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How does this differ from downloadable versions of videos on Steam?

  • Streaming allows you to start watching without having to first download an entire video file or run a custom installer
  • The video quality will automatically adjust based on your available download bandwidth
  • Videos will appear in your Library under the Videos filter
  • Feature Film, Series, Episodic and Tutorial Content are all available in this format

What are the requirements for streaming videos on Steam?

  • Streaming is supported in all Steam Clients on Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Steam Machines and streaming via the Steam Link.
  • Recommended Operating Systems: Windows 7, 8.1, 10; MacOSX 10.10+ or Linux Ubuntu 12.04+; Steam OS 2.20+
  • Minimum of 12Mbps network download speed for 1080p, 8Mbps for 720p, 5Mbps for 540p and 3Mbps for 360p.
  • Playback performance will vary based on CPU. I3 or above CPUs are recommended for 1080p streaming

How do I test my system requirements for streaming videos on Steam?

Before you purchase a streaming video on Steam, you should consider watching one of the free streaming videos already on Steam. That will help to determine if your system can successfully stream videos.

  1. Log in to the Steam Client
  2. From the Steam Store, click in the Search Box.
  3. Type in Free To Play and select Free To Play - Free Movie from the search results
  4. On the Free To Play store page, find Watch Free To Play (Streaming) and click Watch
  5. The streaming video will then begin playing back

How long do I have to watch a video rental on Steam?

Steam Video rentals give you a certain number of days to begin watching the video and then a certain number of hours to finish watching the video. That information can be found in the following places:

  1. On the Steam Store within the rental package section, e.g. Watch this 48-hour rental any time in the next 30 days.
  2. After renting a movie on Steam, the remaining time is shown in the Steam Library for the rented video.

Note: After the rental time has expired, the video will remain in your Library for up to 48 hours but will not be playable without purchasing a new rental period.

How do I select a specific bit rate for streaming?

The video quality will automatically adjust based on your available download bandwidth and current video resolution. However, if you wish to select a specific bit rate:

  1. Move your mouse over the video player
  2. Click the settings icon on the right-hand side of the control bar
  3. From the Quality drop down, select the target bit rate
  4. The video will pause to buffer content at the selected resolution and then begin playing automatically

How do I enable Closed Captions?

Not all streaming videos contain closed captions. If closed captions are available, they will be enabled automatically if the language of the audio does not match the language set in Steam.

To manually change the selected closed caption:

  1. Start playback of a Streaming Video
  2. Move your mouse over the video player
  3. Click the Caption Options (CC) on the right-hand side of the control bar
  4. Select from the Captions drop down the language of captions you want displayed, or None to turn off captions.

How do I configure the display of Closed Captions?

  1. Start playback of a Streaming Video
  2. Move your mouse over the video player
  3. Click the Caption Options (CC) on the right-hand side of the control bar
  4. Set the desired closed captions display options
  5. Click Done to accept the changes or click Cancel to undo all changes

How do I switch to an alternate video or audio track (e.g. commentary or language dub)?

If a streaming video contains an alternate video or audio track such as a commentary or a language dub, you can switch between the available tracks using the Settings, Video / Audio Track selector.

  1. Move your mouse over the video player
  2. Click the settings icon on the right-hand side of the control bar
  3. Click the dropdown related to the video or audio track and select the track you want to switch to
  4. Note: In Big Picture mode, the track will not change until you press A and close the Settings dialog

The Free To Play (Streaming) video contains an example of alternate audio tracks including an English Audio Track and two commentary tracks featuring Dota players, Fear and Dendi.

How do I control a video using a game controller?

A game controller (Steam Controller, Xbox, etc.) can be used to control the video player only when in Big Picture mode. A specific user interface has been implemented to support this.

  • Use the joystick or dpad to move between the controls shown on screen
  • Use the A button to execute a control (Play/Pause, Stop, Skip Back/Forward, etc.)
  • Use the B button to navigate back or hide the controls
  • Use the trigger, shoulder and grip buttons where applicable to skip forward and backward through the video at different time intervals, from 15 seconds to 5 minutes
  • Use the Start button to Pause the video
  • Use the Back button to Stop the video and return to Big Picture
  • To preview the video, navigate to the playback progress bar and use the left or right stick (or scrub the right pad on the Steam Controller) to change the preview thumbnail. Press the A button to seek to that point in time for video playback
  • Use the CC icon to select a caption or subtitle language and customize the look of the captions
  • Navigate to the Volume control to change the volume using up and down or press the A button to mute/unmute
  • Use the Settings icon to change video quality, audio tracks, playback speed and other options
  • When appropriate, a Next Video button will be shown to move to the next video in the Series, Season or Bonus Video content.

Why does the video look corrupted with random blocks appearing?

On some system configurations the combination of video hardware, video drivers and Steam's hardware acceleration can cause large pixels or macro blocks to appear on screen during playback. For some users, turning off Hardware Video Decoding can resolve this issue:

  1. From the Steam Menu, select Settings
  2. From the settings list, click Interface
  3. Uncheck "Enable hardware video decoding, if supported"
  4. Click OK and Restart Steam
  5. Play the Streaming Video to test this change

What are the "additional components" required for playback?

When the Steam Client starts up, a set of components required to playback DRM encrypted content is downloaded. If you receive a message indicating the additional components failed to download, you can attempt to download and install the components manually. This may be necessary if your ISP restricts access to certain domains or URLs. 

Windows 7 and above

  1. Quit Steam
  2. Download https://redirector.gvt1.com/edgedl/widevine-cdm/903-win-ia32.zip
  3. Unzip the files and copy them to C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\Local\Steam\widevine (you may need to create the widevine folder)
  4. Restart Steam and attempt to play the video
     

MacOSX

  1. Quit Steam
  2. Download https://redirector.gvt1.com/edgedl/widevine-cdm/903-mac-x64.zip
  3. Unzip the files and copy them to ~/Library/Application Support/steam/config/widevine (you may need to create the widevine folder)
  4. Restart Steam and attempt to play the video
     

Linux

  1. Quit Steam
  2. Download https://redirector.gvt1.com/edgedl/widevine-cdm/903-linux-x64.zip
  3. Unzip the files and copy them to ~/.steam/steam/config/widevine (you may need to create the widevine folder)
  4. Restart Steam and attempt to play the video

I am receiving an error about failing to retrieve a required license, what do I do?

For DRM encrypted videos, Steam must be able to allocate a license to begin playback. If you receive an error message indicating a license could not be retrieved, please restart Steam and attempt to watch the video again.

I am receiving an error about HDCP, what do I do?

If you receive a HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) error when attempting to playback a video, you will need to use your graphic card control panel to determine which monitors are not HDCP enabled and disable them.

I've received an error message while streaming, what should I do?

  • If you receive an Access Denied message, make sure you are still logged into Steam and own the video you are attempting to play
  • If you receive a network issue, please close the video window and click Watch to start the video again. Network issues are often temporary and should resolve quickly.
  • If you are suffering from regular buffering during playback, make sure Auto is selected in the Quality settings.
  • For any other error messages, please post the issue to the discussion forum for the video or related game.

How can I provide feedback on streaming the video?

  • During playback, performance logs may be captured and sent back to Steam to assist in analyzing playback issues. No personal information is collected. If you have technical issues regarding playback, please contact Steam Support to help identify and resolve the issues.
  • If you have additional feedback, please post in the discussion forum or write a review for the video or related game

How can I remove the video from my Steam Library?

  1. Browse to https://store.steampowered.com/account/
  2. Sign in with your Steam account
  3. From the Licenses + Subscriptions section find the video you wish to remove from your Library
  4. Click the Remove link associated with the video. Confirm the removal.
  5. Restart the Steam Client if the video isn't removed immediately

How can I filter out streaming videos on the Steam store?

We know every Steam user is unique and some users are not interested in video content on Steam. To stop video content appearing in your recommendations, discovery queues, etc., please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Steam Client
  2. From the Store menu, select Featured
  3. Hover over the main rotating capsule until the customize button appears
  4. From the list that appears, turn off Videos
  5. Complete the same customize steps for New on Steam and Recently Updated
  6. Discovery and New Release queues can also be customized using the appropriate settings dialog while in the queue.

How do I download the video instead of streaming it?

At this time there is no option to download a streaming video.

The streaming solution allows rapid development and Steam to support features such as:

  • A consistent video playback experience across Windows, MacOSX, Linux and Steam Machine and Steam Link
  • Closed captions in multiple languages with display customization options
  • Instant watch without requiring a full download of the video file
  • Alternate audio and video tracks for dubbed audio, commentary, alternate angles, etc. 
  • Integration into the Steam Client, Steam profile and community features (trading cards, playtime tracking, etc.)
  • Steam and XInput Controller support in Big Picture Mode

Known Issues

  • Playback performance in the Steam Client may be degraded on lower-end CPUs. Manually switching to a lower resolution and bit rate may help with this issue.

How Can I Get My Film/Video on Steam?

 

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