Nvidia adds AI-powered SDR to HDR video enhancement to its latest drivers — RTX Video HDR now available for all RTX owners

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 Mobile
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Alongside the launch of the company's brand-new RTX 4070 Ti Super GPU, Nvidia has announced RTX Video HDR. The new driver-level feature takes advantage of the Tensor cores on RTX graphics cards and allows users to see HDR colors in videos that were originally filmed in SDR, theoretically enhancing visual quality for free.

Available with Nvidia's latest 551.23 Game Ready drivers, RTX Video HDR is yet another AI-powered technology from Nvidia that seeks to make videos look better. Last year we received Video Super Resolution, which is essentially DLSS but for videos, and it seems Nvidia wasn't just making a one-off gimmick as a side-project.

Once we installed the 551.23 driver, we were able to find the RTX Video HDR feature in the Nvidia Control Panel under the "Adjust video image settings" menu; the option was simply labeled "High Dynamic Range," which is what HDR stands for. It's unfortunate that RTX Video HDR is only accessible in a very outdated program with a UI out of the Vista days — hopefully it'll make its way to the more modern GeForce Experience app, as well.

We were able to enable RTX Video HDR in both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. and saw a very noticeable difference between between normal SDR content and when RTX Video HDR was enabled. Colors in YouTube videos became brighter and less washed out — just like you would expect with HDR — and nothing looked particularly wrong. This was on an HP X27q, which isn't even a particularly high-end HDR monitor.

Considering that RTX Video HDR appears to work more or less as expected and is supported on all RTX GPUs — going all the way back to the RTX 20 series — it doesn't seem like there's any reason to not enable it if you have an HDR monitor. Though, more thorough testing might reveal any shortcomings that Nvidia's new AI feature has.

As AI hardware proliferates more and more, we can expect to see more of these sorts of features from Nvidia and other companies, such as Intel and AMD, which are both working on their own versions of Video Super Resolution. For the moment, however, Nvidia remains unchallenged in its AI-based solutions for enhancing both resolution and color for online videos.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

  • bit_user
    I'd love to know more details, such as whether it now uses temporal information (the prior review of VSR showed it didn't!).

    I sure hope the "color enhancement" was trained on the same material mastered in Rec. 601 or BT.709 vs. BT.2020 colorspace, and not just what someone thought "looked good".
  • saunupe1911
    So does HDR have to be manually enabled in Windows 11 or does this automatically trigger somehow after enabling with the Nvidia Control Panel ?
  • derekullo
    The short answer is Yes.
    HDR does need to be enabled in Windows for it to be shown.
    What the article is saying is that it can enhance video that was not HDR to begin with to look similar to HDR.
    Without an HDR monitor and that setting enabled above I wouldn't expect much of a difference from the new driver on an SDR monitor besides maybe increased saturation.
  • brandonjclark
    To quickly enable - disable HDR mode for Windows just press the following combination:

  • evdjj3j
    I hope this works better that RTX Video Super Resolution because that does not work well at all.