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Steam Gets Skype Codec, Could Record Video

By - Source: Valve PR | B 21 comments
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Steam is now using Skype's SILK codec for improved chat quality. There's also a new Portal 2 video, and talk about possible video capture capabilities within Steam.

Tuesday Valve Software said that its Steam distribution platform has been upgraded with the SILK voice codec, the same codec that was developed and is currently in use by Skype. Starting now, support will automatically be included in the Steam client once it's loaded or restarted.

"SILK provides a significant improvement to Steam's voice chat quality," Valve said in a brief email. "Steam voice chat is available both in one-on-one or group chats, and works both at the desktop as well as while a user is in game."

Following Valve's SILK announcement, rumors surfaced that Gabe Newell himself told long-time Team Fortress 2 community member "Political Gamer" that a video recording system for Steam would be made available "real soon." This would be the next logical step after Valve's recent addition of a screen capture feature to the Steam client.

There's also talk that Newell mentioned that Steam support may arrive on iOS and Android platforms in the near future. Valve is currently gearing up to launch Portal 2 on the PlayStation 3 which will also include the company's Steamworks client. This will be Valve's first use of its Steam platform within a console title to date.

Tuesday Valve also launched a new "investment opportunity" series of videos promoting Portal 2. The first video, pasted below, is called "Panels" and showcases one of the many lucrative products in development at the applied sciences company. The feature clip is narrated by the fictional Aperture CEO and founder, Cave Johnson.

Valve said the other three videos in the "investment opportunity" series will be unleashed at thinkwithportals.com every week leading up to the release of Portal 2 on April 19 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC.

Valve's Investment Opportunity Series Part 1: Panels

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  • 2 Hide
    eklipz330 , March 22, 2011 10:55 PM
    about time with the video recording! i hope it has plenty of settings to accommodate to anyone's need of quality or space...
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    the_krasno , March 22, 2011 10:58 PM
    Awesome! I really like that part that talks about integrating a videomaking service, since fraps is licensed software and steam is free.
  • 2 Hide
    HansVonOhain , March 22, 2011 11:10 PM
    Could this end the crappy Fraps that sucks up harddrive space like no other.
  • Display all 21 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    nukemaster , March 22, 2011 11:21 PM
    xfire has video too, but it was never as good as fraps(fraps did not drop frames) was. bring it on steam, i have not used xfire in a long time anyway. steam is always on :) 
  • 1 Hide
    fausto , March 22, 2011 11:44 PM
    can't wait for steam video recording. will be the end of fraps!
  • 1 Hide
    11796pcs , March 23, 2011 12:09 AM
    fausto- I wondered if they would do this once they released the screenshot capability but shooed it aside as they wouldn;t do it for fear of getting in trouble with FRAPS but this is awesome. If I was FRAPS I would be crapping my pants right now.
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    11796pcs , March 23, 2011 12:10 AM
    P.S. Tom's needs to get an article up on the fact that the Netflix site is down right now.
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , March 23, 2011 12:32 AM
    i hope its one of those recorders that's constantly on, and you can save the most recent 10 mins of gameplay if you so choose to...cause you never know when something amazing is about to happen
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 23, 2011 1:16 AM
    Gabe are you fat jesus?
  • 1 Hide
    joytech22 , March 23, 2011 1:17 AM
    I hope the recorder isn't much slower than fraps, or I hope it's even better then fraps (speed-wise) at the cost of quality, or even being able to tweak the settings!
  • 1 Hide
    Stryter , March 23, 2011 3:35 AM
    Valve, you have to stop giving me so many reasons to love you! I have only so much love to give.
  • 2 Hide
    killbits , March 23, 2011 3:43 AM
    oh man remember like two weeks ago when Valve announced they were making their own commercials for Portal 2 instead of hiring an outside agency? And everyone was like oh nooooez they will totally suck? I thought that video was pretty effing good. Well done, Valve.
  • 0 Hide
    pangedit , March 23, 2011 3:49 AM
    Quote:
    Could this end the crappy Fraps that sucks up harddrive space like no other.



    Isnt that how all game recorders work? Since it doesnt compress and record at the same time. If it did it would hog all your system resources... playing a game, capturing video, while compressing at the same time seems impossible to me.
  • 0 Hide
    dimar , March 23, 2011 4:26 AM
    :D 
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    Hunter_Killers , March 23, 2011 4:41 AM
    FRAPS really won't be going anywhere, its the only way to get near lossless recordings for video editing. Honestly if size is that big of an issue you probably shouldn't be attempting video editing without getting more storage or work at a lower resolution. It also doesn't take very long to encode what you've recorded to save space.

    Anything thats smaller than what FRAPS is outputting at the same resolution/framerate will probably have heavy compression thats going to mangle your performance even more.
  • 0 Hide
    jisamaniac , March 23, 2011 10:19 AM
    Skype has back doors open up to the government. Does that mean Steam is inheriting those back doors as well?
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    dalta centauri , March 23, 2011 11:20 AM
    Valve & Steam seem to be doing as I expected, little updates along with large updates to mask the ones that people normally won't notice right away. I'm not saying these little updates are bad, but Valve likes to multitask in other things then games most of the time. I have to say though, I'm quite excited. I was happy enough when the Steam browser didn't crash constantly (although there are still problems with it) because I used it so much.
  • 0 Hide
    HavoCnMe , March 23, 2011 12:47 PM
    People complain about not having a nice enough pc to render some games at their highest quality.

    So what will recording a game while trying to play be like?.....LAG.
  • 0 Hide
    feeddagoat , March 23, 2011 2:08 PM
    If steam comes to consoles does that mean Ill be able to port my PC title to a console and visa versa? If so that would make it easier for console players to upgrade to PC eventually =D
  • 0 Hide
    ezodagrom , March 23, 2011 2:32 PM
    Quote:
    FRAPS really won't be going anywhere, its the only way to get near lossless recordings for video editing. Honestly if size is that big of an issue you probably shouldn't be attempting video editing without getting more storage or work at a lower resolution. It also doesn't take very long to encode what you've recorded to save space.

    Anything thats smaller than what FRAPS is outputting at the same resolution/framerate will probably have heavy compression thats going to mangle your performance even more.

    There's one good alternative to FRAPS, Dxtory. Not many know about this software though, since it's a Japanese software.
    It allows different codecs to be used (in my opinion its default codec is better though, which has 4 quality settings available, True Quality, High Quality, Medium Quality, Low Quality), it allows recording to be done in any framerate, allows any resolution to be recorded (it can record at 100%, 75%, 50% or even a custom resolution), ...

    I haven't tried FRAPS for a long time, so I don't know how Dxtory compares with FRAPS now. When I tried FRAPS the last time (I think it was version 3.03), FRAPS affected the framerate of the game while recording, but with Dxtory, recording doesn't affect/barely affects the framerate of the game, since there's an option for the recording FPS and the game FPS to not be synched.
    Dxtory creates bigger files than FRAPS while recording though, so it's not a good software for those worried about FRAPS creating big files, since these are even bigger. :>

    There is one really big bottleneck though, hard drive speed. For example, to record at my screen resolution (1440x900) I have to use the medium quality codec setting and record at 30fps.
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