Virtual Here and Steam Link performance issues

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GingerbreadFred
Virtual Here and Steam Link performance issues

Hello

I recently posted this on the steam link forums but have not had a response, I don't know what relationship you have with valve and how your product is integrated into the link but hopefully you can help

Since updating to steam link beta 518 I have noticed a large performance regression with device streaming of my G27 wheel in both iRacing and Project Cars (the two games I have tested). It appears when applying steering input (and therefore receiving force feedback for the centering forces I believe) the decode time goes through the roof (a jump from ~20ms to ~120ms average with massively high peaks) causing frame jitter and high latency.

The following images demonstrate the problem. The red graph represents the frame decode time for the steam link (as far as I can tell)

Captured driving on a straight, minimal wheel input, latency is slightly higher than for a game not using device streaming but not out of this world

https://1drv.ms/i/s!AuHFGWcGrxxDjsxWvJPnPWiAV_HRtA

Captured after performing a series of weaves, notice the really spiky decode performance, massively high latency and frame loss

https://1drv.ms/i/s!AuHFGWcGrxxDjsxbCqHqNg6r36oNpw

This has definitely regressed since previous versions where the device streaming worked flawlessly. This is the first version I have tried with the non free steam app, but it's quite hard to diagnose the issue. Unfortunately it has rendered the virtual here feature of the steam link broken for me as the main reason I bought it was to use my wheel with the link.

I understand this might not be your issue but I thought it worth reaching out anyway.

Michael
What firmware were you

What firmware were you running previously? Where it was ok

GingerbreadFred
The last time I played with a

The last time I played with a wheel was about 2 - 3 weeks ago which I believe was running beta 516 or 515

Michael
ok, actually i havent changed

ok, actually i havent changed the server software on the steamlink firmware since feb and the client software has basically been identical for the last few weeks. I assume you are using a LAN connection and not wifi (i see it says the bandwidth is 100mbps)

Looking at the second image, interestingly the latency seems to build up in steps quickly then drop all of a sudden and also it has a consistent period. During this time you are turning the wheel randomly following the track? And not every few seconds consistently? Im trying to determine if turning the wheel increases the corresponding latency.

If possible can you ssh to your link and run top and see whats taking the cpu? I think it is a cpu issue rather than a network issue as your pings are less than 1ms consistently

GingerbreadFred
The second image was after a

The second image was after a constant series of weaves rather than following the track, I'll have a stab at getting the CPU stats for you. Thanks for the help

GingerbreadFred
Here is the data from top

Here is the data from top

Taken whilst not turning the wheel: https://1drv.ms/i/s!AuHFGWcGrxxDjsxk1ikWLrFUkzNaVA
Taken whilst turning the wheel: https://1drv.ms/i/s!AuHFGWcGrxxDjsxlc5eOCqrK15T0EA

It's hard to know without comparison to how it was behaving before but it does look like the CPU is getting saturated, the virtual here process jumping almost 3 fold in CPU usage. I am also not massively clear as to what PE_Single_CPU but I assume it's normal :/

Michael
Interesting, i dont know what

Interesting, i dont know what PE_Single_CPU is either, basically nothing has changed regarding virtualhere in 518 so i think it must be the other processes are using more cpu for some reason.

GingerbreadFred
Just a quick update on this.

Just a quick update on this.

I have tried reverting to 517 and this has resolved the issue. Captures from top show that performance of streaming_client has regressed massively. It is using ~20% more CPU in the wheel idle case than in 518 and ~14% more CPU in the wheel turning case. This is almost exactly equal to the amount of headroom the CPU has in 517 and I suspect is causing the problem. Virtual here performance is largely unchanged between the two versions.

517 Captures
Taken whilst not turning the wheel: https://1drv.ms/i/s!AuHFGWcGrxxDjsxpT635O-lmC6X2kg
Taken whilst turning the wheel: https://1drv.ms/i/s!AuHFGWcGrxxDjsxoQrn1JKI39DcDOw

Thanks for your help but this definitely looks like it's valves issue.

Michael
Wow thats good detective work

Wow thats good detective work! im unfamiliar with what valve does on their steamlink but basically virtualhere is the same for all previous versions of the link...

MartinA666
Same issues here was a solution found?

I can use an head set with skype without any issues (with the paid steam link version and the free client too) but as soon as I try to connect a controller (ps3 with rumble or wiimote) i have massively high latency and frame loss. i simply cannot play any game.

Michael
Sounds like the steamlink cpu

Sounds like the steamlink cpu is not powerful enough to run both. You could perhaps try a pi or something to run your chat separately. The chat takes a lot of cpu

MartinA666
im already using them separatly.

im not using both at the same time. when i use skype its fine i got not issues. but if i remove my head set and start using a controller. the performance issues are on fire.

Michael
you running 518 or 517? I

you running 518 or 517? I think there is some issue with 518 as shown in the original posting

MartinA666
im running 518

should I revert back to 517 beta and use it as a beta instead? ill try that for now and see. you software seem to be working fine. if i cant get it to work with the link ill just get refunded for now. i really really want it to work though.

Michael
ok yeah try 517

ok yeah try 517

MartinA666
might be doing something wrong

i reverted to 517 but there is no sign of VH in this version (even under system beta where he was before the official release) im gonna start fresh en format my PC just to see, im due anyway

Michael
I dont think you need to

I dont think you need to reformat your pc, anyway i thought 517 had virtualhere in it already. If not i think you might have to wait for valve to fix the Big Picture issue that seems to take the performance

Ge_SoarK
Same issue again

Hi guys, i'm having exactly the same issue that is described above (same spikes in the screenshots). If i use a XB 360 wireless I can play Project Cars with no issues. As soon as I connect my Thrustmaster T300 wheel, I have horrible stuttering as soon as I turn the wheel and weird force feedback (likely due to breaks).

Has this issue resurfaced in the latest version of Steam Link? I'm using the Virtual Here bought from Steam (specially to use this wheel).

My current workaround is to lower the streaming resolution to 720p and heavily limiting bit rate. Can you guys help?

Michael
i have been working hard the

i have been working hard the last few weeks to improve the performance of virtualhere on multicore systems. It performs much better than just a few weeks ago. The steamlink is unfortunately only a single core cpu but what i will do is get valve to update virtualhere in the next steamlink beta build. I think it will improve performance anyway as virtualhere now communicates with mutliple usb devices simultaneously whereas before i was single threaded for this function. Lookout for the next beta firmware of steamlink

Ge_SoarK
Thanks for the support. When

Thanks for the support. When you have details regarding this, please help. Can you notify me when the new version is available in beta?

If you want I can try to help in debugging this (as above).

Michael
I emailed valve today with

I emailed valve today with the binary, so hopefully it goes in soon.

I dont know when they release their firmware but you can just check http://steamcommunity.com/app/353380/discussions/0/ or switch to the beta stream in the steamlink settings and i think that will then automatically update when a new build is available.

Michael
Wow that was quick, they have

Wow that was quick, they have done it already, http://steamcommunity.com/app/353380/discussions/0/152390014780921666/

get the latest beta and give it a try, hopefully its much better when using multiple devices at once..

Ge_SoarK
Lol, that's good! Will try it

Lol, that's good! Will try it out as soon as I have the time! The main reason I bought VirtuaHere was to use my wheel on my TV! Thanks for the support.

Ge_SoarK
Just tried it, a little better, but not still not usable.

Hi Michael, just tried with the latest Steam beta, its better, but still not usable.

I was trying to find a solution when i just took a glance at my Synology NAS. Eureka!! Just used my Synology NAS as the USB HUB and it worked PERFECTLY!!!

Unfortunately it appears that my Steam licence does not apply to the Synology NAS and I'm running in trial mode. Do you see any way I can transfer the license?

Thank you for the support!

Best regards!

Michael
Hmm ok, thats disappointing,

Hmm ok, thats disappointing, i was hoping it would fix it, sure email me your serial number and ill switch the license.

Like this: Start the virtualhere client wait until the "Synology Hub" appears and then right click USB Hubs->License..->Copy to clipboard and paste into an email to me mail@virtualhere.com

tdoglovin
Force Feedback Stutter

Michael,

I purchased VirtualHere today from steam. After several hours of experimentation I came to the conclusion that Force Feedback on my Logitech G27 was causing major frame dropping with my Steamlink in Project Cars and Grid 2. I am on a wired connection (Cat6 Gigabit capable) and my gaming PC runs both games flawlessly. I do not encounter any stutter when I run the games over Steamlink using the Steam Controller.

I purchased VirtualHere specifically (a four hours ago) because the steam profile for the app lists steering wheels among the supported accessories. Is there something I can do in order to use the controller without significantly degrading video quality?

Michael
The CPU in the steamlink can

The CPU in the steamlink can sometimes cause a bottleneck, i think you will unfortunately have to lower graphics quality. I notice with firmware 566 there is an easier to access"Streaming" option in the settings menu. I think you will have to probably go for "Fast"

tdoglovin
Bottleneck

You must be right. I ran live diagnostics while playing. I saw that the data transferred did not change much when force feedback was engaging, but latency would spike even if there were no visuals to process. Hopefully Valve will release a more powerful version which processes your application and perhaps 4K.

rainabba
Build 600 still not performant

I've also now spent about 3 hours on this same issue others have discussed. I'm frustrated that this is the case after seeing these comments and considering that it's not documented on the Steam Store page. It's quite clear that the combination of VirtualHere and the SteamLink is not capable of keeping up with the very devices users like myself would purchase it for (like the G920 wheel) and taking our money and time without saying as much feels very misleading. Even when I lowered the streaming resolution to 720p and the bitrate to 3Mbps, I could steam hear audio crackling even though I'd finally got the latency down to a point that allowed the game to be minimally playable. As a streaming engineer and network engineer, I may have higher expectations than others, but all the hardware I have in this loop is of the highest spec and I've never seen the Link performance degrade until using VirtualHere so any way you look at this, VirtualHere is either not performant OR just isn't viable with the Link even though it's being marketed specifically for that (even by Steam on their Link supported controllers page at: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=9772-WHJM-4676).

I love the idea of this product and am willing to spend a bit more to get the functionality it promisses, but it looks like I'm going to have to spend more on hardware first, then I have to deal with licensing for VirtualHere. Would you be willing to help with the latter part? Also, please considering updating the store page to make it clear that this software will not work as expected under 1080p streaming with the Steam Link.

rainabba
after-thoughts

As I start researching options (like the nVidia Shield for Android TV), I realized that you have a USB server for Android also and perhaps I can use it on my Android TV (Sony) or Pixel C tablet (USB hub to USB C/OTG) and GreenLight or such. If you know any of those to work for full 1080p60 streaming (with a wheel) and would be willing to help with the client (or refund at least), I'd be grateful. Being able to use my PixelC would even be preferred as I use it with GreenLight already to play when not at home.

Michael
.

Hi Rainaba, sure you can have a license for another platform if you want, just install the virtualhere server or app and then right click in the USB Client and select License.. -> Copy to clipboard and paste into an email to me.

Regarding performance, i dont know exactly what devices work at what resolutions, its really a trial and error thing. The best that can be offered is the 2hr trial, so the user can figure it out. Most devices seem to work, although sometimes its not entirely plug and play so i work with valve to add automatic workarounds for certain devices. (The thrustmaster series of wheels needed a custom workaround..)

For this particular device i did actually buy a G920 to try it with RaceRoom Racing Experience and it worked ok for me. If you have a more powerful platform then basically i think your problems will be solved as the single cpu wont be shared with the rendering process.

tonylamh
Hi All,

Hi All,

I am using cable to Host and Wifi AC to client. Tested (Non steam game)Project Cars, Assetto Corsa and NFSShift2. Running I7 2600k@4ghz 16gb ram and nvidia GTX 1060 6GB VRAM.

I tried 1080P I always see less than 1ms input lag but its the display that seems to stutter and chop in and out when used with the G27/29 wheel.
After dropping it to 720P and playing around with the bitrate etc its now way more playable with like less than 1 ms input lag and 50-60 display lag? I think its called but on 1080 p the display lag jumps to about 180ms ONLY when using the wheel though.

So that might help others, I am using a Viper Dlink 1900AC wireless router on 5ghz AC Only scanned the channels for no interference configured my QOS to steam link being highest followed by my host pc. Mind you I am a network engineer so my knowledge on routing and switching is more than suffice.

Another thing is the less devices you have plugged in to the steam link the more it'll improve the display lag caused from return trips of the input/sound/display transmission packets. So once you're in the racing game with wheel and VH ready to go. disconnect all other devices and have only your wheel connected.

Also using firmware 640 i briefly tried the 643 beta one but that seems to be worse. That's the only two firmware I've tried.

Can others who have tried it report back with firmware, type of connection, settings used, video card type etc

VH Dev feel free to contact me for any testing if you need. I'm sure there are a large number of people like myself trying to get Project Cars working on their projectors because their cockpit or mount is too big to fit in the office/room :) I am sure VH could be more optimized for other types of inputs eg wheels/flight sim dock etc.

Hope this helps.

Michael
.

Hi Tony, sounds like its a cpu issue and not a network issue, the only other thing i can recommend is perhaps using something else as a usb server , do you have a nas or a raspberry pi or even one of these routers (https://www.virtualhere.com/hardware) just plug the wheel into that, and dont use virtualhere at all on the steamlink, just use it on the secondary device (you can auto-use the device on the virtualhere client so it connects whenever it is plugged in) and i can give you a license for the secondary server if needed

simontrejtnar
I am experiencing problems

I am experiencing problems with the G920 wheel and Virtualhere for SteamLink.

The steam Link can process the controller and video stream. The sole reason for buying Virtualhere via steam was to be able to use the wheel from the steamlink which doesn't seem to be possible.

If a device such as NEXX WT3020F (link from hardware page is to the F version not H version) could be used as a dedicate VH device leaving the steamlink to handle just video stream then this would be an acceptable solution.

I've already purchased a Virtualhere license that isn't providing the service that I purchases it for and there would be additional cost for the NEXX itself so I would look to understand the following. Is the Vurtual here license I have sufficient to work with cloud hub and is this a working solution?

I'm not interested in Wireless connectivity my steam link is patch and and idditional device to handle the controller can be too.

Regards,

Simon

simontrejtnar
Readynas 104

A better solution for me having realised that you support NAS as a server would be to use the Readynas104 device I already own. The license cost is high. I'm considering re locating my NAS to the a different room to realise this possibility, I dont really want to move the NAS due to noise but just to overcome the fact that i've bought VirtualHere for SteamLink doesn't work.

Can you offer any assistance?

Thank in advance and Regards,

Simon

Michael
.

Hi Simon, thats fine, if you bought the steamlink license and you are having performance issues, i can give you another license for your nas. Email me at mail@virtualhere.com

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