What you need to know
- Microsoft is testing a feature that upscales videos within Microsoft Edge.
- The feature uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the power of a PC's GPU to increase the resolution of videos to up to 720p.
- The functionality is now available in Microsoft Edge Canary, though you need to enable it through a flag.
Microsoft Edge Canary now supports an experimental feature that allows you to upscale videos. Video Super Resolution (VSR) uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and your system's GPU to increase the resolution of videos to up to 720p.
Microsoft noted in its announcement post that one out of three videos played on Microsoft Edge have a resolution of 480p or lower. Upscaling those videos should make text easier to read and improve the overall viewing experience.
The system requirements for VSR are relatively high. You don't need one of the best GPUs on the market, but you need at least an NVIDIA RTX 20-series GPU or AMD RX5700 GPU.
Here are the minimum requirements, as outlined by Microsoft:
- The device has one of the following GPUs: Nvidia RTX 20/30/40 series OR 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.
To use the feature, go to edge://flags/#edge-video-super-resolution and enable it.
Microsoft is working on automatic hybrid GPU support for laptops that have multiple GPUs. At the moment, you can use VSR by forcing Edge Canary to run on your laptop's discrete GPU.
If your PC meets all of the requirements for VSR, you'll see an HD icon in the address bar.
NVIDIA announced a similar feature recently, called RTX Video Super Resolution. It also upscales videos, but it works within Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. The feature supports higher resolutions than Edge's comparable offering as well. It's also available today, as long as your system supports it and is running the latest NVIDIA Game Ready Driver.
Our Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino went hands-on with NVIDIA RTX Video Super Resolution and shared his experience.
Windows Central take
It's important to place this feature within context. It's an experimental feature that's only available to half of the current users of the least stable Insider version of Microsoft Edge. I've tested it briefly and the results were... not good. The feature struggles mightily with videos of people. It does slightly better with videos of screen recordings.
But tools like this improve over time as they're trained on more data. It should get better before it ships to general users. So for now, I wouldn't focus too much on the any negative results while trying out Video Super Resolution on Edge.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.