How well does Steam In-Home Streaming work?

Steam In-Home Streaming allows you to stream a game from one machine on a network to another. The idea being that your powerful desktop machine will run the game and stream the picture and perform input/output through a weak computer attached to a living room TV.

One of the problems it faces is wifi latency. Most homes won’t have ethernet cables built into the walls. I only know two people who are so prepared so the rest of us will have to use wifi. I’ve used power plug networking in the past but the resulting broadcast of radio signals makes me fearful for the sanity of any long wave radio fan or CB radio junkie in the locality.

The video above demonstrates a lot of latency and stuttering when Metro Last Light was played over a wifi network. However, ethernet worked fine with only slight lag. Here’s a thread on the Streaming Group forum looking for feedback and this thread that should be a good read.

Initially I was more excited about streaming than family sharing but the latter works just fine, and even works when the (slave) computer is offline (so the master computer can be used to play games too). I even went and bought a HDMI cable just so I can hook the laptop up to the tv. Much simpler than fiddling with streaming but then I might not be the target audience am I?


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Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

3 thoughts on “How well does Steam In-Home Streaming work?”


  1. I was approved for the streaming beta this morning and I tried playing Saints Row IV over a wifi network. Initially it worked well with only minor lag but when I changed the screen resolution to 1280×800 (from 1920×1200) the local screen resolution didn’t change, only the remote did and performance went downhill!

    I’ll have to do some more testing later.

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