Supercharged graphics cards aren’t just for playing video games, you know. They can also play…videos. Sans games. Or more precisely, they can improve it, at least with powerful software like Nvidia’s RTX Video Super Resolution. This device uses more small GPU oomph to upscale and clean low-res videos. But if you want something more agnostic, Microsoft released its own version of Edge…
Video Super Resolution is the latest feature baked into the experimental Canary release of Microsoft’s Edge browser. It can scan web video running at 720p resolution or lower and automatically upscale it using your GPU. The tool works with any streaming video that is not protected by copyright (so most of YouTube, but not streaming services like Netflix or Disney +), sharpening and cleaning the look in real time. It’s not as good as actual high-quality video, but in the right circumstances it’s a remarkable improvement.
For the initial release, Video Super Resolution works on machines with Nvidia GeForce RTX 20-series cards or newer, or AMD Radeon RX 5700 cards or newer. Laptop users should also be plugged into AC power, as spinning up the graphics card in addition to the high CPU usage of streaming video will go through your battery like a charging bull through of a tourist in Pamplona. However, Microsoft says it will only enable the feature for 50 percent of users initially, so it’s a coin flip whether you’ll see it.
Typically new features in an Edge Canary build take several months to reach the release build installed on hundreds of millions of Windows machines. Video Super Resolution may be an exception, as it is more complex than the usual engine tweaks or user interface adjustments. It may take some time for Microsoft to iron out the kinks.
If you have an RTX 30- or 40-series GPU, you can try Nvidia’s amazing RTX Video Super Resolution, which works with whatever web video—including those protected by copyright. In fact, the RTX VSR works best with high-quality streams from the likes of Netflix and Disney+.