After announcing the “Family Sharing” of Steam, Valve has announced “In-Home” streaming system for its digital distributing platform.
The new feature/service enables the user to stream their games from their Main PC to any other PC in their home network even if the PC is not capable of running the games on it’s own.
Valve explained that the feature isn’t like Onlive and similar “cloud” based services. Basically the player will stream games within his own network (LAN Streaming) similar to the Remote Play feature used between Vita and PS4.
Streaming over LAN provides a much stable stream-rate as compared to Internet-Streaming, yet Valve hasn’t said that the player wont be able to stream games via the Internet.
An important let down here is that during streaming the Host PC will be unusable to which Valve replied that the Main PC’s resources will be dedicated to the stream, ensuring a stability. Doesn’t look cool to me.
Anyway, the requirements of the ‘guest’ PC for the feature hasn’t been announced yet, but since it will only receive a video-stream from the Main PC, it is expected to be lower than the Host PC. There are not enough details on what will be needed to minimize any type of lag and whether every game will have this feature or not.
You can opt for the The Steam In-Home Streaming System Beta Test via Steam’s site and more information here. The Feature will be free to use since the player will be using his own server instead of Valve’s.