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Red jive

Steam link vs hdmi

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Posted · Original PosterOP

The steam link is 15$ right now and I don't know if I should buy it or just an HDMI cable. I don't know which one has more latency and all I need to buy with the HDMI cable is a wireless adapter for an Xbox controller I'm not connecting very far, 25ft at best. Any advice?



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HDMI will be the better choice for latency and visual quality, assuming there isn't too large of a signal drop off.


The kind of games matter if you plan on going with a steam link or even Steams in-home streaming. If the games aren't competitive of twitch shooters, then the streaming can work for you but there will be compression of the image leading to some artifacts. Ethernet is better than wifi for both quality and latency. 



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Posted · Original PosterOP

Yes I can run Ethernet and I'm talk some fps (not competive) and rouge games like enter the gungeon



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I hear the Steam Link is quite good by streaming standards, but an HDMI cable is certainly going to be better for latency. Whether the cable is 25 feet or 5 feet, I don't see why you'd have any added latency at all with that solution.

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Steam link for $15 is a steal.


HDMI cable is an easy solution if your TV is close and offers more flexibility such as extended desktop, being able to watch video on 1 screen while gaming on the other, which Steam Link can't do, but all your controls/peripherals go directly through the PC. Also, you can play ALL games through the cable, not only the ones in your Steam library, though Steam allows you to add non-steam games, however controller support might not be there.

Steam Link is great if your TV is in a separate room where HDMI is not a great option.

You can connect a good amount of wireless controllers directly to the Steam Link, some of them work natively, without the need of the USB dongle which often costs more than $15 and also keyboard/mouse and probably all wired controllers, which is one of the strong points for me.

You are able to minimize Steam Big Picture mode and basically mirror your desktop, allowing you to browse, stream video and whatnot.



If you think in the future you might move to a different place or move your TV to a different room, Steam Link is worth getting at this price. Otherwise at your current distance you should be OK with the HDMI.


One more thing, make sure your TV is in 'Game Mode' or something similar when gaming on it, most TVs nowadays have this function. You will lose some image quality, since this disables any post-processing your TV does, but it reduces the input lag which is way more important. 


Hope this helps.

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I use steam link for the bedroom and a hdmi cable for the living room. I set the steam link to 720p as I sit far enough to not notice really. Input lag is pretty much the same was using the hdmi in the living room. I have both tv's set to game mode. £15 is a great price.

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I picked up the Steam Link for $15 and I hooked it up about an hour ago. It's pretty awesome! My daughter is playing it in the living room right now while I have an old laptop setup right next to me streaming LEGO Worlds over wireless (I have wired connections in both rooms but I wanted to see what the latency was like if both the host PC and Steam Link are on wireless connections). So far so good. :)



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I picked up a steam link when it was on sale for about $20, and use it to run about thirty to forty feet (one room over)
I've had really good luck with it, and my internet isn't great.
It's choppy on wifi, but if you have Ethernet and don't expect it to look as good as your pc it'll work fine.
I don't play any fps or twitchy games though, so I wouldn't be able to comment on that

Higher frame rate over higher resolution.

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