Steam Link, now just an app on your TV that mostly works!

Burticus

FPS Junkie
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Aug 15, 2019
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First off, I used to have the physical Steam Link box. I was never happy with that thing, just too laggy even on wired gig ethernet, and too glitchy with game setups. I gave up on that years ago and sold it.

Fast forward to this weekend and I had a hankering for some PC gaming on the big screen. I *ALMOST* resorted to rolling my game pc into the living room, but am lazy. My PC is only about 30 feet from the living room, but in my office so a couple of walls. At one point I thought I was going to buy a 50 foot HDMI and USB cords, but those things aren't cheap (and I am, LOL)

So I began to wonder about Steam Link again and started googling.... well lookee here, it's on the Google Play store and works on most android devices. Including my Sony x900h! Adding it to TV was easy, just download from the Play store on the TV. I got it to sync up with my PC (wired gig) easily enough.... I just used my wireless xbone gamepad in the living room and it connected to my pc in the next room no problem. If that didn't work I assume there is a bluetooth way to pair it with the TV but didn't go down that rabbit hole. Then I spent a couple hours getting the audio working with my new AVR so I don't have to listen to TV speakers. I have all my hdmi devices going to the AVR, which then is hdmi out to the TV. Wasted an hour trying to make ARC work, gave up on that. That would probably be the end of it with a sound bar using ARC, but going back to my AVR resulted in all kinds of audio sync issues and me fighting with Bravia Sync (Sony's flavor of HDMI CEC, which requires to be on for ARC to work for some stupid reason). Dug out an old optical cable and went out from tv back in to the AVR, finally got that to work without sync/lag. There will be no way I can make this play nice with my Harmony, too many input changes on both sides, but I got it working.

Gameplay was mixed. I tried a couple different games, some worked fine, others had no audio, some just crashed repeatedly. I did notice I had better luck when starting the game on the PC first instead of launching it through the Steam Link launcher. For some reason some games would be in a small window instead of fullscreen. Other times would crash back to desktop, and I was staring at my PC's desktop from the living room TV. Also I noticed it helps to set the resolution to 1080p FIRST, it will downrez from 4k but I think that was causing some of the crashing. No way was I going to set my global desktop settings on the PC down to 1080p, so you have to do it for EACH game which kinda sucks, but you only have to do it once.

All said and done, I was finally able to play Yakuza 0 over Steam Link on my big screen. Yeah, its 1080p, but for a game of this type it doesn't matter. Would I play COD on it, not sure. But once I got it all working it seemed to be smoother and better than I remember the old Steam Link device.

Anyway, check it out... it's free. All you'll be doing is wasting hours tinkering with your setup to get it working right.

side note - I could not get audio from Warhammer 40k : Mechanicus AT ALL, I don't know why. Works on my PC, and other game audio is ok. Something off with that one...
 

Dogsofjune

FPS Regular
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
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Yeah, they made the transition to a software based link a couple of years ago. They had Steam links on sale for dirt cheap before they discontinued them.

I have two still, one I never opened.
The hardware always worked pretty well for me. An occasional glitch once in awhile.

The software, it plays well on a tablet, but on the TV, random freezes, quits the game at random. Just wasn't consistently reliable.

You can use the steam link hardware for other stuff besides steam, movies, interwebs, mirror screen, slide shows, and entertainment at bat mitzvah's
 
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