Stream games around your home

Written by Wil Harris

August 26, 2005 | 15:14

Tags: #lag #mpeg2 #stream #streaming #viiv

Companies: #games #intel

Intel are working on technology to allow you to stream games around your home like you can with video and audio media.

Called Remote Gaming, they have been presenting the technology, as it currently stands, this week.

Why would you want to do this? Well, the idea is that you can have a super-duper PC whirring away with dual graphics and a monster processor somewhere in the house, then stream the game to a nice, quiet thin client underneath your TV. The idea fits in nicely with some of the ideas Intel has been working on for VIIV, which includes the ability to stream content around the house.

How does it work? Well, it's actually bizarrely simple. The game is loaded up on the host machine. Output from the frame buffer on the graphics card is sent over to the remote gaming host, which encodes all the graphics data as MPEG2, whilst pulling in data from the sound buffer and doing the same. That MPEG2 stream is then sent to the client machine, where you're playing. USB input is captured from the client and sent back to the host, which then updates appropriately.

It all sounds very lag-tastic, but Intel claim they've got this running at less than 40ms currently, and plan to have it down to 30ms before long - about the equivalent of playing a game online, so not too bad at all. They envisage that someone working on the host machine, with a dual- or multi- core chip, willl be able to continue working on it. We're not sure about that, but the proof of the pudding will be in the gaming.

The technology is pretty exciting, and paves the way for high definition, big screen gaming in the living room, but without the all-conquering hardware needing to be in the living room. Intel see this as a competitor to the next generation of consoles, which VIIV is also aimed squarely at.

The details of the process below are pinched from an Intel slide. Would you use this technology? Let us know.

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