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Microsoft Edge’s new video upscaling can improve blurry old videos

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Microsoft has unveiled Video Super Resolution (VSR) — an “experimental” video upscaling feature for its Edge web browser that uses machine learning to increase the resolution of low-quality video. Announced on the Edge Insiders blog, Microsoft’s VSR technology can “remove blocky compression artifacts” and improve text clarity for videos on platforms such as YouTube. The feature is still in testing and availability is currently restricted to half of the users running the Canary channel of Edge in Microsoft’s Insider program.

If you want to try it for yourself, there are a few stipulations: Microsoft VSR will only work on video resolutions of 720p or lower (provided both the height and width of the video exceeds 192 pixels), and the video itself can’t be protected with digital rights management (DRM) technology like PlayReady or Widevine, which makes frames inaccessible to the browser for processing. That particular restriction could impact what content you can upscale with the feature, as most popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max all leverage DRM tech for copyright protection.

Videos must be 720p or lower and cannot be protected by DRM copyright technology

The device running Microsoft VSR must also contain either an Nvidia RTX 20- / 30- / 40- series graphics card or an AMD Radeon series GPU from the RX5700 through to the RX7800. This support also extends to gaming laptops running discrete versions of these supported GPUs; however, the device must be plugged into a power source, and users will need to adjust their Windows settings to manually force Edge to run on the laptop’s discrete GPU. Microsoft has not mentioned if VSR can boost 720p resolutions to full HD 1080p.

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