Steam in-home streaming allows you to play a game on one computer when the game process is actually running on another computer elsewhere in your home. Through Steam, game audio and video is captured on the remote computer and sent to the player’s computer. The game input (keyboard, mouse or gamepad) is sent from the player’s computer to the game process on the remote computer.
Any two computers in a home can be used to stream a gameplay session and this can enable playing games on systems that would not traditionally be able to run those games. For example, a Windows only game could be streamed from a Windows PC to a Steam Machine running Linux in the living room. A graphically intensive game could be streamed from a beefy gaming rig in the office to your low powered laptop that you are using in bed. You could even start a game on one computer and move to a more comfortable location and continue playing it there.
We recommend a minimum of a quad-core CPU for the computer running the game. The client has more modest requirements, but should have a GPU that supports hardware accelerated H264 decoding. Any recent laptop or PC should meet the client requirements.
We recommend using a wired network for the best streaming experience. People have had some success with powerline networks and wireless N and AC networks with good signal, though your experience may vary.
To improve your streaming experience, you can go into your game settings and lower your resolution and turn off vertical sync.
In the In-Home Streaming settings you can change a number of things that can affect your experience. You can change your preference for speed vs quality, limit the network bandwidth, and adjust the maximum capture resolution.
Yes, you can join the Steam In-Home Streaming community group and discuss the feature with thousands of other players.
Mac OS X:
SteamOS / Linux:
Streaming uses UDP ports 27031 and 27036 and TCP ports 27036 and 27037. Please make sure Steam can listen on these ports in your firewall software.
Make sure they are on the same subnet and no other program is using UDP port 27036, which is used for the initial discovery protocol. If another program has bound this port, please report which program it is on the bug discussion group.
If you're running a Mac client, try rebooting after Steam is updated.
Some people have also reported that custom firewalls or software like Hamachi interferes with the discovery process.
A number of bugs have been fixed in the latest video driver releases that may affect streaming. If you are getting poor performance, graphical glitches or black screens please make sure you have the latest drivers installed from your video card vendor's website.
Exit Steam, right click Steam.exe and bring up the compatibility properties, uncheck "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings", save the changes and restart Steam.
You can look in the streaming client log to get more details about what happened. On Windows this file is on the local computer in streaming_client.exe.log. On Linux this file is on the local computer in /tmp/streaming_client.log.
There is a bug in the NVIDIA driver which causes a crash or black screen if you're streaming from a laptop with Windows 8.1. Try opening the NVIDIA control panel and under 3D settings, set Steam to use integrated graphics, and then restart Steam.
If it's a specific game that is having the issue, please report which game is having the issue on the bug discussion group.
If all games are having the issue, please try the following:
If none of those steps fix the issue, the problem may be the network packet size. To see the largest packet size that can be sent on your network, look up your ip address on the client computer, and then from your hosting computer run this from a command prompt:
ping IPADDRESS -f -l 1472
If that number is too big, it'll show "Packet needs to be fragmented but DF set.", and reduce it by 10 until the ping goes through. Then once it goes through, increase it by 1 until it stops going through. Then you can report the last number that works on the bug discussion group.
If the number you get above is less than 1464, try increasing the MTU on your network interfaces and router to 1500.
If you have an Ivy Bridge or newer system with an integrated GPU, you may be able to take advantage of Intel QuickSync hardware acceleration. To enable this, go to the Steam In-Home Streaming settings on the remote computer, open the advanced host options and check "Enable hardware encoding"
You can check to see what encoder and decoder is being used by turning on "Display performance information" in the advanced client options on the client computer and then pressing F6 during the streaming session. If you see the word "QuickSync" in the encoder description, you are using Intel hardware accelerated encoding.
If you have a GTX 650 or newer and the latest NVIDIA drivers, you may be able to take advantage of NVIDIA hardware acceleration. To enable this, go to the Steam In-Home Streaming settings on the remote computer, open the advanced host options and check "Enable hardware encoding"
You can check to see what encoder and decoder is being used by turning on "Display performance information" in the advanced client options on the client computer and then pressing F6 during the streaming session. If you see the words "NVFBC" or "NVIFR" in the encoder description, you are using NVIDIA hardware accelerated encoding.
This is a known incompatibility between NVIDIA hardware encoding and the software decoder. Try enabling hardware decoding on the client or disabling hardware encoding in the advanced host options on the remote computer.
This is a known incompatibility between NVIDIA hardware encoding and the hardware decoder on Mac OS X. Try disabling hardware encoding in the advanced host options on the remote computer.
If your game controller isn't recognized by any game, check to see if Steam Big Picture recognizes it in the controller settings on the client computer. You may need to configure your controller there in order to use it for streaming.
Some games use raw input instead of XInput or DirectInput and are not yet supported.
If you are using an XBox 360 controller on a Mac, there is a publicly available driver that may work for you.
Some games run with elevated permissions and Windows prevents remote input from affecting them, as a security measure.
The following is a list of known games with this limitation:
If you have a mouse and keyboard input problem with games not listed here, please report it on the bug discussion group.
Try plugging a mouse in on the remote computer.
You can look in logs\streaming_log.txt on the remote computer after you play a game to get a detailed breakdown of how much time was spent in each component of the streaming system.
While the game is running, you can hit F6 or the Guide button combined with the Y button on your game controller to turn on live statistics for the session. While the statistics are visible the game collects more detailed information which is saved in logs\SteamVideoTrace.txt and logs\SteamAudioTrace.txt at the end of the session.
While the statistics are visible, you can hit F8 or the Guide button combined with the X button on your game controller to save a screenshot and 10 seconds worth of stats to a zip file in the streaming directory in the Steam folder on the remote computer.
There is a good article on how to interpret the log information here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/homestream/discussions/0/540733523404402134/