Steam In-Home Streaming Now Open to All

Valve Software announced on Wednesday that In-Home Streaming is now available to all Steam users. The news arrives after the service went into open beta back on May 2, allowing Steam gamers with two or more PCs on the same network to stream games from one to the other. The streaming service is free and built into the Steam client.

"Players who have multiple computers at home can immediately take advantage of the new feature," Valve explains in an email. "When you login to Steam on two computers on the same network, they automatically connect, allowing you to remotely install, launch, and play games as though you were sitting at the remote PC."

Steam's In-Home Streaming is ideal for users who have a gaming PC and a low-end laptop. For instance, customers who purchased Wolfenstein: The New Order can install the adventure shooter on the gaming PC, but play the game on the low-end laptop via streaming across the network. No specific GPU architecture is necessary, unlike Nvidia's Streaming tech.

"Streaming, video and audio are sent through your home network from your high-end gaming PC to another device in your home. From here, your keyboard, mouse, and controller input is sent back to the remote computer," Valve adds.

As reported weeks ago, the PC requirements include a quad-core CPU and a GPU that supports hardware accelerated H264 decoding installed in the host -- the client machine only needs the H264 decoding aspect. To achieve the best experience, Valve recommends a wired connection, but does note that some people have had great success with Wireless N and Wireless AC connections. The streaming experience can also be improved by lowering the resolution and turning off vertical sync on the host computer.

"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," states the FAQ.

To get In-Game Streaming to work, simply load up Steam on two computers and sign in to both, then load up your Steam library – that's it. Steam's In-Home Streaming client can be used on Windows, Mac OS X, Steam OS and Linux. However, for now, you can only use Windows to play host; support for the other three platforms is coming soon.

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  • I think you mean an ENCODER in the host such as NVidia's NVENC.

    The video stream is ENCODED and sent through the local net then DECODED on the client.
  • This is awesome! I always wanted to play demanding games on my laptop.
    I will try this when I get home.
    If only I could stream it to my office pc hahaha.
  • This is great! Bye bye NVidia!