Google Partners with AMD for Google Stadia Game Streaming Service

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. power666

    power666 [H]Lite

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    it is a multifaceted problem to provide a game streaming platform. Google is in a far better position than most as they have the data center infrastructure already in place with loads of hardware and software expertise on their payroll.

    The hardware side I see as a solved problem honestly. The encoders found on modern GPU's can leverage the frame buffer directly and also support various low latency encoding schemes (M-JPEG2000) if enough bandwidth is available. It is possible today to transmit 4K60 over Ethernet on a local LAN with less than a frame of latency. If you want any sort of quality at that resolution and refresh, 10 Gbit of bandwidth is a must. A 1 Gbit does invoke compression artifacts but the latency is roughly the same. Of course few have that bandwidth at home so some commodity streaming codec will need to be used. Hardware endecoders for H.265/H.265 exist but they tend to have some additional latency by the nature of the codec algorithm but possible to be around a frame. Also on the hardware end that can save some latency are recent GPU advances that permit it to write directly to another card in the same system. In particular, being able to write the result of the compression algorithm directly to the output packet buffer of a NIC. Again, this is about saving as much latency as possible irregardless of the gains.

    The piece of hardware improvement is on the networking side to leverage deterministic Ethernet. This gets guaranteed bandwidth and provides feed back between the end points of when to expect the data to arrive. Google's own data center switches likely support these features already but they are are starting to be deployed for backbone and exchanges. Once home users upgrade their own equipment, end-to-end support here can greatly assist in various predictive and pre-emptive algorithms for gaming. With bandwidth guaranteed, latency bounded with known min/max, overall quality will improve. This can't perform miracles, but it does make services like this more feasible. Of course this going beyond Google's own data centers is going to be a challenge as ISPs are notorious for not improving their own infrastructure.

    One other facet I see Google pushing are some local receiver tricks, mainly variable rate refresh. A high VRR display can update as soon as a frame is received, cutting off a fraction of latency in the pipeline. Every little bit here helps. Some processing could be done locally, in particular audio and overlays.

    Google just needs to capitalize on what they could be doing.
     
  2. refraxion

    refraxion [H]ardForum Junkie

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    How does this differ from GeForce Now?
     
  3. SPARTAN VI

    SPARTAN VI [H]ardness Supreme

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    GeForce Now is basically a service where you rent a virtual gaming rig, but you BYOG (Bring Your Own Games). This means you have your own little section of their datacenter cut-out for you to install your games (downloaded between 40-90MB/s in my tests) and it streams the output to your rig via the GeForce Now client. From my tests, a still image is very convincing, but you can see quite a bit of compression when in motion. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by GFN's responsiveness. Depending on pricing, I can definitely see GFN as a viable solution for PC gamers who don't have the time or can't justify the expense of a mid-to-high-end gaming rig. GFN can only be run on Mac, Windows, and SHIELD devices. This may expand in the future, and there are probably ways (unofficially) to run it on other devices.

    We don't yet know the business model for Stadia, but I'm willing to bet it will be a subscription service more like Xbox Game Pass and PS Now. I expect they'll flesh out the subscriptions in tiers such as a publisher tier (e.g. Bethesda, Ubisoft), franchise (e.g. Assassin's Creed), and a la carte (single specific title). A big advantage for Stadia is that it seems it can run on anything with a browser / YouTube app.

    Here's sample of still image from GFN:
    KCD_gfn.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  4. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    I find it is difficult to really know the latency of my connection.. The better test i found was one that check latency with a bunch of azure servers.. the closest one I got is still 3 states over and that was measuring about 115ms if I remember correctly. This is a wifi connection, not directly wired which I imagine at most it would be the same.
    I wouldn't know how that measurement would translate into streaming games.. sounds possible enough though... And I think Goggle does have servers in my state, at least pretty sure they do for youtube, which im pretty sure were slowed down by the ISP becuase they fly under vpn and crawl without it... Used to do that anyway, it went away, i suppose they paid the ransom.
     
  5. juanrga

    juanrga Pro-Intel / Anti-AMD Just FYI

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    ping www.google.com
     
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  6. MyNameIsAlex

    MyNameIsAlex Limp Gawd

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    115ms is a big deal.
     
  7. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Who says you can Buy anything. This might be the Netflix of gaming, where you just stream while you pay your montly gaming rent...
     
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  8. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    Ha so simple!...
    Min 13ms, max 17ms.
     
  9. SPARTAN VI

    SPARTAN VI [H]ardness Supreme

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    This. We don't even know Stadia's business model yet, but in the case where you don't want to rent games, GeForce Now allows you to carry over your Steam and Battle.net accounts.
     
  10. {NG}Fidel

    {NG}Fidel [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't care about the hardware just remove cheaters. They're offering this
     
  11. elvn

    elvn 2[H]4U

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    PSNow seems to work too but they all are a little chuggy. Bad enough for single player, multiplayer would be really bad.

    Play PS4 games on PC - PlayStation Now Review

     
  12. juanrga

    juanrga Pro-Intel / Anti-AMD Just FYI

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    Min 130 ms, Max 148 ms
     
  13. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    This is what I am looking forward to... Anything else ... I wouldn't be looking forward to as much.
     
  14. elvn

    elvn 2[H]4U

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    These are the numbers that they posted on their huge screen on stage at their exhibition:

    Google Stadia: 166ms/166ms w/ display ..
    Stadia 15mbps 188ms/188ms ..
    ProjectSteam: 179ms/200ms ..
    PC 30fps 112ms/133ms ,
    PC 60fps 79ms/100ms ,
    XboxOneX: 145ms / 166ms


    Those are their numbers though. No real world testing numbers yet.