Media, HDMI In, Linux & More
Now many people know Steam as a platform for game distribution, but did you know there is an entire video section? This turns the Steam Machine into a media machine as well. There are many free to watch titles in Steam’s video library like Free to Play and Kung Fury.
The Steam Machine also has an HDMI-In port on the back. This gives you the ability to plug another device into the Steam Machine to save you an HDMI port. To access this device all you have to do is hit the Steam Button on the Steam Controller and hit Switch to HDMI input and it will switch to it. I had my Amazon FireTV stick plugged in and it worked great, I was also able to use one of the USB ports on the back of the Steam Machine to power it so that saved me a plug on my power strip.
Now the Steam Machine is a computer running Linux. You can access the Linux desktop pretty easily. By default this is turned off. First you will need to enable it by going into the SteamOS settings then click on Interface. Now check “Enable access to the Linux Desktop”. Once you have that checked you just press the Steam button on the Steam Controller and you can select desktop mode. Now you will be in Linux and you can do various things like install extra software say for recording or streaming. Now keep in mind if you’ve never used Linux before it is not as easy as installing something on Windows. We actually tried to install OBS on the Steam Machine and while we got it installed it would not load.
Now if you are more versed in Linux than us and you install programs you want to use you can actually add them into Steam quite easily so you don’t have to go into desktop mode each time to use them. If you go into the SteamOS settings you can add a shortcut to your library. It really is that easy! Now you can load the program directly within Steam.