SteamOS streams from computer to a big screen using Linux

SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system built to stream Windows and Mac games, music, TV and movies from a computer to the big screen, along with native support for Linux games. SteamOS allows users to stream over their home networks and onto their TVs, "running on any living room machine." The new OS will be available "soon" for free.

"In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we're now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level," Valve writes. "Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases."

Valve says it is working with well-known media services for music, TV and movies on SteamOS. The new service of course incorporates Steam Family Sharing, allowing users to share their game libraries with friends, and will include more robust parental controls.

This is the likely software portion of Steam Box, a device that Valve has been publicly toying with since March 2012. (In terms of Valve Time, a 1.5-year turnover is some seriously hyperspeed hardware.) Last week at LinuxCon, Valve boss Gabe Newell talked Steam Box and unified couch computing, noting that closed platforms can't bring together disparate technologies.

Big Picture Mode, the supposed UI side of Steam Box, entered public beta in September 2012. Valve has two more announcements to make, with the next one scheduled in two days. The anticipation.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.