Broadcast video your games over the internet with Steam’s new Beta update

It’s now possible to watch your Steam friends playing their games and have them watch you play yours, thanks to a new Broadcasting feature added to Steam’s beta programme.

It’s very similar to the in-home streaming feature Steam rolled out earlier this year that broadcasts game video across your home network, except this time it’s done with friends across the internet.

Fortunately there are a handful of tweakable options that let you set the resolution of the broadcast, who can watch your games and the maximum bit rate (the size of the data generated by the video stream). That lets you maintain control over your internet connection and bandwidth use, as well as your privacy.

We tested it out here in the office, and while it worked we had to set the broadcast resolution and bitrate to their lowest levels. Even then the stream wasn’t very smooth, but then it was the middle of a work day and we weren’t the only ones using the line, so your results on a less-congested connection will probably be better.

To take advantage of this new feature, both you and your viewer need to be opted into Steam’s beta programme. This can be done by accessing the Steam Beta Update section of the Account heading, clicking Change and choosing Steam Beta Update from the drop-down menu.

The client will close and re-launch itself, and once that’s done you’ll have the option to invite friends to watch a video stream once you’ve started a game.

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