Playstation Now: Technical Analysis On PC & Console. Is streaming the future? | NX Gamer

Neilg

Member
Nov 16, 2017
394
Meanwhile, png compression is 11.2:1 on average. So at a minimum we should not be dealing with image softness.
png's take an insane amount of time to decompress, they are incredibly slow to work with.

A bit part of codecs is not packing the footage into a small file, it's being able to unpack it at lightning speed.

edit: also at max compression, the slowest to pack & unpack, you're looking at 3mb per frame. that's 10gb a minute for a 60fps 1080p stream. I think to have that stable with no lulls is far beyond the reaches of fiber. 4k would be 40gb a minute.

in comparison, project stream/stadia used 5-7gb an hour, and it's apparently been optimized further.
 
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Belvedere

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,135
Curious to test this out away from home on vacation next week. Any recommendations for local multiplayer titles?
 

Gorion's Ward

Member
Apr 6, 2019
193
Israel
Just a note on this. You can actually purchase a PS Now pass from a country that has it. I bought a month from Amazon just to try things out and it actually works.

Problem is latency because, well, the servers are pretty far from my country (Philippines). That said, I was able to play Katamari and I'm going through Siren: Blood Curse and Rain now. There are some major slowdowns at points, during peak hours here, but I have a hunch that connecting online via LAN instead if Wifi might actually fix these (since our internet does a steady 75 Mbps so it's above the minimum).
Oh, awesome, I wasn't aware you could purchase it from Amazon. So no CC needed, right? Did you need a VPN or you just redeem the code on your US account?

It's probably awful with the streaming lag, but I might suggest this to a friend who just got a PS4 so he could download and play God of War and the like.
 

gofreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,697
What are the timelines for Azure and the introduction of 1080p streaming?
They presented plans in three sections - Now, Medium Term, Long Term.

'1080p and beyond' was filed under 'Medium Term', alongside leveraging existing capacity (rather than new capacity from partnerships which is addressed further on).




'Long Term' addressed game-streaming in next gen, and 'using partnership to achieve scale', highlighting the MS MoU.

Given that some of the things listed in 'Medium Term' started to be addressed already this year, and given that 'Long Term' talked about next gen, I'm guessing medium term stuff relates to plans up to next-gen launch, and long term is next-gen launch and beyond. That aside I think it's also hard to imagine anything concrete materialising wrt PSNow in Azure before PS5 launch.


This is why I expect/predict we'll see higher res and mobile clients released ('maximise off-console opportunity') within the next 12 months or so, before PS5 launch.
 

uncelestial

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,414
San Francisco, CA, USA
png's take an insane amount of time to decompress, they are incredibly slow to work with.

A bit part of codecs is not packing the footage into a small file, it's being able to unpack it at lightning speed.

edit: also at max compression, the slowest to pack & unpack, you're looking at 3mb per frame. that's 10gb a minute for a 60fps 1080p stream. I think to have that stable with no lulls is far beyond the reaches of fiber. 4k would be 40gb a minute.

in comparison, project stream/stadia used 5-7gb an hour, and it's apparently been optimized further.
EDITING, dear god, had to triple the file sizes because I forgot it's 24-bit * 3 color channels:

Assuming 24*3 (24 bit values for R, G, and B) color:

24 * 3 * 1280 * 720 = 66355200 bits = 8.2944 MB -- that's one totally uncompressed 720p frame.
24 * 3 * 1920 *1080 = 149299200 bits = 18.6624 MB -- that's one totally uncompressed 1080p frame.

PNG compression ratio is 11.2:1 on average.

8.2944 / 11.2 = 0.74 MB per 720p frame.
18.662 / 11.2 = 1.67 MB per 1080p frame

(No idea where you're getting this 3MB figure from)

The TL;DR:

PNG compression leaves you with:

[email protected]: 22 MB/second
[email protected]: 44 MB/second
[email protected]: 50 MB/second
[email protected]: 100 MB/second

My fiber connection was just rated at around 930 Mbits/second on speedtest.net which is 116.25 MB.

Can't speak to the encoding/decoding time overhead, but there are lossless video codecs out there that are probably faster and if they can touch that compression ratio, we could get there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_codecs#Lossless_video_compression
 
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Techno

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,299
Just gave PS now a go on PC, very cool idea. Still a lot of progress to make but I was pleasantly surprised.

I'll end up buying GOW on my PS4 for real now.
 

pswii60

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,609
UK
Stupid question perhaps but why not offer an uncompressed option and bypass using codecs entirely? I have fiber internet and unlimited data. The lag and image softness inherent in encoding is irritating when you have the bandwidth for something better.

Or, how about using lossless (png-based) encoding?

Bandwidth is the easiest variable to solve here so having a "bandwidth doesn't matter" option makes sense to me
At 4k and 60fps lossless video would need 300MB per second!

You'd need a minimum 2.5 gigabit internet connection.

But I agree that compressed video sucks for gaming, because it feels like you're playing a YouTube video. But that's why we have consoles and PC.
Assuming 24-bit color:

24 * 1280 * 720 = 22118400 bits = 2.7648 MB -- that's one totally uncompressed 720p frame.
24 * 1920 *1080 = 49766400 bits = 6.2208 MB -- that's one totally uncompressed 1080p frame.

PNG compression ratio is 11.2:1 on average.

2.7648 / 11.2 = 0.2469 MB per 720p frame.
6.2208 / 11.2 = 0.5554 MB per 1080p frame

(No idea where you're getting this 3MB figure from)

Anyway, round those to 0.25 and 0.5 just for some back of the envelope math, here's the TL;DR:

PNG compression leaves you with:

[email protected]: 7.5MB/second
[email protected]: 15MB/second
[email protected]: 30MB/second
[email protected]: 60MB/second

My fiber connection was just rated at around 930 Mbits/second on speedtest.net which is 116.25 MB.

It's doable from a pure bandwidth perspective.

Can't speak to the encoding/decoding time overhead, but there are lossless video codecs out there that are probably faster and if they can touch that compression ratio, we could get there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_codecs#Lossless_video_compression
1080p though lol. And they're not going to spend the time, money and resource in such a niche part of the market who 1) wants lossless video when they could just use local hardware instead for that, and 2) has the required mega-connection.
 

Neilg

Member
Nov 16, 2017
394
Assuming 24-bit color:

24 * 1280 * 720 = 22118400 bits = 2.7648 MB -- that's one totally uncompressed 720p frame.
24 * 1920 *1080 = 49766400 bits = 6.2208 MB -- that's one totally uncompressed 1080p frame.

PNG compression ratio is 11.2:1 on average.

2.7648 / 11.2 = 0.2469 MB per 720p frame.
6.2208 / 11.2 = 0.5554 MB per 1080p frame

(No idea where you're getting this 3MB figure from)

Anyway, round those to 0.25 and 0.5 just for some back of the envelope math, here's the TL;DR:

PNG compression leaves you with:

[email protected]: 7.5MB/second
[email protected]: 15MB/second
[email protected]: 30MB/second
[email protected]: 60MB/second

My fiber connection was just rated at around 930 Mbits/second on speedtest.net which is 116.25 MB.

It's doable from a pure bandwidth perspective.

Can't speak to the encoding/decoding time overhead, but there are lossless video codecs out there that are probably faster and if they can touch that compression ratio, we could get there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_codecs#Lossless_video_compression
You do understand that the average png compression ratio is across images with big areas of flat color and graphics don't you?

You will not get a 1080p png under 3mb for pretty much any game going. Maybe hohokum will break under 1.5mb
Go save some photos and video game screenshots as png and see what size they hit.
I got the 3mb size from having a folder full of thousands of 1080p png's saved with the highest compression setting possible on my desktop.

And despite all your math being based on false information you've not really considered the decompression time either. Pngs are the slowest file going to unpack. You cannot use them for streaming.
 

uncelestial

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,414
San Francisco, CA, USA
You do understand that the average png compression ratio is across images with big areas of flat color and graphics don't you?

You will not get a 1080p png under 3mb for pretty much any game going. Maybe hohokum will break under 1.5mb
Go save some photos and video game screenshots as png and see what size they hit.
You're right, I tried it with a Crysis screenshot and it was around there. Still, the math re: 3mb frame sizes is provided in my post. 720p is still quite doable even at current bandwidth availability.
And despite all your math being based on false information you've not really considered the decompression time either. Pngs are the slowest file going to unpack. You cannot use them for streaming.
I actually did consider it and commented specifically on it with links.
 

Neilg

Member
Nov 16, 2017
394
Yeah I've used h.265 lossless, it's massive, way way beyond your png maths, and that's one of the smallest ones.
And just because they can decode in real time doesn't mean they can encode in real time either. They can take hours to do a couple of minutes.
 

uncelestial

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,414
San Francisco, CA, USA
At 4k and 60fps lossless video would need 300MB per second!

You'd need a minimum 2.5 gigabit internet connection.
That will probably happen in the coming decade.

1080p though lol. And they're not going to spend the time, money and resource in such a niche part of the market who 1) wants lossless video when they could just use local hardware instead for that, and 2) has the required mega-connection.
You do know that PSNow is 720p and even NVidia Shield tops out at 1080p -- with compression -- right?
As for who would want it: probably gamers, bro, who spend a fuckton of money on their hobby.
Also 80% of US households have access to Gigabit internet.
 

pswii60

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,609
UK
That will probably happen in the coming decade.


You do know that PSNow is 720p and even NVidia Shield tops out at 1080p -- with compression -- right?
As for who would want it: probably gamers, bro, who spend a fuckton of money on their hobby.
Also 80% of US households have access to Gigabit internet.
"Gamers", "bro", who "spend a fuckton of money on their hobby", will surely therefore be happy to use local hardware and enjoy beautifully reliable, lag-free, uncompressed video. And therefore wouldn't be the target market for game streaming.
 

addik

Member
Oct 28, 2017
294
Oh, awesome, I wasn't aware you could purchase it from Amazon. So no CC needed, right? Did you need a VPN or you just redeem the code on your US account?

It's probably awful with the streaming lag, but I might suggest this to a friend who just got a PS4 so he could download and play God of War and the like.
I used my credit card to pay for the code, but I used the one I have here, so you don't need to have a US-based credit card. No need for VPN as well, you just need to input a US address but you can always google a Pizza Hut address or something and put that in as your address.

Once you pay for it, you get a digital code and you just put that in your PSN account to get it. It's pretty simple actually, and you don't need to have VPN. Outside of not taking in any non-US credit cards, Sony USA is pretty lenient when it comes to these things.
 

Gorion's Ward

Member
Apr 6, 2019
193
Israel
I used my credit card to pay for the code, but I used the one I have here, so you don't need to have a US-based credit card. No need for VPN as well, you just need to input a US address but you can always google a Pizza Hut address or something and put that in as your address.

Once you pay for it, you get a digital code and you just put that in your PSN account to get it. It's pretty simple actually, and you don't need to have VPN. Outside of not taking in any non-US credit cards, Sony USA is pretty lenient when it comes to these things.
Yeah, I've been buying Amazon US gift cards and games for years now for my US PSN account, just wasn't sure if PS Now is more restrictive in some way. I'll check it out, thanks! I'm guessing you connect to the data center closest to your account's region? I understand there are different libraries for US/UK subscribers (seriously, Sony?). Kinda want the US subscription but UK will probably be faster for me. Well, at least it won't matter when it comes to PS4 games (except PC...).
 

addik

Member
Oct 28, 2017
294
Yeah, I've been buying Amazon US gift cards and games for years now for my US PSN account, just wasn't sure if PS Now is more restrictive in some way. I'll check it out, thanks! I'm guessing you connect to the data center closest to your account's region? I understand there are different libraries for US/UK subscribers (seriously, Sony?). Kinda want the US subscription but UK will probably be faster for me. Well, at least it won't matter when it comes to PS4 games (except PC...).
Haha not sure how it works, but yeah, I assume you just connect with the server closest to your location depending on which region you register in (which is why I"m hoping they still open a PS Now in Asia someday), but that really doesn't matter if you just want PS4 games as you can download them to your HD.

(Kinda sucks for me though because the whole appeal of PS Now for me is being able to play PS3 games, since I missed out on that generation)

Also not sure if PS Now UK is strict with non-UK customers, but even here in Asia, Sony doesn't really restrict non-Asian customers from buying from their store so I assume if we get PS Now, it'd be the same.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
7,706
Minnesota
png's take an insane amount of time to decompress, they are incredibly slow to work with.

A bit part of codecs is not packing the footage into a small file, it's being able to unpack it at lightning speed.

edit: also at max compression, the slowest to pack & unpack, you're looking at 3mb per frame. that's 10gb a minute for a 60fps 1080p stream. I think to have that stable with no lulls is far beyond the reaches of fiber. 4k would be 40gb a minute.

in comparison, project stream/stadia used 5-7gb an hour, and it's apparently been optimized further.
Can confirm. I process .png files as part of my job analyzing framerates for our tech videos at GameXplain and it is excruciatingly slow. No getting around it.
 

SpokkX

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,744
For select games or generally?
HEVC might become an option but will lock out PS4 and Vita as clients.
IQ is definitely the worst thing about it right now, as well as latency.
What is there besides iq and latecy?

If those those two are bad the service basically sucks
 

Soya

Member
Oct 28, 2017
88
What is there besides iq and latecy?

If those those two are bad the service basically sucks
Quantity and quality of games?

So I have now finished God of War and it is totally playable and IQ is fine. It only really suffers if it gets dark. Normally it uses 10-15Mbit but can get as low as 3Mbit in dark scenes.
Even latency is fine for this type of game. Most people would probably not even realize the lag.
So I must say I am positively suprised by the performance of PSNow. But I should try out a few other games before a final assessment.