OBS update makes adding green screen effects easy with new virtual backgrounds

Streamer sat at her desk, playing a game and talking on mic to her chat
(Image credit: Shutterstock / DC Studio)

To commemorate its 10 year anniversary, OBS Studio is launching version 28.0 of its app adding new features which include support for select features from NVIDIA Broadcast.

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio is an open source streaming software that people use to record, compose, and broadcast a live stream. Twitch and YouTube streamers typically use OBS to pull together different audio and video sources to form a singular production environment. When it comes to creating a set, many streamers like to use a green screen so they can project the game behind them for a more immersive experience.

Now with OBS Studio 28.0,  live streamers no longer need a physical green screen or plugins thanks to the newfound integration with NVIDIA Broadcast. This is a software suite that comes with a lot of tools to enhance a videos or live stream with one of the key features being Virtual Backgrounds.  

Migrating from NVIDIA Broadcast

Powered by AI, Virtual Backgrounds can completely replace a streamer’s studio background with an image of space, a coral reef, or the video game that they’re playing. The tech isn’t perfect, however. If you look at NVIDIA’s official page for its Broadcast suite, you will see a noticeable flickering whenever the streamer moves too much. But since the live feed of a streamer is typically in the corner of the video, you probably won't notice.

OBS Studio 28.0 will also have Broadcast’s Noise and Echo Removal. This feature eliminates any and all “unwanted background noise” that can interfere with a live stream. This includes noises like annoying keyboard typing, loud PC fans, and distracting static. The same goes for room echo. The removal tools can be activated by turning on their respective filters in OBS, giving people a bit of flexibility on what they want to eliminate and from which source.

Codec support

Besides the Broadcast features, OBS is also getting the long-awaited support for the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) codec and HDR (high dynamic range). 

HEVC is a codec that is highly efficient at compressing video, by up to 15 percent according to NVIDIA. This allows streamers to upload their videos in small files on HEVC-supported platforms like YouTube while maintaining a high quality.

The HDR support allows users to record and stream in the standard allowing for brighter colors and darker blacks, resulting in more visually stunning videos. NVIDIA states in the past users had to turn off the HDR feature on their computers because it would mess with the OBS recording. Videos would have washed out colors if recorded at different bits, apparently. But with new advancements in tech such as the prevalence of HDR displays, the developers saw it was a good time to add the support. 

Missing features

Going back to NVIDIA Broadcast, you may notice it has some features not found in OBS 28.0. Video Noise Removal, which enhances webcam quality, and Auto Frame, a feature that allows your camera to follow you while streaming, are not in the new OBS. We reached out to NVIDIA for information as to why these features were omitted.

A representative told us NVIDIA gave access to all of Broadcast’s features to the OBS developers, plus the resources and support to help integrate the tools. However, it’s up to the OBS developers whether or not they want to fully integrate all of Broadcast's features. Currently, it's unknown if they want to add more support.

If you’re a fledgling live streamer, we recommend checking out TechRadar's own NVIDIA Broadcast guide to help you get started with the software.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.