Steam Beta Adds VA-API Acceleration For Remote Play

Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 3 November 2021 at 06:07 AM EDT. 18 Comments
For those enjoying Steam Remote Play in-home streaming functionality, the latest Steam client beta now supports making use of the Video Acceleration API for encoding.

Last night's Steam client beta adds support for VA-API hardware encoding on Linux with Remote Play. This VA-API video accelerated encoding has been tested to work with both AMD Radeon and Intel graphics hardware having driver support for this API.

This is great news and addresses the long-standing performance issues for Remote Play handling VA-API. Video Acceleration API decoding is already in place for Remote Play.

Outside of NVIDIA's proprietary driver stack where it's focused on their own VDPAU and NVENC/NVDEC implementations (to which Remote Play has already worked well with NVIDIA GPUs), VA-API is the dominant Linux video acceleration interface at this time thanks to the mature Intel support with originally having conceived this API and there also being the VA-API state tracker for Gallium3D with Mesa drivers. (Hopefully in time though we'll see Vulkan Video take over for video encode/decode in a cross-platform friendly manner.)

More details on the new Steam beta update via There is also a fix in this beta around an erroneous console window whne launching CEG DRM'ed games. Valve continues working on enabling CEG DRM'ed games for Steam Play.

This Steam update also has DMA-BUF PipeWire capture support working on Linux when launching Steam with the -pipeewire-dmabuf option. PipeWire can also now capture up to 4K with this new Steam beta.
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