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rizuhbull
Mar 30, 2011



I'm looking for a program that can stream my desktop and/or a video game window to a friend. It needs to be 5fps minimum, include audio, and have a 1-2 second delay max. I want to stream with OBS to Twitch, which works fine, I'm familiar with it, while also streaming a feed to my friend so he can follow along. I'm trying to play visual novels and other slow-paced games with him, so it doesn't need to be 30fps+ or anything crazy like that. He also doesn't need controls or anything, just a feed. Unfortunately he is in Australia, so maybe it's impossible, but we've gotten programs that work beautifully in one way, but break in another (Skype's video feed is perfect but breaks with audio). My friend and I have probably spent 15+ hours trying various programs and fixes. Also apologies for the terrible writing. I'm about to give up hope, but figured I'd ask SA for help before I do. Thanks.

Specs,
-W10 64-bit OS
-i7-6700k Skylake CPU
-Asus 1070 GPU
-16GB G.Skill Trident RAM
-Asus Z170 MOBO
-Corsair CX750W PSU
(We're both on Windows 10 and I can get his specs if it'll help)


We've tried various streaming services like Twitch, Mixer, etc.
-Too much of a delay (30 secs+)

Nvidia Gamestream
-Works half the time, but only supports a tiny selection of games

Moonlight (3rd-party software that's supposed to use Nvidia software to stream any game)
-Crashes when friend tries accepting invitation and no game/desktop audio when it sometimes doesn't crash

Google Hangouts,
-No game/desktop audio

Virtual Audio Cable & Voicemeeter
-Can't even remember but I remember almost killing myself

Skype
-This one's the most infuriating because it's latest version added audio to also be shared when screen sharing, and has pretty amazing video quality for no delay. But they also removed the ability to change it's audio, no mic threshold or audio settings outside of selecting your mic, and it automatically and randomly lowers everyone but one when multiple people are talking. I refuse to believe anyone can find this usable in any capacity, and the skype forums are filled with people saying what I'm saying so I'm glad I'm not nuts. We've also tried using a screen sharing program like Skype and Discord, but at least one of the programs (if not both) will break. Skype for instance will capture both my friend's mic and give feedback with zero ability to mute my mic without also muting the game/desktop.

Edit: I tried SmashCast (formerly hitbox.tv) and it's got a similar Twitch delay of 30seconds. Also tried Mixer (formerly beam) just now and it's better at about 15 seconds. Doubled checked the server location I'm streaming too an adjusted my OBS settings for low-latency but yeah.
Is there a non-streaming service you'd recommend? Maybe a Skype screen sharing but not garbage? Skype ALMOST worked which makes it all the more discouraging.

rizuhbull fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2017 around 22:12

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fatman1683
Jan 8, 2004
.

How about general-purpose desktop-sharing/remote access applications? Teamviewer, GoToMeeting and WebEx come to mind. I know Teamviewer has a free version.

I don't know what latency will be like over that great a distance, but it's worth a shot.

Col.Kiwi
Dec 28, 2004
And the grave digger puts on the forceps...

One way to potentially avoid the delay from streaming services like Twitch is run your own RTMP server. There are free software options, for example Red5 or Unreal Media Server. So you would run OBS or similar to stream, but instead of streaming to twitch you stream to an RTMP server you are running yourself either on a separate computer or on the same computer. The RTMP feed from the server can be viewed by your friend by opening an rtmp:// link in a video player application such as VLC. I'm not sure if you can get the delay quite as short as you want but it should be a lot shorter than the ~30sec you get with Twitch.

Col.Kiwi fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2017 around 02:12

Watermelon Daiquiri
Jul 10, 2010


i connect to my main desktop using chrome remote desktop all the time when im playing FF14 so i can use a keyboard in the game. It works perfectly fine to show the action and its relatively lag free (depending on environment). If I can use it to use the keyboard, you cam use i to stream (thoough hed have to be careful not to interfere lol)

G-Prime
Apr 30, 2003

Baby, when it's love,
if it's not rough it isn't fun.


Just taking into account speed of light over fiber (with no considerations for converting between optical and copper at any point) you're talking like 125ms transit time for a single packet. You've also got encode and decode time on top of that. Best case scenario is probably something on the order of like 3 second delay for the opposite side of the world under perfect conditions. That said, you should be able to use Steam In Home Streaming for it, if you set up a VPN between you and them. They connect as the remote player, but you can still control it from your side. That might be the best way.

rizuhbull
Mar 30, 2011



fatman1683 posted:

How about general-purpose desktop-sharing/remote access applications? Teamviewer, GoToMeeting and WebEx come to mind. I know Teamviewer has a free version.

I don't know what latency will be like over that great a distance, but it's worth a shot.
We tried Skype some more and it seems to be working. If it doesn't cut out the audio within 10 minutes, it should be ok for 1 hour+. We can't find a way to stop it from lowering the audio of the non-speaker though, which is super annoying. What I mean by that is that Skype will lower everyone else's volume when you're speaking, making it hard for you to hear while also speaking. Changing the Window's setting for it in "sounds" has no effect. They used to have an option for it, but Microsoft has continued onto their road of pure cancer in an effort to appeal to the elderly tablet users. Also the audio call quality is absolutely garbage. It's fine because my audio (+voice) is being recorded and streamed via OBS, which is great, but my friend's voice is being mangled by Skype's encoder. It's not ideal but certainly usable. It just blows my mind when you see "respectable" news groups and individual people use Skype. Discord has problems but it's crystal clear.

Col.Kiwi posted:

One way to potentially avoid the delay from streaming services like Twitch is run your own RTMP server. There are free software options, for example Red5 or Unreal Media Server. So you would run OBS or similar to stream, but instead of streaming to twitch you stream to an RTMP server you are running yourself either on a separate computer or on the same computer. The RTMP feed from the server can be viewed by your friend by opening an rtmp:// link in a video player application such as VLC. I'm not sure if you can get the delay quite as short as you want but it should be a lot shorter than the ~30sec you get with Twitch.
The issue is that I'm already using OBS to stream to Twitch. A friend of mine showed me how to get Mixer to stream with a 1 second delay, which is amazing, but I can't get virtual audio cable to work so my friend has a constant echo of his own voice while watching the stream. Plus I can't stream to Twitch if I'm streaming to Mixer. Programs like Restream are nice but you can't get the under 1 second latency with Mixer using it. I'd be fine with it if I could get VAC to work but it makes me want to kill myself every time I watch tutorials.

Watermelon Daiquiri posted:

i connect to my main desktop using chrome remote desktop all the time when im playing FF14 so i can use a keyboard in the game. It works perfectly fine to show the action and its relatively lag free (depending on environment). If I can use it to use the keyboard, you cam use i to stream (thoough hed have to be careful not to interfere lol)
I couldn't get any audio when I tried it and it didn't have any options. Skype felt slightly better. But thanks.

G-Prime posted:

Just taking into account speed of light over fiber (with no considerations for converting between optical and copper at any point) you're talking like 125ms transit time for a single packet. You've also got encode and decode time on top of that. Best case scenario is probably something on the order of like 3 second delay for the opposite side of the world under perfect conditions. That said, you should be able to use Steam In Home Streaming for it, if you set up a VPN between you and them. They connect as the remote player, but you can still control it from your side. That might be the best way.
Yeah. It's physically quite a distance and that's not taking into account ISPs and encoding and whatnot, but Skype, Gotomeeting, and even Mixer can get 1 second delays. Which is great. It's only when it's Twitch-like 15 second+ delays that it's unusable. We tried Steam but it's a ridiculously long delay, even when private broadcasting to a friend.

rizuhbull fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2017 around 02:39

Col.Kiwi
Dec 28, 2004
And the grave digger puts on the forceps...

rizuhbull posted:

The issue is that I'm already using OBS to stream to Twitch. A friend of mine showed me how to get Mixer to stream with a 1 second delay, which is amazing, but I can't get virtual audio cable to work so my friend has a constant echo of his own voice while watching the stream. Plus I can't stream to Twitch if I'm streaming to Mixer. Programs like Restream are nice but you can't get the under 1 second latency with Mixer using it. I'd be fine with it if I could get VAC to work but it makes me want to kill myself every time I watch tutorials.
You're not understanding my suggestion. I was saying you can run your own software that does the same thing services like twitch and mixer do, so you don't have to use a service like that. This software is called an RTMP server and in my experience when you run your own RTMP server you can get a stream with an under 1 second delay over LAN. So it'd be higher delay going out over the internet but way lower than the mandatory ~30sec delay twitch imposes.

However if you can get down to 1 second delay with mixer already then the delay isn't actually your problem anymore, your problem is just the audio issue so it sounds like you just need to figure out VAC which is definitely simpler than running an RTMP server.

edit: you could also circumvent the audio echo issue by just having an audio-only skype call going on your phone or tablet to talk with your friend. While your PC is playing the game and streaming to mixer. That way the sound of your friends voice never goes to your PC and so it can't be picked up by the stream. Use an earbud style headset with the phone with only one headphone in. Not as perfect as figuring out a VAC solution but easier.

Col.Kiwi fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2017 around 02:48

rizuhbull
Mar 30, 2011



Col.Kiwi posted:

You're not understanding my suggestion. I was saying you can run your own software that does the same thing services like twitch and mixer do, so you don't have to use a service like that. This software is called an RTMP server and in my experience when you run your own RTMP server you can get a stream with an under 1 second delay over LAN. So it'd be higher delay going out over the internet but way lower than the mandatory ~30sec delay twitch imposes.

However if you can get down to 1 second delay with mixer already then the delay isn't actually your problem anymore, your problem is just the audio issue so it sounds like you just need to figure out VAC which is definitely simpler than running an RTMP server.

edit: you could also circumvent the audio echo issue by just having an audio-only skype call going on your phone or tablet to talk with your friend. While your PC is playing the game and streaming to mixer. That way the sound of your friends voice never goes to your PC and so it can't be picked up by the stream. Use an earbud style headset with the phone with only one headphone in. Not as perfect as figuring out a VAC solution but easier.
Gotcha. We thought about doing that method, like having an earbud in my ears then over the ear headphones I normally use but it sounds like too cobbled together to be worth it. I have a laptop I could use. I think getting VAC would be better, like you said. But I've never gotten it to work. Do you have a tutorial you'd recommend?

G-Prime
Apr 30, 2003

Baby, when it's love,
if it's not rough it isn't fun.


rizuhbull posted:

Yeah. It's physically quite a distance and that's not taking into account ISPs and encoding and whatnot, but Skype, Gotomeeting, and even Mixer can get 1 second delays. Which is great. It's only when it's Twitch-like 15 second+ delays that it's unusable. We tried Steam but it's a ridiculously long delay, even when private broadcasting to a friend.

You tried broadcasting, or in-home streaming? Because there's a notable difference there. Broadcasting isn't direct peer-to-peer, and is view only. In-home streaming is remote play functionality, which Steam doesn't intend to be used outside of private networks, but you can accomplish with a VPN. The in-home streaming option is full on peer-to-peer direct traffic. Inside my house, I can get 17ms round trip on it. Literally 1 frame of delay from me pushing a button on the remote side, it transmitting to the PC running the game, the action being taken, and to getting visual feedback on the remote side. It's explicitly designed to be as low-latency as possible so people can play most games over it. If you just treat the remote end as a viewer though, that might be enough to solve your issue.

rizuhbull
Mar 30, 2011



G-Prime posted:

You tried broadcasting, or in-home streaming? Because there's a notable difference there. Broadcasting isn't direct peer-to-peer, and is view only. In-home streaming is remote play functionality, which Steam doesn't intend to be used outside of private networks, but you can accomplish with a VPN. The in-home streaming option is full on peer-to-peer direct traffic. Inside my house, I can get 17ms round trip on it. Literally 1 frame of delay from me pushing a button on the remote side, it transmitting to the PC running the game, the action being taken, and to getting visual feedback on the remote side. It's explicitly designed to be as low-latency as possible so people can play most games over it. If you just treat the remote end as a viewer though, that might be enough to solve your issue.
Broadcasting unfortunately. I'm not interested in a VPN because it costs and it's a level of intimacy we'd both probably be uncomfortable with, sharing that info. Also I'm not familiar with how to run it.

Am I wrong about VPNs? Would it be easier to use Mixer with virtual audio cable? If the latter, do you have any experience with VAC or have a tutorial you'd recommend? Like the tutorials I find are 5+ years old, using UIs and versions no longer supporter, some use Voice Meeter, etc. It's all a very confusing cluster-gently caress from the lens of someone who already doesn't understand.

rizuhbull fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2017 around 02:29

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OnceIWasAnOstrich
Jul 22, 2006



A p2p VPN like zerotier is free and better for this than the paid VPNs anyway, most of those wouldn't work at all for this purpose.

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