How to Stream PC Games on Your NVIDIA Shield TV via Steam Link – MUO – MakeUseOf

How to Stream PC Games on Your NVIDIA Shield TV via Steam Link – MUO – MakeUseOf

Steam Link isn’t as good as NVIDIA GameStream, but if you’re a Shield TV user who wants to stream games from your PC, it’s a solid option.
If you want to stream PC games to your NVIDIA Shield TV, NVIDIA recommends using Steam Link. And while it's not the only available option, Steam Link can be a worthy replacement to the now-defunct GameStream service.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about Steam Link and how to use it to stream games to an NVIDIA Shield TV.
First, let's clear up what we're talking about when we refer to Steam Link. We're not referring to the hardware variant of Steam Link—which was discontinued in 2018 and replaced with the Steam Link app.
When we refer to Steam Link in this guide, we're referring to the app, not the hardware. With that clarification out of the way, how does it all work?
Steam Link streams games from your gaming PC to the device you wish to stream to (in our case, your Shield TV) by bridging a connection between the two. Setup is straightforward, though you may encounter caveats once you try to stream. But more on that later.
It's a decent option when you want to stream PC games to your Shield TV, especially with NVIDIA discontinuing GameStream. Even though you'll be limited to Steam's ecosystem, you can still play games from other digital marketplaces by adding non-Steam games to your Steam library.
Open the Play Store app on your Shield TV, search for "Steam Link." and then select Install > Open > Allow.
Now, Steam Link will search the PCs currently running Steam. In most cases, your PC will be found automatically. If not, you'll have to manually add the PC (more on that in a moment).
Now, let's bridge the connection between your gaming PC and the Shield TV. Here's how:
If you have more than one gaming PC running Steam on your home network and want to bridge another connection to your Shield TV, select Settings and then Computer to see every PC found by Steam Link. Select a computer you want to steam from, then select Start Playing to bridge another connection.
That's it! But what can you do if Steam Link fails to find your gaming PC on your home network? That's an easy fix, so read below.
If Steam Link can't find the PC you want to stream games from to your Shield TV, go to Settings > Computer > Rescan to see if it can be found a second time around. But if the Steam Link app still cannot find your gaming PC, you'll have to add it manually.
Fortunately, Steam Link also makes this process simple. So, follow these simple instructions:
Open the Steam client on the gaming PC you want to stream from. Now, click on Steam > Settings, and head to Remote Play on the left pane.
Enter the four-digital PIN and select Confirm as we did in the previous example. If successful, the Steam Link app will bridge a connection between the PC and your Shield TV.
Android and iOS users may already know that they don't necessarily need to connect a controller if they want to stream their PC titles to their mobile devices. But since the goal is to stream PC games to the Shield TV, we don't have that option. So, we'll need to pair a Bluetooth controller to your Shield TV.
You can skip this step if you've done this in the past. For everyone else, you have two options:
For the few that still own a Steam Controller and wish to pair it to the Shield TV, first, update the Steam Controller's firmware. To do this:
To pair any Bluetooth controller to your Shield TV, including the Steam Controller, follow the instructions below:
To unpair a controller from the Shield TV, go to Settings > Remotes & accessories and go to the bottom of the list to find your connected controller under the Paired devices section. Select the controller, then choose Unpair.
Although not everyone will experience latency issues with Steam Link, it's a common problem. Unfortunately, latency woes can occur for any number of reasons. If you're getting undesirable bandwidth speeds via Steam Link, conduct a bandwidth test on the PC you want to stream to your Shield TV. You can do this within Steam Link itself.
Select Settings > Streaming > Network Test. Enter the four-digit PIN on the gaming PC you want to stream to the Shield TV, and then select Confirm to conduct a speed test.
If your connection crawls at a turtle's pace, consider plugging your gaming PC into an Ethernet port on your home network. Alternatively, switch your PC from 2.4GHz to 5GHz.
Additionally, you can enable hardware encoding to minimize latency woes by opening the Steam client on your PC and going to Steam > Settings > Remote Play > Advanced Host Options > Enable hardware encoding > OK.
While you're on the Steam client, it's a good time to adjust the stream quality of your gaming PC. Return to Settings, then select Remote Play. Look for the section Client options streaming to this computer at the bottom of the page. You will find three choices: Fast, Balanced, and Beautiful.
By default, Steam sets this to Balanced, but if your connection is slow, make sure you choose Fast.
Steam Link isn't perfect, and it may make you feel nostalgic for the days when you could stream from your gaming PC to your Shield TV via NVIDIA's GameStream service.
Still, it's arguably the easiest solution for streaming your PC games to the Shield TV. If you have a few minutes to spare, follow our guide and see if Steam Link streams optimally on your home network.
Dustin has written professionally for over a decade, covering everything from tech to gaming, food to legislation, and evil robots to, yes, everything Android.


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