Chrome’s next stable release will support Nvidia RTX video upscaling this week

Chrome

Something to look forward to: Nvidia unveiled its intentions to bring its AI upscaling technology to videos in web browsers at CES last month. Signs from Google suggest the feature’s launch is imminent, but many questions remain about the extent of RTX Video Super Resolution’s effectiveness.

Google Chrome update logs indicate the browser will start supporting Nvidia’s upcoming RTX Video Super Resolution this week when Chrome stable version 110 launches. The feature will also come to Microsoft Edge at launch.

Nvidia demonstrated the technology in January by upscaling a YouTube video of Apex Legends gameplay from 1080p to 4K, confirming its availability to users with RTX 30 and 40 series graphics cards starting this month. It will become usable on RTX 20 series GPUs and other Chromium-based browsers in the future, but Nvidia hasn’t mentioned Firefox.

According to Google, users must manually activate RTX Video Super Resolution in the Nvidia Control Panel, as it is off by default. Furthermore, the feature won’t work until Nvidia releases new GPU drivers to support it, which may happen later this month.

Netflix and YouTube offer plenty of streaming content in 4K, but most videos on those and other streaming services accessible on PCs are in 720p or 1080p. Furthermore, many users buying RTX graphics cards likely have 1440p or 4K displays. That makes for a potentially significant audience that might want improved streaming image quality on the substantial mass of content available.

However, because Nvidia only tested the technology in a slow-moving YouTube gameplay clip, it’s unclear how well it will work on other kinds of content from other streaming channels. Upscaling streamers’ or video callers’ faces presents unique challenges, as do movies, TV shows, or any fast-moving content.

Nvidia product line manager Gerardo Delgado mentioned Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, and online meetings when discussing RTX Video Super Resolution, suggesting the company designed it for all of those contexts. Nvidia hasn’t clarified whether the functionality will affect locally-stored videos played through web browsers.

Another AI-enhanced video-enhancing technology Nvidia recently introduced simulates eye contact in subjects looking towards viewers. Engineers designed it for streaming and video conferencing, but users have also discovered it works on movies.