Nvidia’s latest AI tech can upscale old blurry YouTube videos

Nvidia has turned its AI upscaling technology on a new target: blurry web video. Announced this week during its CES 2023 presentation, RTX Video Super Resolution is designed to upscale video watched through the Chrome or Edge browsers on a PC to the equivalent of 4K. The catch is that you’ll need a relatively modern Nvidia GPU to benefit from the feature, with only its most recent 30 and 40-series GPUs listed as getting support when it releases next month.

In practice, a video demonstration of the tech at work on Apex Legends footage shows edges being sharpened, and video artifacts reduced. Nvidia’s demo shows RTX Video Super Resolution at work on a YouTube video, but its blog post notes that should work on “any video watched in a browser,” which should cover other streaming services like Netflix. PCGamer reports that it supports any video with a resolution of between 360p and 1440p (including typical 1080p video), up to a frame rate of 144Hz.

It works on video as low resolution as 360p

Nvidia has previously made its video AI upscaling technology available on its dedicated Shield TV and Shield TV Pro streaming devices, but bringing it to the browser should make it available to a much larger audience. It’s already impressed us on Shield TV devices, with my colleague Chris Welch remarking in 2019 that it resulted in a noticeable increase in clarity with the feature enabled.

The only real downside is Nvidia limiting the technology to people with its most recent 30 or 40-series GPUs, which means anyone with an older 20 or 10-series card won’t benefit when it launches in February. I’m not going to pretend to understand the hardware requirements of an AI-based feature like this, but given Nvidia’s 20-series launched with support for its game-focused DLSS AI upscaling technology, I’m crossing my fingers that this new feature will eventually make its way to at least some older cards. 

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