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Microsoft Edge will start letting you upscale crappy low-res videos online

Some Microsoft Edge Canary users will finally have access to a feature announced back in January during CES 2023.

According to Neowin, that feature is called Video Super Resolution (VSR) and it’s an upscaler that uses AI tech from Microsoft Research to enhance video quality within the browser. Starting today, 50% of Microsoft Edge Canary users will have the chance to test out VSR. The feature works by removing block compression artifacts and upscaling the overall resolution onto various streaming platforms.

This should be an incredibly useful feature since, according to Microsoft’s own data, “one out of three videos in Edge is played at 480p or lower.” It’ll help out users with low network bandwidth or bad video quality.

However, it does come with caveats. For instance, VSR requires a discrete graphics card from either Nvidia (RTX 20-series and newer) or AMD (RX 5700 and newer). Microsoft stated it would drop an update to allow for automatic switching between iGPU and dGPU in the near future. You also can’t use the feature on DRM-protected videos or when your laptop is unplugged.

AI upscaling might be the future

It seems AI upscaling may be the future of general video upscaling, as it’s very similar to one that Nvidia has been pushing as well. That one is called RTX Video Super Resolution that, according to a statement given to PC Gamer, would allow for “resolutions beyond 1080p. It’ll upscale video with a native resolution anywhere between 360p and 1440p, and it’ll work with video up to 144Hz frame rate.”

And it works for both Chrome and Edge browsers, which means that Chrome users aren’t left in the cold. However, this feature would require an RTX 3000-series or 4000-series GPU, but in return, you can have videos upscaled to 4K resolution.

It’ll be interesting to see if any other browsers like Safari, Opera, or Mozilla will adopt their own upscaling tech, as well as AMD developing independent tech to compete with Nvidia’s.

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