Steam Stream Sound Stutters
denyasis Aug 2, 2021
Took me a bit on the title lol.

Here's one where my Google skills have failed me.

For about a year now, when streaming via steam to a Steam Link or a Steam client (laptop), I get weird slowly worsening audio distortion/stuttering ( not sure how to describe it).

Basically, everything is fine and after about 1-2 hours, I notice a slight crackling/stuttering in the bass. This steadily gets worse and after an hour, the entire audio, at every pitch, is stuttering or distorted. Weird.

So. Stopping the game, stopping the stream, and restarting doesn't seem to do it. Restarting the client fixes it... Essentially resetting it. Same with restarting the host.

I've tried on two hosts, gigabit wire and 5ghz. And two different TVs.

I'm thinking the issue is with the host. Buffer or encoding maybe?

The host:
OpenSuse Tumbleweed
Intel 9800k
Nvidia 1070 ti
32gb ram/500gb nvme

I've tried a few setting changes, but when it take a few hours to see if it's working, it's kinda hard to triage and frankly I'm running out of ideas.
I do know I've had the problem for about a year and I've tried various games (proton and native). Last time I know it worked was in 2019.

I'm totally open to any suggestions.
damarrin Aug 3, 2021
I have a similar thing. After a while (an hour or so) sound will sometimes become distorted. I haven't noticed it getting worse over time, it's just there at one point.

In my case restarting streaming fixes it. This is from Pop_OS to Steam Link over wired network.

Edit: good job on the title!

Last edited by damarrin on 3 August 2021 at 5:45 am UTC
denyasis Aug 4, 2021

I tried restarting the stream from the link on Sunday and I'm pretty sure the distortion resumed instead of starting over.

Last night I tried disabling NVFB-something encoder on the host's options. I saw it on some random Steam thread from like 2017 that I can't find anymore. I played for about 2 hours with no distortion, so maybe that's it????

I think I might be able to test it again this weekend.
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