Popular open-source streaming software OBS Studio is getting some new features, including AI-powered virtual backgrounds from Nvidia Broadcast that allow you to change your virtual environment without using a green screen.
The feature is far from perfect and won’t replace the quality of a physical green screen, but we can attest that it does a decent job. There’s a bit of flickering and feathering when you move, but for streamers who scale down their webcams to a small corner of their broadcast, these problems won’t be very noticeable. The quality can also be improved further with strong lighting and a clear background environment.
Streamers often use the OBS broadcasting software on services like Twitch or YouTube. Previously, it was possible to use a virtual green screen in OBS via plugins, but Nvidia Broadcast will make the feature much more accessible. Those who use an Nvidia RTX graphics card could probably already have the software installed, and Nvidia Broadcast also integrates with lots of popular streaming hardware and applications.
For example, Corsair integrated Nvidia Broadcast tools into its iCue and Elgato software back in July 2022, allowing those who rely on Corsair or Elgato hardware to utilize certain features such as its impressive background noise suppression. The Elgato Camera Hub also got access to Virtual Backgrounds at this time, allowing streamers to access Nvidia Broadcast tools without going to the app directly.
Virtual Backgrounds is the only Nvidia-specific feature added to the latest version of OBS (version 28.0) but there are other non-Nvidia Broadcast features coming to the service, such as support for high-efficiency video coding (HEVC or H.265) and high-dynamic range (HDR). This should improve video compression by around 15% (at least, according to OBS) and allow for higher quality streaming to supported services. No doubt some third-party testing will check how beneficial this feature actually is for real-world performance.
Room echo removal is also being introduced to OBS to help cut back unwanted echoes during your streaming sessions, though it should be noted that this isn’t listed as Nvidia Broadcast background noise suppression, and as such will likely be a direct OBS feature rather than a third-party integration.
Version 28.0 of the app has been in beta since early August, but will be available for public download some time today.