In traditional home theater systems, coaxial cables, optical fibers, etc. are usually used to transmit audio signals, and HDMI or DisplayPort cables are used to transmit video signals. This home theater system did not make people feel any flaws 10 years ago, but now it seems that it cannot meet the needs of large-scale multi-room family viewing or game entertainment.
Generally speaking, a modern family will generally configure a set of main home theater equipment in the living room, and the most luxurious viewing screen and audio equipment will be concentrated in the entertainment center of the living room. This main home theater system will be directly connected to some TV set-top boxes to watch movies or TV programs. The TV set-top box itself is controlled by a hand-held remote control, so it can be operated freely on the sofa in the living room, which is very convenient. However, friends who like to watch movies must know that the program sources of TV set-top boxes are often not rich enough. If we want to watch the resources of the whole network in the living room, we need to connect a PC as a supplement. The range of film and television resources that a PC can collect is very wide, but it has a fatal problem, which makes it very unsuitable for use in a living room environment.
We all know that the supporting control equipment of PC is keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse are built for the desktop environment from the beginning, and they must be placed on the desktop for use. If you want to use the keyboard and mouse on the sofa in the living room, it will be very inconvenient. This reason directly makes it a luxury to connect the home theater to the PC in the living room environment. Furthermore, the price of PCs has continued to rise in recent years, and the average family will only buy a high-end PC. If it is used in the living room to watch movies or play games, many people think it is a waste. Therefore, according to the original purpose and use of the PC, it should be placed in the bedroom, not the living room.
In this way, contradictions arise. If the PC is not placed in the living room, then the home theater system purchased by Sinochem in the living room will be a bit dusty. The programs on the TV set-top box obviously cannot meet the entertainment needs of modern families.
Moonlight streaming technology injects new power into home theater system
Moonlight streaming technology is here to solve the above-mentioned contradictions. Moonlight streaming technology was originally developed based on the game streaming technology of PC graphics card manufacturer Nvidia. Many friends know that Nvidia has produced the NVIDIA SHIELD TV set-top box. The main promotional selling point of this TV set-top box is that it is equipped with game streaming technology. With Nvidia’s own PC graphics card, it can realize the PC in the bedroom and the NVIDIA SHIELD TV in the living room. The set-top box is connected through the local area network, so that the main body of the game runs on the PC in the bedroom, and the player can sit on the sofa in the living room and control the PC in the bedroom to play the game.
The idea is novel, but unfortunately the technology has two limitations. One is that the home theater system in the living room must be connected to Nvidia’s NVIDIA SHIELD TV set-top box to achieve the corresponding functions, and any other set-top box cannot use this technology. Second, the PC must be equipped with Nvidia’s own graphics card to enjoy the convenience brought by this technology. At the beginning of its birth, Moonlight was developed to solve the first problem mentioned above.
Moonlight allows ordinary TV set-top boxes to enjoy high-quality streaming experience
Moonlight is distributed in the form of open source software, and its source code can be packaged into client software that can run on multiple platforms. Currently supported are Android platform, IOS platform, MAC platform, Windows platform, Linux platform and other platforms based on ARM processor architecture. It can almost be said that it includes most of the hardware devices available on the market. A typical usage scenario is to purchase a cheap Android TV set-top box and then install the Moonlight client to enjoy the experience of directly controlling the bedroom PC in the living room.
Using Moonlight to control the PC in the living room, do I still need a mouse and keyboard?
When using Moonlight to operate the PC in the bedroom in the living room, the control device should be directly connected to the TV set-top box. Here, there are two actual use cases of game scenes and movie scenes.
If you use Moonlight to play games in the living room, we can operate without a keyboard and mouse, and directly connect the gamepad to the TV set-top box through wireless or wired methods, and then run the Moonlight client, and the bedroom will be displayed directly on your living room TV. For the games installed on the PC, you only need to select the game you want to play through the gamepad or the remote control of the set-top box to directly enter the game interface. After that, it is completely controlled by the gamepad.
If you use Moonlight to play movies on your bedroom PC in the living room, you can use the remote control of the TV set-top box to directly open the video player or browser on the PC in the Moonlight client interface, but you may still need to connect a mouse to the set-top box for subsequent operations will be more convenient. Because generally speaking, the video player and browser on the PC have relatively weak support for the remote control, and it is more suitable to have mouse control.
Can only N cards support Moonlight?
In the early days of the Moonlight project, only Nvidia’s own N cards could support the use of Moonlight. However, due to the recent adjustment of Nvidia’s business, the Moonlight team began to realize the seriousness of this problem. The operation of Moonlight depends on Nvidia’s software Geforce Experiment on the PC, and once it is separated from it, it cannot run alone. And just recently, Nvidia announced that it will remove technical support for streaming in Geforce Experiment in the near future. That said, Nvidia threw the technology away. The technology itself is very practical, but it may not be able to bring profits to the company from a business perspective of Nvidia.
Fortunately, the Moonlight team has not given up on this technology. Currently, the Moonlight team has launched a new open source project called Sunshine, which will replace Geforce Experience on PCs in the future. This can be said to be good news, because once you leave Geforce Experience, you will also get rid of the restriction that you can only use N cards for streaming. Sunshine is still under continuous improvement, but has added support for A-card and I-card. Friends who like early adopters can also go to their official website to download and use.