Steam Link Review

The Link, unobtrusive in design, is a little bigger than the Apple TV and quite sturdy. Rubber feet on the underside make sure the thing doesn’t slide around on your media centre stand and the black finish should work well with any other boxes you have.

183846-Steam Geeks Life Luxembourg © Alexis Vincent von Blumenthal

To the rear of the box are several sockets for various cables – it has an HDMI out plug, 3 USB ports (2.0) and 100mb/s ethernet LAN port. Inside the box it has 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO networking capabilities (for powerline users this is indispensable) and bluetooth 4.0.

Connectivity is extraordinary with the link. Provided you have the correct adapters – you can plug in your wireless keyboard and mouse, Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller (wired) or connect your wireless xbox 360 PC receiver and use your wireless Xbox 360 controllers with it. I plugged them all in and it just worked. No drivers, no installing software – nothing.

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I sighed when I started up the link, the box immediately began fetching updates from the Steam servers and I was afraid of having to wait interminable hours for the update to execute as I had experienced with my PS3 in the past, however the update was extremely fast and before I knew it I was prompted to connect to the network.

Personally I have powerline adapters – Fritz Lan 1000mb connections that work in my home at a throughput of about 240mb/s, so I connected using ethernet and cranked up the streaming settings to maximum (unlimited) once I had paired the box with Steam running on my PC.

My PC runs two Nvidia GTX 970’s in SLI so I figured any streaming problems that occurred would be down to streaming issues. As a twitch streamer, I didn’t really like the lack of options for customising streaming settings but for the less advanced user – the options are basically – low – medium and high.

Loading up Fallout 4 at maximum settings and streaming at the highest quality I found I had no issues at all with the gameplay – I had 60 frames per second running very smoothly and to my surprise, very few artifacts and distortions while moving on the screen. Generally speaking, when the Link works – it works well. However certain games it failed to capture completely –  Bastion just gave me a white screen and DOTA 2 was unplayable the minute there were any fast moving animations or particle effects.

Input lag for the most part was acceptable but I wouldn’t count on playing anything online that is competitive and relies on ping. The Link, even over ethernet added about 12 ms of ping to my connection.

Wifi usage with the link was unacceptable in my view. From a distance of 7 – 8 metres away from my Fritz 7490 router and through 2 walls the connection resulted in choppy music, massive frame rate drops and packet loss. The playable result was like watching a low quality Twitch stream and I immediately reverted back to my powerline connection.

Verdict: Steam Link is a great little box for streaming your games to your couch with a wired connection. As the firmware is in its infancy there is still a lot to be done to sort out screen capture issues and latency however the result so far is quite pleasing.

 

Apple Watch Sport Edition (42mm)

Säit gudd dräi Wochen hun ech elo d’Apple Watch Sport Edition 42mm Versioun an ech muss einfach soen ech sin richteg begeeschtert un der Smartauer. Sie ass zwar nik grad gin, mee all hier Suen wert wann een natierlech een Apple Junkie wéi ech sin. Gudd ët gin zwar nach nik vill Watch apps am Apple Watch App Store well d’Auer jo héi an Lëtzebuerg nach nik eraus ass…Mee ënneranerem krëtt een awer schon bei éis och den Shazam, Twitter, Instagram an nach e puer bekannt awer och Newcomer Apps déi richteg handlesch sin. Wéi zum Beispill eng App déi öffentlech Toiletten am Land oder Ausserhalb opspiert.
Ech perseinlech hun och nach een Gummi à la Casio G Schock op amazon.de kaaft well ech mech gären mat der Auer stéissen an esou an déi wert daat e beschen oof.
Den Akku muss ech emol soen hält och méi laang wéi erwoard, also ech koum schon méi wéi 18 Stonnen mat engem vollem Akku mat.
Den eezegen Nodeel ass dass wann een eng App néi via iPhone erofgelued huet muss een déI och via iPhone ajustéieren well déi meeschten Apps daat nach nik just via Apple Watch maachen kann…Ech freen mech och schon rieseg op den WatchOs 2 wou een nach e beschen méi personaliséieren kann.

Xbox One 1TB

Säit hockt also dem (04.07.2015) sin och ech stolzer Besëtzer vun der Xbox One an zwar vun der 1TB Versioun mat dem Schwarzem Mattem Finish an nik déi vun Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.
Präislech ass ë beschen Roofgesaat am moment nach beim Cactus krëtt een se fir 399 €. Leider haat ech nach nik vill Zäit een Spill drop ze spillen…

Méin Androck ass extrem Positiv vor allem well se eng Social Spill Konsoul ass, ech haat zwar nie eppes géint Xbox One, mee haat drop gewaard dass eng Schwarz 1TB Versioun erauskënnt fir vor allem Gears of War Reih, Halo an nach aaner Exclusive Spiller drop ze spillen an vor allem 3rd an first Person Shooteren well menger Meenung no ass den PS4 nik esou gudd an léit nik esou gudd an der Hand fir esou Spiller…Den Xbox One Controller huet vill besseren Grip fir deen Genre Spiller fannen ech emol.
Deen eezegen Nodeel déi Xbox One eben huet sie kann keng 1080p produzéieren daat ass an mengen Aan och schon den eezegen Minus Punkt. Waat awer gudd gemaach ass Microsoft huet bei hierem Wireless Controller nees op Akkuen als sonner getrimmt well waat ech bei der PS4 beschen blöd fannen wann do den Akku vun dem Controller Futti ass, kann een sech een kompletten Controller nees kaafen, an bei Microsoft brauch een just den Akku ze ersetzen.
D’Xbox One 1TB Versioun kënnt mat engem Controller, engem HDMI Kabel, wéi ëmmer daat Monsterbombastëscht Stroumzoufursteck an engem Headset deen schon bei der Xbox 360 dobäi ass.
An säit se oofwärtzkombatibel ass gouf d’Xbox fir mech nach méi interessant well d’Xbox 360 wirklech vill gudd Spiller huet an haat.