One of the major additions of the latest GeForce driver is NVIDIA RTX Video HDR, which introduced an automatic feature to convert SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) videos to HDR (High Dynamic Range) for those who have a compatible display.
While NVIDIA RTX Video HDR was announced to be working only on videos viewed through browsers, some enterprising users on the Guru3D forum have found a way to enable it for PC games, thanks to hidden ‘TrueHDR’ profile settings.
Modder emoose, who previously brought PC gamers the DLSSTweaks wrapper that forces DLAA support in games with DLSS, has now released an NVIDIA RTX Video HDR mod that makes it fairly easy to try the feature in games.
You will need to be using Windows 11 with the 2022 Update (version 22H2), as the feature requires WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 3.1. To use the tool, extract the download and run NvTrueHDR.exe, then enter the name of the game’s .exe file when prompted.
Make sure to disable NIS (NVIDIA Image Scaling) as it’s not compatible with it. The same goes for DSR/DLDSR and, of course, Windows AutoHDR.
Remedy’s programmer Filippo Tarpini, who added HDR to Control with his mod and also worked on the official Alan Wake 2 implementation as well as the Starfield Luma Native HDR mod, shared a brief but very positive review on Nexus Mods:
- From a quick test, it looks better than AutoHDR. Good gamma (~2.2, maybe a mix between 2.2 and sRGB) (massive advantage over AutoHDR as there’s no raised blacks anymore).
- Shifts colors a bit too much. The brighter the color, the more it’s shifted (more saturated). Hopefully, they will add a toggle for that.
- It has a paper white of about 250-300 nits based on my perception (that doesn’t mean that SDR 111 (white) becomes 300 nits, it’s remapped around mid-gray or so).
- The peak seems to be between 750-1000 nits based on my perception. I don’t know if it follows the Windows 11 HDR calibration profile.
- The SDR to HDR Windows brightness slider value is ignored; there’s no way to change the average picture brightness.
- It seems purely a straightforward pixel-by-pixel remapping with no temporal or positional awareness.
- The UI doesn’t seem to be detected by AI or anything like that, so pure white UI will go to 1000 nits.
- It doesn’t seem to try to generate missing/clipped detail on highlights (in case you thought AI could do that).
- Cannot be captured by Game Bar screenshots nor NV screenshots (it probably happens at the end, at the driver level, so no interference with anti-cheat software).
- Games need to start in SDR for it to ever engage. Enabling native HDR in the game breaks the native HDR, but you can always toggle back to SDR and NVIDIA RTX Video HDR starts applying again.
For it to engage, you need to enable it with emoose’s tool before starting the game. Having RTX HDR enabled in the NV control panel is not necessary.
- It only works when the game is borderless fullscreen (except on DX9/10) and fullscreen exclusive. Any kind of overlay temporarily disables it.
- I could not see any banding on the few games I tried. It’s possible it adds debanding filters due to upgrading 8-bit buffers to 10-bit
- It works with DX9, 10, 11, and 12 games. Vulkan and OpenGL are untested: supposedly, they also work if they are presented with DXGI swapchain.
Needless to say, NVIDIA RTX Video HDR doesn’t work perfectly with games yet. However, it seems like it can already yield better results than Microsoft’s AutoHDR, and there’s certainly a lot of room for improvement since NVIDIA didn’t even promote the feature for gaming. We’ll keep track of any major updates and report back.