Microsoft Edge added a “Clarity Boost” feature last year, which boosts the video quality of games streamed from the cloud. Now a similar feature is coming to regular web video, as long as your PC is up to the task.
Microsoft is now testing a feature in Edge based on the company’s “Video Super Resolution” technology, which boosts the quality of low-resolution web video. The company said, “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.”
AI-powered video upscaling is nothing new — it has been a feature on some smart TVs for years, and Nvidia has a similar feature in some GPU drivers. However, there are some limitations to Microsof’ts implementation right now. It only works for videos that are at least 192×192, but less than 720p, and don’t require DRM for playback. Your PC needs an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20, 30, or 40-series graphics cards, or an AMD RX5700-RX7800 series GPU. Finally, upscaling won’t run on laptops running off battery power.
The feature is currently being tested with 50% of people running Microsoft Edge Canary, but you may be able to turn it on manually from edge://flags/#edge-video-super-resolution. Edge will display an HD icon in the address bar when the feature is running, and you can click the icon to turn it on or off for the current page.
Hopefully, Microsoft continues to work on the feature and expand compatibility — it would be great to see this on Intel integrated graphics, or Mac computers with Apple Silicon chips.