There’s a ton of excitement around Nvidia’s RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 graphics cards, and with good reason. But one of the most exciting — and a bit underappreciated — things from the next-gen GPU reveal wasn’t actually a graphics card at all, but a piece of software revealed at the start.
Something like Nvidia Broadcast has been coming for a while. Nvidia has always had streamer-focused tools available through Shadowplay, the onboard recording tools that have been part of Nvidia cards since the Maxwell generation. Nobody really streams through Nvidia Shadowplay, but over time the company has built more and more features to make life easier for those on Twitch, YouTube and so on.
One of those tools recently was the excellent RTX Voice, a tool that works on 10 and 20-series cards to remove noises like fans and keyboard presses from microphone audio. Even in beta form, it works so much better than anyone expected.
RTX Voice is one of the most impressive technologies released in ages. It’s not perfect, in the sense that the AI will modulate your voice depending on how hard it has to work to reduce background noise. But for most people, especially anyone with annoyingly loud mechanical keyboards, RTX Voice is basically a lifesaver.
And that’s just one of the tools that’s going to be a part of the new Nvidia Broadcast suite. As outlined in the video below and a longer post, Nvidia Broadcast will be leveraging the same AI tech to enable virtual backgrounds and auto framing.
If you think about how much a green screen costs — and the fact that a lot of smaller streamers in particular will have Nvidia cards due to how efficient the NVENC encoder is for streaming — this is huge. It’s a genuinely helpful tool that will save many hundreds of dollars on equipment, not to mention the hassle of actually re-arranging a space of living room to make a green screen work.It’s not just for streaming, either. Nvidia Broadcast has a neat blur effect which can be handy for video conferencing and work calls, as well as background replacements so you don’t have to worry about changing the background individually for every piece of software. Thisisfine.jpg for everyone! Auto frame is also handy, although less exciting. It basically trains the camera and adjusts the frame to keep your head in the centre of the frame as you move around.
Nvidia Broadcast isn’t available for download yet, but Nvidia says the program will be released sometime later this month — likely around the release of their upcoming September Game Ready drivers, which are set to also include the very useful Nvidia Reflex anti-lag tool. Unlike Nvidia Reflex, which works on any GeForce GPU from the 900-series up, Nvidia Broadcast needs an RTX-class card or Quadro card to work. (RTX Voice did as well, although people found a workaround pretty quickly.)
But it’s great that Nvidia are continuing to invest and promote these kinds of technologies. The featureset is one of the advantages PC has over consoles as a platform, but it’s also one of the things PC gaming should have if it wants to regularly justify the higher hardware premiums. The only thing I wish we had more updates about was Nvidia’s NVENC encoder, and any updates made to that for the 3000-series generation. But still, there’s plenty of cool tools to play with — and for smaller streamers and people in tiny, cramped apartments or with a lot of garbage around their room, Nvidia Broadcast will be incredibly useful.
Nvidia Broadcast is due for release later this year, and it’ll be available here when it’s online.