On February 27, Microsoft Edge has got a new flag in Canary, edge://flags #edge-video-super-resolution. As followed from its description, it allows the browser to enhance the image for low resolution videos. However, it was not clear on what devices and how it will work. Microsoft has finally announced the feature officially and provided its hardware requirements.
As spotted by @PhantomOfEarth, Microsoft Edge Canary 112.0.1709.0 was the first browser build to include the feature. Now Microsoft encourages everyone running Edge Canary on the compatible device to give it a try.
What is the Video Super Resolution feature in Edge
According to the company, every third video the user plays in the Edge browser has a low resolution; 480p or even lower. Even on a modern powerful hardware, there could be technical reasons for that. The user may have a low bandwidth, or it could be issues on the server side.
To improve the situation, Microsoft has implemented a new 'Super Video Resolution' feature. When enabled, it will programmatically upscale the image up to 720p.
We are excited to introduce an experimental video enhancement experience, powered by AI technology from Microsoft research called Video Super Resolution. It is a technology that uses machine learning to enhance the quality of any video watched in a browser. It accomplishes this by removing blocky compression artifacts and upscaling video resolution so you can enjoy crisp and clear videos on YouTube, and other streaming platforms that play video content without sacrificing bandwidth no matter the original video resolution.
However, not everyone can enjoy this new option. It requires a fresh GPU, and an AC powered device, so it won't do its work if you laptop is on battery power. It also cannot process DRM-protected content, as its frames are encoded.
Finally, if you laptop has a hybrid GPU, Edge cannot currently activate the discrete GPU automatically. You need to configure Windows to run Edge on the powerful video card manually.
Sadly, my device is out of luck as its GPU is not supported.👆
Microsoft is about to fix this issue in the near future.
System requirements and availability
Video Super Resolution(VSR) is currently available out-of-the-box to 50% of users who have devices and video content that met the following criteria:
- The device has one of the following video cards:
- NVIDIA RTX 20/30/40 series GPUs.
- AMD RX5700-RX7800 series GPUs.
- The video is played at less than 720p resolution.
- The device is connected to AC power.
- Both the height and width of the video are greater than 192 pixels.
- The video is not protected with Digital Rights Management technologies like PlayReady or Widevine. Frames from these protected videos are not accessible to the browser for processing.
If everything above applies to you case, but the VSR feature is not enabled by default in your browser, you can activate it manually. Update Microsoft Edge to the latest Canary build, and then do the following.
Enable Video Super Resolution in Microsoft Edge
- Open a new tab in your Edge browser.
edge://flags/#edge-video-super-resolutioninto the address bar.
- Select Enabled from the drop-down list next to the Edge Video Super Resolution option.
- When prompted, restart the browser.
- Now you should see a new HD icon in the toolbar. Clicking it will toggle enable the new feature.
The official announcement is here.
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