NVIDIA video card owners already have the luxury of video upscaling in Chrome or Edge, but what if you have an AMD board? Microsoft thinks it can help. It’s testing a Video Super Resolution feature in Edge Canary that upscales and removes artifacts on web videos below 720p using both AMD- and NVIDIA-powered GPUs (sorry, Intel Arc fans). You’ll need at least a GeForce RTX 20 series or Radeon RX5700, but this could help if you’re watching an ancient YouTube video or want to save bandwidth on a capped data plan.
There are some conditions. This is only for Windows users, for a start. You have to plug in if you’re using a laptop, and the video can’t use a digital rights management (DRM) system like PlayReady or Widevine. At present, you’ll also have to force Edge to use your dedicated GPU if your laptop has a hybrid graphics setup. Automatic hybrid video support is in development, Microsoft says.
The technology relies on GPU-agnostic algorithms. Microsoft had to add a DirectX 12 pipeline to Google’s Chromium engine (which normally uses DirectX 11) so that its machine learning framework can interact with the browser. Compression helps keep the computational load relatively light.
Video Super Resolution is only available to a handful of Edge Canary users at the moment, but should come to more users in the “coming weeks,” the company adds. It also plans to widen the list of supported GPUs, so don’t be disheartened if your hardware isn’t initially compatible. Just be patient if you aren’t willing to use experimental software — it’ll likely take a while before betas and polished versions support the feature.