Nvidia’s RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 are definitely looking like exciting PC upgrades. What they don’t have is any real updates for streamers per se. But according to the company, some massive improvements in streaming quality are just around the corner.
In a side post on AV1 — a new encoding format for video that’s partially available on YouTube now, and being implemented more broadly on a hardware and software level — Nvidia revealed that they were working Twitch to enable 1440p, 120fps streams at a slightly higher bit-rate than their current limits:
We are working with Twitch on the next generation of game streaming. AV1 will enable Twitch viewers to watch at up to 1440p 120 FPS at 8mbps; a feasible bitrate that can reach most home-broadband and 5G users.
The Nvidia 30-series RTX cards, including the RTX 3090, don’t actually have a hardware encoder for AV1. That means you won’t be able to supercharge your stream using the AV1 encoder, as the GPUs only have an AV1 decoder — meaning you’ll be able to watch AV1 videos in up to 8K without having to tax your CPU.
AV1 won’t just be important for higher resolution videos, but also for watching back HDR content as well. Of course, encoding is still the main problem.
Still, Twitch and partners like Nvidia are obviously working on that problem. It’ll be interesting to see what users actually use the 120fps stream option — or whether Twitch partners simply enjoy the bump up to 1440p and keep their existing frame rates. Alternatively, Twitch might also allow partners and affiliate streamers to stream at the higher 8mbps bitrate.
It’s not the first time Twitch has allowed higher resolution streams, of course, and many companies have run events at 1440p or 4K. But this would be the first move by Twitch to make this available on a broader scale.
There’s no word from either company on when such a feature would ship, but it’s nice to know it’s in production. If we hear more on when it’s made available, we’ll keep you posted.