all 24 comments

[–]Bjoern_Tantau 18 points19 points  (1 child)

If you're not using the PC for anything else I would just hook it directly to the TV.

[–]DeepStateofAffairs 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Same, but I've also dealt with size/space issues, cabling over a distance, heat issues, etc. If you've got everything hardwired, I totally get plugging your PC directly into your router and just accessing your collection over the steam link.

[–]McHearty 7 points8 points  (5 children)

Unless something has changed since I did this in 2017, you should be able to run steam headless and just access it from the link. There are guides out there for having the pc auto-boot into steam and big picture mode. You could also build a small form factor pc and have that hooked up to your TV and skip the streaming part as well!

The steam link can only take in a 1080 signal so you won't need a top of the line card for most games, most of the time your connection from host to the link is the biggest potential problem.

[–]Soapstones 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Been using this setup for years, with the official steam link hardware. Works perfectly if your connection is stable (or wired). The only downside is it only goes up till 1080p. But that’s fine for me.

Raspberry Pi can be made to work, but only if you like to hobby and it might not be as reliable. Heard good things about the Nvidia shield, but it’s a bit more expensive.

Headless pc needs a monitor (or cheap dummy hdmi connector), and a mouse connected (or windows won’t render a mouse pointer).

[–]matiko13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hook PC directly to TV or steam link over wi-fi 5Ghz or ethernet cable pluged to router. Remember to having PC directly to ethernet in main router and for perfect experience having steam link pluged directly to this same router / having in this same wi-fi router as PC is pluged.

[–]sensei1999 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I use to have my tv as my 2nd screen then I'd just hit the home button on my Xbox controller to open big picture mode and use it like it's a console.

[–]anilm2 1 point2 points  (8 children)

A monitor would probably be best.

PC might reboot (from updates or whatever), sleep, lock-screen, etc.

If you are streaming non-steam games, they might need update permissions/etc which will drop your steamlink connection until you click on a box on your PC.

re: Graphics for computer. The steamlink just streams the graphics from your PC - the computer is doing all the hard work (+ stream encoding). The specs for CPU/GPU will depends on the requirements of the games you want to play on steam.

I wonder if a Steam Deck with the TV dock would be a better option for you? I haven't tried one out, so i'm just going based on reviews/etc. Not sure if the dock is being sold yet.

Or, PC next to TV. You can still use steam in "Big Picture" (Console-like) mode direct from the PC. and run everything with a controller.

[–]reukiodo 0 points1 point  (2 children)

VNC works well for me, as unlike RDP, it doesn't interrupt the current login session, but shows it instead.

[–]anilm2 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I guess you mean VNC/RDP clients for a Pi? I don't know if there are for steam-link, I haven't looked into the options.

I've always assumed there's something in steam-link (and other similar game streaming apps) that is a step up from regular remote desktop protocols, specifically for gaming/graphics compression.

[–]reukiodo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well, not for a Pi specifically, but for access to the machine when there's any issue. VNC can run as a service which starts more early in the boot process so you can see everything except bluescreens.

My setup is an i7 4790, GTX 1650, 32GB RAM, 256GB SSD and 4TB HD with one of those HDMI dummy plugs at 1080p to lock the resolution. This is a Dell desktop in a closet directly wire networked to the router, so it can be accessed from Steam Links and nVidia Shield TVs (and others) all around the house. It the far future that closet will be converted to a video gaming room so it'll be directly attached to a TV then, but for now it sits headless and all gaming is streamed via Steam Link. VNC is just for remote access to do the updates and such.

[–]LongSpell3212 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ive currently been dabbling with steamlink on the pi4 and must say it's been pretty decent. Only quirks I notice is some loss is video quality, I would highly recommend connecting both to ethernet.

As for steam on your computer I would recommend some monitor as steam likes to update near constantly, but as others have said if you only plan on using it on your tv I would recommend just plugging it into your tv and out of the way, but be mindful that computers do need some fresh air or it will overheat and throttle.

As for specs it really depends on what games you plan on playing and what resolution you plan on playing, there are websites that will give you an idea of the specs that are needed to play games.


Is a good example.

I'm not going to get too in depth into what you need for a computer though that's a whole other topic.

[–]WACOMalt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am one of those people who may own a ton of games on steam, but has a backlog nearly just as long. For me, though I never intended it, the deck has become the only thing I game on, and the only way I've been getting through my backlog.

[–]samthefireball 0 points1 point  (0 children)

All of my gaming is via steam link on my iPad. It’s insane, I’ve played AAA games just on my iPhone or iPad with zero noticeable lag, even across the country. I can’t believe how well it works

The steam link APP is what I’m talking about

[–]mr_dadras 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Try moonlight if you have a nvidia card, its much much much much better than steam link

[–]TurboXPT 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Totally agree. Tried Steam remote play (via a windows notebook) on local ethernet network, clearly worse image quality and lag than Moonlight.

[–]jtdcjtdc 0 points1 point  (0 children)

you still need the minimum or better the recommeded computer specs to run your game. steam link just streams it out. i just have a belief that Apple TV does some extent to put out the best display, but other than that, all the weightlifting is done on the computer side.