding).

    I started out with 1080p:

    First I tried Dishonered. The picture quality was near perfect; I didn't have any macro blocking or other artifacts as I've seen in other reports. Colour saturation may be just a touch down but hard to tell. I think it's down to having a decent decoder (in terms of picture quality).

    Latency was bad though, unplayably so. Looking at the latency stats (by pressing F6) you can see a breakdown of the latency. I had:

    Input: ~2ms, Game: ~18ms, Display: 150ms; Ping: ~15 (ms)

    I'm assuming 'Game' is the encoding on the server side, so that's not too shabby at all. With Display at 150ms, and a warning saying 'Slow Decoder' it was pretty obvious the problem lay with the client decoding.

    It also looked like it was hitting around 12-15 fps despite the stats saying 30 (yes, streaming is locked to 30 fps max); so I guess that stat is only for the server side, which wasn't having any problems.

    So I dropped to 720p:

    Input: ~2ms, Game: ~18ms, Display: ~55ms; Ping: ~15 (ms)

    Obviously the display quality drops, but just in terms of resolution. For Dishonered it now seems a lot more playable. Unfortunately I couldn't get it to work with the 360 controller, and mouse/kb kind of defeats the purpose.

    I also tried 480p:

    Input: ~2ms, Game: ~18ms, Display: ~51ms; Ping: ~15 (ms)

    I guess by law of diminishing returns it didn't really help anything, just dropped the picture quality. Decoding wasn't helped much.

    I went back to 720p and tried FEZ. It looks great, and it's tantalizingly close to being playable. I'm quite sensitive to lag, and it's just a tiny bit over what I can accept.

    Lastly, because I'm a masochist, I tried Super Hexagon. I did manage to get to Pentagon within 2-3 tries, but this game just isn't designed for 30fps which kills the super smooth animation it usually has. Again, input lag felt just a smidgen over what I'd like it to be.

    The connection was over powerline. I had around 17% network utilisation and 0 dropped packets, so there's plenty of extra bandwidth there. I imagine wifi would suck, but LAN has no problems at all. Hopefully they unlock 60fps for decoders that can handle it.

    Conclusions:

    It's much much better than the remote services I tried before (which were frankly a waste of time, good luck with that Sony!); but just slightly out of reach of something I'd be happy to play. Casual players might not notice so much.

    I think overall lag was 2+18+51+15 = 86ms (plus 8 from the tv). The largest factor by far being the decoder, so if you have a faster decoder then it's reasonable to assume you may have an entirely acceptable experience.

    Even with the lag, the type of game you play will obviously play a large factor. It was unacceptable for FEZ and Super Hexagon but may be fine in games with less immediate emphasis on player control.

    If a good decoder will definitely bring that latency down as much as it looks like it could, then I'd definitely source a new nettop or htpc just for this. I've gone from being skeptical to excited!

    I'm going to try with my laptop, which has a far better CPU (Core i3) but has integrated graphics. Can't remember if the CPU has on chip video decoding or not. Will report back later.
  • Physically_Insane 7 Feb 2014 18:48:28 8,738 posts
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    Excuse me for my potentially stupid question, but would there be any significant latency if a very long hdmi cable was used from one room to another?

    Edited by Physically_Insane at 18:50:44 07-02-2014
  • L0cky 7 Feb 2014 18:59:25 1,514 posts
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    Shouldn't be really.
  • kingcrowbar 7 Feb 2014 20:26:15 916 posts
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    Is it always going to require some type of PC/MAC with full steam client or is it eventually supposed to work with anything with a h.264 decoder/kb & mouse?

    Would be lovely if I could end up streaming it to the Raspberry Pi but as long as it needs a full steam client I guess there's no hope.
  • tincanrocket 7 Feb 2014 21:21:11 2,935 posts
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    Are tablets capable of h264 decoding? It wouldn't suit every type of game, but if Valve could come up with some form of touch support for streamed games, even if it was something as generic as "replace left click with tap, scroll with drag, right click with two finger tap etc." as part of the client-side app, it could be fantastic. I rather like the idea of sitting on the sofa with a tablet playing full fat Civ, Football Manager, X3, Crusader Kings 2 etc.
  • ram 7 Feb 2014 22:39:31 3,476 posts
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    You can already play full fat civ 5 on tablets using the Splashtop 2 app on IOS or Splashtop THD on android. Works really well streaming from my pc to my iPad 3 over my home wifi.

    Edited by ram at 22:41:03 07-02-2014
  • Dirtbox 7 Feb 2014 22:52:13 77,648 posts
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    L0cky wrote:
    The connection was over powerline. I had around 17% network utilisation and 0 dropped packets, so there's plenty of extra bandwidth there.
    After looking into it, I've discovered that home plug type LAN setups do it no favours at all, I borrowed some Belkin plugs earlier to test it out with and found that not only my shit WAN was better with less latency, but it allows me up to 50 frames a sec at 720p.

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  • Dirtbox 7 Feb 2014 22:57:15 77,648 posts
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    ram wrote:
    You can already play full fat civ 5 on tablets using the Splashtop 2 app on IOS or Splashtop THD on android. Works really well streaming from my pc to my iPad 3 over my home wifi.
    Fun fact, I couldn't be bothered to walk to the other room from the host PC to test the latency, so splashtopped to the client PC, and started streaming a game to it, which was playing on the primary screen of the host whilst splashtop transmitted the picture onto my hosts secondary screen.

    Splashtop's latency is 3-4 times higher than HS.

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  • L0cky 8 Feb 2014 05:56:38 1,514 posts
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    @Dirtbox Probably obvious but using powerline will vary drastically from home to home.

    The temptation is to run a lan cable instead but then you may as well run a hdmi cable.

    If only wifi would get dramatically better. There's 3 or 4 new standards in the works but I can't find a clear answer on whether they just increase bandwidth, or also fix interference and packet loss.

    If I was building my own home, I'd stick network ports all over the place.
  • Dirtbox 8 Feb 2014 08:28:01 77,648 posts
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    There's a world of difference between running an HDMI cable and a CAT5 cable, one costs peanuts and lets you plug a controller into a PC, the other doesn't and costs a lot of money to reliably run far enough.

    There are plenty of good options for Wifi just so long as you get an AC router and dongle that run in the 5ghz band, it's the golden ticket really and they more than quadruple the bandwidth and improve the signal many times over.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 08:41:08 08-02-2014

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  • L0cky 8 Feb 2014 08:47:50 1,514 posts
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    I've tried wireless n which has a much higher bandwidth than g, but it's unreliable with packet loss all over the place. It's a known limitation of the spec - great for transfer speeds (files, browsing, email etc) but terrible for streaming (media, VoIP, games), and has a limited range.
  • THFourteen 8 Feb 2014 09:21:24 33,098 posts
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    Works ok this.

    Anything with a pre-game screen doesn't seem to work at all, so FIFA for example where it loads up the settings screen before it starts the game wont start, and battlefield 3 where it loads up a web browser also wont start. Civ 5 doesn't work for some reason.

    Pro Evo was v jerky even at 720p, but torchlight 2 and batman AA were smooth enough @ 30fps

    Its got potential.

    Was also nice to play batman without my laptop sounding like its about to take off!!

    PC specs are i7 920 /w Radeon 6870
    Laptop specs are i5 w/intel hd 4000 (also has NVidia 640M LE but I haven't tried it with that on yet)

    Some stats : under 100ms latency (90ish), 0% packet loss (powerline adaptor from PC to router and laptop on wifi), 45% of total bandwith used (estimated 21mbps)

    Edited by THFourteen at 09:25:55 08-02-2014
  • bad09 8 Feb 2014 10:54:25 5,759 posts
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    Woo hoo, joined the group yesterday missing out on the mass invite and got one this morning. I'm playing games in bed tonight \o/

    (The Mrs might not be happy)
  • bad09 8 Feb 2014 17:44:45 5,759 posts
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    'ere this is a bit good!

    Used it in the bedroom on an Acer we use for XBMC/internet. It's just Intel HD graphics so not bad on older stuff or simple graphics but pretty useless on more demanding stuff. Simple case of logging in on each machine and I threw on a few games that would never run on it for a quick test. Struggled massively on framerates dropping as low as 15 but it played smoothly at a decent 30FPS most of the time.

    I then realised my daughter was watching Netflix on PS3 to and was impressed I could stream a game at decent quality (albeit struggling at times) and stream in Netflix at the same time. Gotta wait until she is finished for a free network to try a proper test and I'm pretty certain better results but not bad on my first brief experience, non-steam games added will stream to.
  • bad09 8 Feb 2014 17:47:07 5,759 posts
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    THFourteen wrote:
    Anything with a pre-game screen doesn't seem to work at all, so FIFA for example where it loads up the settings screen before it starts the game wont start, and battlefield 3 where it loads up a web browser also wont start. Civ 5 doesn't work for some reason.
    I tried Amazing Spiderman that has a pre-game setting screen and it worked OK, Even Far Cry 3 with Uplay worked (ran like crap though, but that be my little one on the PS3 eating bandwith). Must be on a game by game basis.
  • Dirtbox 8 Feb 2014 18:22:12 77,648 posts
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    Yeah, BF4 works fine too, and you have to start that with a browser.

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  • DodgyPast 15 Feb 2014 04:10:32 8,435 posts
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    Just got my beta invite... Will be messing around with it over gigabit and wireless n, using a dual core lap top as a client.
  • L0cky 15 Feb 2014 08:10:56 1,514 posts
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    I'd like to hear from someone who tries streaming between two high end PCs over a gb LAN. It's the least useful scenario but would give a good baseline on the whole thing.
  • THFourteen 15 Feb 2014 09:19:29 33,098 posts
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    bad09 wrote:
    THFourteen wrote:
    Anything with a pre-game screen doesn't seem to work at all, so FIFA for example where it loads up the settings screen before it starts the game wont start, and battlefield 3 where it loads up a web browser also wont start. Civ 5 doesn't work for some reason.
    I tried Amazing Spiderman that has a pre-game setting screen and it worked OK, Even Far Cry 3 with Uplay worked (ran like crap though, but that be my little one on the PS3 eating bandwith). Must be on a game by game basis.
    Must be me doing something shitty.

    Haven't had a chance or need to investigate yet really, nothing I feel like playing at the mo.
  • Dirtbox 15 Feb 2014 09:34:07 77,648 posts
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    L0cky wrote:
    I'd like to hear from someone who tries streaming between two high end PCs over a gb LAN. It's the least useful scenario but would give a good baseline on the whole thing.
    1080p and 60 frames is the best you can expect under ideal circumstances. Various people on the forums have that on far lesser hardware than a top end rig at both ends. Intel NUCs seems to be the flavour of the day for them.

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