Microsoft Edge Introduces Video Super Resolution Feature for Better Video Quality

Mar 9, 2023, 7:43 PM UTC
2 mins read
Microsoft Edge Introduces Video Super Resolution Feature for Better Video Quality
Frame at 0:30 from “Big Buck Bunny.” Left half VSR OFF, right half VSR ON. Original video credits: © 2008, Blender Foundation/ (Image Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Edge is taking a giant leap in video upscaling technology by expanding its use of GPUs. The latest development enables both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs to upscale web videos on Microsoft Edge. Previously, this feature was only available to NVIDIA video card owners who use Chrome or Edge browsers. This move will be welcomed by users who have an AMD board and are looking for a comparable solution.

Microsoft has tested a new feature called Video Super Resolution in Edge Canary, which is designed to upscale and remove artifacts on web videos below 720p using both AMD- and NVIDIA-powered GPUs. Unfortunately, Intel Arc fans will be left out of this for the time being. To take advantage of this feature, users need at least a GeForce RTX 20 series or Radeon RX5700.

This feature can be useful when watching old YouTube videos or conserving bandwidth on a limited data plan. However, there are some conditions that must be met to use Video Super Resolution. First, it is only available to Windows users. Second, for laptop users, it is essential to plug in, and the video must not use a digital rights management system like PlayReady or Widevine. Lastly, if the laptop has a hybrid graphics setup, users must force Edge to use their dedicated GPU since automatic hybrid video support is still in development.

Microsoft developed GPU-agnostic algorithms that rely on a DirectX 12 pipeline to interact with the browser. This was added to Google‘s Chromium engine, which typically uses DirectX 11 so that the machine learning framework could function with the browser. Compression was also employed to keep the computational load relatively light.

Video Super Resolution is presently only available to a handful of Edge Canary users. However, it should be accessible to more users in the coming weeks. Microsoft intends to expand the list of supported GPUs, so don’t worry if your hardware is not initially compatible. Those who are hesitant to use experimental software should be patient, as it may take some time before betas and polished versions support this feature.

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