AMD users rejoice; Steam-In Home streaming just got better

2 min read


Steam’s built-in, free,  in-home streaming utilises some sort of dark magic. Provided you have a compliant network, you can stream your games from your powerful desktop, to a not-so-powerful HTPC or laptop connected to your TV and have them perfectly playable on the big screen. Up until now, the service has favoured Nvidia-based solutions. But that’s changed.

If you own AMD hardware, you really ought top opt-in to Steam’s beta clients – because the latest one improves in-home streaming using AMD hardware.

The latest version of the client now supports VCE hardware encoding of Direct 3D Games on AMD hardware – provided you have one of the following cards and the very latest set of drivers: Radeon HD 79xx, Radeon HD 78xx, Radeon HD 77xx, R9 295x, R9 290x/290, R9 280x/280, R9 270x/270, R7 265, R7 260x/260, R7 250x.

It should make a significant difference to the maximum resolution and frame rate you’ll be able to stream at. The other big change to in-home streaming is that you can now use a Linux PC as your host. With Borderlands 2 very recently ported to run natively on the OS, that’s a good thing – and the first step to removing Windows as the necessary middleware for PC gaming.

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You can now also remotely use Nvidia’s video-capturing Shadowplay feature – which makes for a more comfortable way of making Let’s Play videos. Nice. There’s a full feature list here.

If you haven’t dabbled with in-home streaming, you really should – even if it is the evil work of demons, and you could be inviting all manner of evil in to your home. All you need to use this devil’s work is to have a powerful desktop pc and a less powerful one to receive its stream, both connected to the same network and both logged in to the same Steam account.

Last Updated: September 5, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor


    • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

      hahahahahahahahaha. Comment of the week right on the last day of the week. Well played

  • Admiral Chief Assassin


  • MakeItLegal

    i ve done it a few tiomes now , to play max payne 3 , (keeps pausing on my desktop ) any ways works fine , if u basically in the same room , anything more than 4m from modem and u get loads of stutter and missed button inputs . i wonder if its this brick and mortar walls we have thats letting me down ?> anybody tried using a Ethernet connection yet ? like direct desktop to laptop to stream ?

    • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

      Ethernet connectivity works like a charm but I think your wifi needs some help. Is your wifi fully N capable? Both on modem and receiving device?

      • MakeItLegal

        It’s a brand new net gear modem from telkom , I think it has to do with the wifi trya get through 2 walls , office to bedroom like …. I will purchase a 20m cable and put it through the roof ino my bedroom ! Now all I need is gta v

        • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

          That could work as well. Can I give you a suggestion? A wifi router in the roof is better than a wifi router in a room. The signal gain to various rooms is far better.

    • FoxOneZA

      What speed Wi-Fi you using?

    • Mossel

      This my main concern as well. There are about two walls between my desktop and TV. Also would like to know how Ethernet holds up? And how about input lag?

      • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

        Input lag is negligable as long as your wifi is good. On Ethernet it’s pretty much 0. Your latency on a local network is after all < 1ms.

        With wifi you just need to make sure you have a high speed/range wifi unit.

      • Sith JJ

        Same here. My desktop is already barely getting decent wifi from my kitchen where the router is.

        • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

          Why not get a wifi booster? You can get a few really good ones sub R1000 that have great range and throughput. Then you don’t need to use your modem’s built in wifi?

          • Sith JJ

            That’s not a bad idea. My desktop just runs from a USB wifi dongle. First one literally burned out.
            Don’t have connection issues, yet, but the signal could be better.

          • Why not look at Ethernet over power? You get a kit, plug these things in to your wall – and the network signal is transferred over your power lines. Average standard kit gets you a 200MB/s connection.

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            I’ve seen these things as well. I have no idea how well they work. The idea is very intriguing. Would love to see some tests on these. Heck would like to test them myself. They are a bit pricey though aren’t they?

          • You can pick up a kit now for like, R600. They work pretty damned well /depending on your home electrical wiring/

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            Yeah I am reading up on that now. I am very interested getting myself a kit now so that I can move my PC away from the TV and use the laptop for streaming my games

          • HvR

            Just watch if there are any fridges near or in between the two points (basically on the same rail) you might get issues. The compressors switch on/off introduce a crap load of noise on the electrical wire that will disrupt the signal.

          • Sith JJ

            Oh. I honestly don’t have the technical savvy when it comes to this, but this sounds like a pretty damn nice option.

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            It doesn’t need a lot of technical know how. You pretty much just need to know how to plug things in to a power socket 😛


          • Sith JJ


          • think im going to try that out

          • Mossel

            I didn’t even know such magic existed! O_O

          • MakeItLegal

            what ?

          • Kromas of City17

            Get ready for hardware replacements galore. Due to our current power stability issues I can confirm that these devices last round about 3 months before replacement is needed.

            Alternative you can install a voltage stabilizer in your house to remove those issues.

            I personally would suggest an inverter backup battery system as it also resolves any brownout issues.

            Alternative live close to a high ranking ANC member as this resolves any and all power issues including load shedding. 😛

      • MakeItLegal

        Haven’t tried Ethernet yet , but other people say it is legit , I think with South African walls one needs to be carefull of wifi set up

      • Willem Swanepoel

        Get Ethernet Over Power .. works wonders for streaming but do not buy the cheapies … rather spend the cash and get the proper ones.

        Just remember, you can only use it on the same circuit layout

    • Kromas of City17

      Gigabit connection with a netbook Wolfenstein on TV works like a dream.

      Still prefer my pc though.

      • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

        I found a way to stream my full desktop. Create a steam shortcut to a non steam game…. Notepad….

        It streams notepad and therefore your full desktop…..

        • Kromas of City17

          Yes. In home streaming uses a very modded version of RDP. (remote desktop protocol)

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            And it works so well. No need for crazy hardware or anything. I like things that just work

          • Kromas of City17

            I felt a bit strange when I noticed the protocol running for the first time testing out home streaming. I am not really judging but for Valve to publicly renounce Microsoft and then use a Microsoft designed protocol for one of Steams main features felt to me a bit hypocritical.

            Still it is really neat.

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            It is rather ironic

  • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

    I’ve tried it. Streamed to my not so stellar work laptop with no dedicated GFX. Worked like a charm even over wifi.

    This is really an awesome bit of tech.

  • Sith JJ

    Still need to try this

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