Tue. May 21st, 2024

What is NVIDIA Broadcast?

NVIDIA Broadcast is software from NVIDIA that aims to improve the quality of your video and audio streams. According to NVIDIA, it uses AI—powered by an RTX GPU—to reduce background noise, reduce video noise, and change your background while you’re streaming. It can also automatically track your face on a stream or make it appear that your eyes remain focused on the screen, even if you’re actually looking elsewhere.

Use NVIDIA Broadcast to Reduce Background Noise

NVIDIA Broadcast can help remove annoying background noise or echoes from your microphone’s audio.

To enable it, first download and install the NVIDIA broadcast app. By default, noise reduction will be enabled as soon as the program installs, but if it isn’t, or if you want to adjust any of the settings, here’s how.

Double-click the icon on your taskbar to open it up.

Double-click the NVIDIA Broadcast icon on the taskbar.

Make sure your microphone is selected, then click “Add Effect.” If you don’t have multiple audio input devices, the default option will be fine.

Click the drop-down menu, select your physical audio device, then click 'Add Effect.'

Click the drop-down box, select “Noise Reduction,” then click the toggle position to on.

The available filters in the Effects area.

If you want to add echo reduction, just click “Add Effect” again and select “Echo Reduction.”

Now, if you want to actually use the noise reduction filters, you can’t select your physical microphone as your input device, you need to select “NVIDIA Broadcast” instead. Here is an example of what you might see:

Microphone NVIDIA Broadcast in Google Meet

Just how good is the noise reduction? Pretty great. Historically, noise reduction software has been pretty hit or miss. Sometimes it would work well, while other times it turns your voice into a difficult to understand mess, as it attempts and fails to distinguish between your voice and background noise.

I compared it to Discord’s Krisp Noise Suppression for about a week and found that the performance was comparable. Of course, the primary advantage is that you can use NVIDIA Broadcast in any app.

It isn’t limited to just audio. It also has tools to improve your video quality, too.

Add a Virtual Background

NVIDIA Broadcast also lets you impose virtual backgrounds. It has three major options:

  • Background Blur: Blurs the area behind the primary subject.
  • Background Removal: Removes everything behind the primary subject and replaces it with pure black.
  • Background Replacement: Removes everything behind the subject and replaces it with an image or video.

To turn any of them on, first, double-click the NVIDIA Broadcast icon on your taskbar.

Double-click the NVIDIA Broadcast icon on the taskbar.

Once the app has opened, switch to the “Camera” tab, then select one of the three options from the drop-down menu.

Click the 'Camera' tab, then click the drop-down menu and select one of the three options. Click the toggle to enable it.

I used Background Replacement with the default NVIDIA image as the background. You can click the “Select an Image or Video” button to use a different one. If you want to overlay your cutout on a stream, use Background Removal instead.

I tried it out in a variety of lighting settings and found it worked pretty well when set to Quality mode. There is a slight defect to the left of his head that showed up in medium to low lighting. However, it is still pretty impressive, considering that there is actually a computer screen, a set of car keys, and a remote control all positioned behind him.

A Star Wars bobblehead with the background replacement tool active.
Nick Lewis / How-To Geek

Moving new objects around behind the subject results in some of it clipping through, but once it stops moving, it disappears as it should. There was one exception: a colorful Ecuadorian llama.

Our Star Wars bobblehead with a colorful Llama behind him.
Nick Lewis / How-To Geek

For some reason, no matter the lighting conditions, the distance between the two objects, or the orientation, the AI really liked showing the llama. It also resulted in the software clipping out part of his head.

Performance mode aggravated all the problems significantly. You should avoid it unless you experience serious performance issues with Quality.

However, barring those considerations, it worked quite reliably.

Remove Noise from Video

NVIDIA Broadcast can also reduce noise in your video. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have optimal lighting or if your webcam is a bit older. To enable noise reduction, open up NVIDIA Broadcast, then click “Add Effect.”

Click 'Add Effect' in the Camera tab.

Click the drop-down menu, select “Video Noise Removal,” then click the toggle.

Click the drop-down menu, select 'Video Noise Removal,' then hit the toggle.

Here’s a quick example of how it works. The left frame is the regular output from the webcam, the right is a moment later with noise reduction active.

The noise reduction is disabled on the left, noise reduction enabled on the right.

Like all noise reduction programs, it does result in a very smooth looking surface. However, you can always switch between Strong and Weak denoising. Weak is best used when your webcam has only a little bit of noise. You shouldn’t Strong for when it is absolutely necessary, since it does reduce image quality some.

NVIDIA Broadcast does have some other tools, but their uses are a bit more niche.

  • Auto Frame: Automatically crops the video frame to follow your face.
  • Vignette: Slightly darkens the perimeter of the video frame.
  • Eye Contact: Uses AI to make it appear as though you’re always looking at the camera

Of those, eye contact is the most interesting, but it is also incredibly uncanny. It also doesn’t work perfectly. Sometimes you’ll be moving your head around and the AI-generated eyes will disappear, and your eyes will appear to aggressively snap in another direction. However, it could be a fun effect to use while you’re streaming your gameplay.

Source link

By John P.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *