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Valve activates bluetooth in Steam Controller

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, May 14, 2018.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Yeah, you didn't know it had it right? Valve released a beta version of the Steam Client, this update enabled Bluetooth Low Energy functionality for the Steam Controller. You can use it to connect t...

    Valve activates bluetooth in Steam Controller
     
  2. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    The stream controllers have been out for...how long? and they are now just activating the bluetooth in it?.......alright...?
     
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  3. Tripkebab

    Tripkebab Member Guru

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    Obviously because they are now allowing you to stream to mobile device..
     
  4. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    I already set up VPN. So steam thinks that I am on one network wherever I am.
     

  5. Neo Cyrus

    Neo Cyrus Ancient Guru

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    Seriously, wtf? I always just assumed it had working Bluetooth from the start. I would have been furious if I bought one.
     
  6. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    My question... why would they not activate this from the start, as it's a selling point of a controller to be run wireless?
     
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  7. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    It was wireless anyway. They likely considered their own communication protocol superior in every aspect.
    Or maybe they wanted to prevent confusion due to having 2 modes.
     
  8. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Oh okay I missed that, thanks for clarifying.
     
  9. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    This doesn't make sense no matter which way you look at it. If they thought their own communication protocol was so superior, why would they ever bother including Bluetooth? If they didn't think this way, why didn't they just take the simple and easy way out where they only ship Bluetooth? I also don't get why they would keep Bluetooth "hidden" after all this time.
     
  10. tunejunky

    tunejunky Master Guru

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    bluetooth is an open unlocked door into your house. granted, the range is short, but the exposure is huge.

    i have a steam controller and their protocols are *superior* in every way to bluetooth.

    bluetooth is a pox on technology...where you pay extra for CRAP audio and easy exploits.
     
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  11. tunejunky

    tunejunky Master Guru

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    and by CRAP audio, i mean SiriusXM sounds better than bluetooth...and that isn't a high standard. i *need* 20Hz-20kHz at 110db or better dynamic range, ideally bit perfect or at least Flac.
     
  12. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Not really, you have to try pretty hard to make Bluetooth a security threat to you. You should really only be afraid of being vulnerable if all of the following are true:
    * You use 0000 or 1234 for your PIN
    * You set your device to be always visible
    * You deliberately have all your personal files shared and accessible via Bluetooth
    * You use high-power mode, which can extend your range beyond 10 meters
    But really, in the unlikely event someone hacks into the datastream of my gamepad, why should I care? They can't get any useful data out of it, so worst case scenario, they add a few unwanted inputs here and there and I lose the game. It'd be so subtle that I'd likely just blame the problem on signal interference.
    The only time Bluetooth's security is questionable is when using it for phone calls or keyboards.

    Pay extra for what? Bluetooth is dirt cheap, and free to use. As for quality, that depends entirely on both the receiver and transmitter. To my understanding, most devices can go up to 320Kbps, which is plenty good enough (and to my understanding, higher than XM). Some devices can go even higher, if they have the compatible codecs and protocols. If you're transmitting both mic and mono speaker, the quality is always atrocious.

    My Android phone's stereo Bluetooth audio is total garbage - sounds close to 64Kbps. But my old "dumbphone" can stream Bluetooth audio with hardly any discernible quality loss in my car's stereo. The point is: not all BT audio devices are equal.
     
  13. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

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    aptX-HD and LDAC both support 20-20kHz at 120db DR over bluetooth - now whether all devices/iems/headphones/etc support that is another story.

    I can't really think of a reason you'd want lossless streaming over bluetooth.
     
  14. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    When I was shopping for modern High End BT Headphones, I came to conclusion that BT audio standard is crap.
    1st Music playback itself is not great, it is just acceptable.
    Then you pick a call, an this 44kHz sampling rate music/media channel is automatically closed and 2 new 8kHz in & out are opened.
    Same behavior with all $100+ headsets. Look at Marshall Major ii Bluetooth, any self respecting owner returned them. Then others resigned on their right to have quality product, and use cable. Rest have bad experience.
    I had Marshall Major II BT for 16 hours before I returned them to shop. I went through Sony, Samsung, ... none has acceptable quality once you use voice channel back to phone/PC/... $200 no change.
    But they all boast with newest BT standard and encoding algorithms... Pointless waste of time to look for quality BT headset.
     
  15. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    I would agree with this. To me, there is no such thing as a "high end BT headphone", at least relative to high-end corded headphones. In my eyes, BT is plenty good enough for the average person, but I would never recommend it to audiophiles, especially those who wear headphones.
    As I said before, what matters most is if both ends are up-to-spec. BT audio is very similar to analog audio cords: the quality is only as good as the worst component. The aptX-HD protocol, for example, supports up to 576Kbps @ 24-bit, but it's a proprietary technology. If both ends don't support that codec, you're not going to get that experience.
     

  16. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

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    Your second paragraph is the issue. Even when you think devices are compatible, certain combinations aren't. I have a pair of Westone IEM's and their MMCX bluetooth cable, on my Pixel XL2 the experience is terrible - not only is the range bad but even when it's not cutting out the quality is crap and the AptX option doesn't show in the properties for the device while it does for other AptX devices I own. The same setup sounds/works great on nearly every Samsung phone I've tried.. so clearly there is some kind of issue with those two devices.

    I ended up going back to a cable and buying a third party USB-C DAC because the one that ships with the XL2 broke on me twice.
     
  17. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Even those mentioned Marshall headphones have AptX. That itself is not problem. Problem is that regardless to what device you connect those headphones to, they will present themselves as 3 devices.
    One for playback and two 8kHz for communication. It is poor design.

    So I looked for expensive ones, $700 headsets had same stupid problem.
    So I looked for Gaming headsets since gamers kind of spend time on voice chat while playing. Cheapest BT headset which works properly costs $330 (SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless), but that's no longer something what you would wear outside for comfort of not having cable.
     
  18. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    But if the other end doesn't support aptX, it doesn't matter if the headphones have it, thereby resulting in worse quality.

    I don't understand what the problem is with the 3 presented devices; to my understanding, they only activate when needed, so it's not like they're affecting the quality of the primary stereo playback. If you don't want them to activate, just simply disable them.
    For example with car head units, there's one BT connection for stereo audio, one for mic+mono, and another for steering wheel input controls. The 2 audio connections cannot function simultaneously; one will override the other. But let's say you never want phone calls to be answered through your car's sound system, you can go in your phone's settings and disable the mic+mono device. It won't have any effect on your other devices, but now whenever you receive a call, it will be answered through the phone itself.
     
  19. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    How do you want to use it for playing games on PC then? Have you noticed that there are competitive games on android with voice communication too?
    It is design choice to disable 44kHz channel and enable 2x 8kHz channels instead. There is no physical limitation preventing device from keeping 44kHz playback and opening 2nd 8kHz channel for microphone.

    With cellphone and wired headphones /w mic... You pick a call, audio is automatically paused, but in middle of call, you can unpause audio and continue listening to music.

    With those flawed BT headsets, you can unpause music too, but it will go into 44kHz channel which is ignored. And apparently, last thing you want is to listen to music via 8kHz channel.
     
  20. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Ah get what you're saying now. You want the high-quality stereo and the mic support simultaneously? In that case, I could definitely see how you're having issues. For whatever reason, I wasn't making the connection that this is what your goal was - I've never known anyone who attempted that (with BT) so it just never occurred to me.

    I have a suggestion of what might work (though probably not): get a 2nd USB BT adapter for your PC, and have that connect to the headphone's mic, while the primary BT adapter connects to the stereo. I'm not confident that'll work though, since the mic might just disconnect the stereo output.

    Haha another [stupid] alternative would be to have 2 BT headphones, one for the mic and one for good audio quality. I don't see why that wouldn't work, but it sure isn't practical.

    That is a pretty bizarre problem though - doesn't sound like that difficult of a problem to fix (EDIT: for the engineers, I mean - obviously nothing you can do about it).
    Yep I've had that happen to me.
     
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