Parsec provides an overlay that lets you adjust stream settings on the fly and see various details about the stream. There is also a console which offers more details about the stream and Parsec as a whole. These details are very helpful in troubleshooting issues with the stream.
When connected to a host, and have the Parsec overlay enabled in your app settings, a Parsec icon is overlayed on the stream window. As shown in the image below, when the button is clicked, you can view performance stats and stream details (1), and can change various settings related to the stream (2).
Stream details (1)
The details shown at the top can help you understand how your stream performance is being affected by your hardware and network, as well as see which settings are currently in use.
- Decode latency - Shows how many milliseconds the client computer takes to decode a single frame
- Encode latency - Shows how many milliseconds the host computer takes to encode (plus capture) a single frame
- Network latency - Shows the round trip network latency between the host and client in milliseconds
- Bitrate - The amount of bandwidth currently used in the stream, in megabits per second
- Decoder type - What is being used to decode the stream on the client. Possible options include Hardware, NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, or the slower Software and FFmpeg
- Codec type - Whether the stream is in H.264 or H.265. Learn more
- Resolution - What resolution the stream is in (e.g. 1920x1080)
- Color subsampling - Whether the stream is in 4:2:0 chroma subsampling or 4:4:4. Learn more
- Full Range - If full range color is being used, "Full Range" will be displayed
- 10-bit - If 10-bit color is being used, "10-bit" will be displayed
Stream settings and controls (2)
Here you can change various stream settings or do basic things like opening the chat, or disconnecting from the stream. Please note certain settings are only available in certain cases, with supported hardware and/or software. Some of these actions also have a hotkey, listed under the hotkeys page.
Parsec may display icons next to the Parsec overlay button indicating issues with the stream, and recommendations for how to alleviate the issue.
Decode - This warning will show up when the decode latency is higher than the stream can keep up with ("The host's resolution or FPS is too high for your hardware to keep up. Try lowering these settings for better performance.").
Network - This warning will show up when the connection between the host and client is having considerable packet loss or congestion events ("You are having network performance issues. Try lowering the host's bandwidth setting, use 5GHz wifi, or connect via wired ethernet.").
Privacy mode - This warning will show up if the privacy mode feature isn't working correctly ("Privacy mode has encountered a display error and is inactive. Try reconnecting, otherwise contact us if this message persists.").
Console and Logging
You can access the Parsec console for diagnostics on the Parsec stream at any time. Once you click on the console, you'll see this dialogue box. It can reveal some interesting information about the quality of your streaming experience.
Sharing the console log for troubleshooting
You might be asked to share the logs via tickets or the Discord server for troubleshooting. The logs needed are usually the ones from whoever is hosting (unless asked otherwise).
- If you're going to share the host computer's logs, play a very visually active game on the host for a few minutes to generate useful logs
- On Parsec, click the Help button > Console > Copy to Clipboard
- Paste the text into Mystbin
- Click the save button at the top of the website. A link to the log will be placed onto your clipboard
- Share the link that is now on your clipboard with whoever asked for the log (preferably in private messages if you're in the Discord server)
Enable extended logging
Starting in 150-90, you can use the configuration item app_log_level = 2 to print additional information about the connection initialization phase of Parsec. You may be asked to do this when troubleshooting an issue with your network, firewall or Parsec relay. The default log level is app_log_level = 1. Enabling log level 2 might impact performance.
What the lines mean
Every few seconds on a host with an active stream, a new line like
FPS:60.0/0, L:8.5/10.0, B:15.5/50.0, N:0/0/0 shows up, with information about the stream.
: This is the stream display number. If a client is viewing multiple displays, the console will show separate information for each of the displays and you can use this number to tell which is for which display
FPS: The first number is the current frames per second that Parsec is sending, and the second number indicates skipped frames. Parsec does not send frames when the screen isn't changing (unless the Constant FPS setting is turned on), which helps save bandwidth. Assuming the content on screen is pushing enough frames, the FPS value should go up to your display's refresh rate, or the FPS host setting on Parsec
L: The first number is the encoding latency in the last 100 frames, and the second number is the maximum encoding latency. Encoding latency is how long the host GPU takes to encode the stream, plus the time to capture the screen. The maximum frametime for 60FPS is 16.67ms (1000ms / 60), and anything too close to or higher than this will mean that the stream can't reach 60FPS, potentially causing stuttering and other issues
B: The first number is the current bitrate, and the second number is the maximum bitrate. The maximum adjusts based on not only the bandwidth limit set in the Parsec host settings, but also how much congestion Parsec sees in the network (indicated by N:), where Parsec will lower it to save bandwidth
N: This measures your network stats. The numbers accumulate as the stream goes, and represent respectively the amount of slow retransmits, fast retransmits, and congestion events. A good connection will have these very close to 0. If you're interested in resolving issues with high numbers, check our troubleshooting article
The console can also show other useful information, such as whether a client connected or disconnected from the stream and with which error if applicable, the resolution and refresh rate being used (shown only on host side), encoder or decoder, codec, full range mode, color format, and more.