The new version of the Microsoft Edge browser, based upon the open-source Google Chromium framework, will be capable of 4K Netflix streaming, it has emerged.
The forthcoming browser update – designed to improve extension compatibility across the web and reduce fragmentation – will also offer Netflix streams at the highest possible resolution.
Currently Microsoft Edge is the only major PC browser to support Netflix in 4K, while the likes of Chrome and Firefox only go as high as 720p. There are third-party extensions that enable up to 1080p streaming, but it certainly isn’t native.
Today’s news comes, as it often does, from eagle-eyed Redditors who’ve spotted flags in the leaked version of the browser, codenamed Anaheim. The Redditors have been playing around and have achieved smooth 4K playback in the new browser without any lag (via Neowin).
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The flags for the Widevine and PlayReady DRM tools enable 4K streaming, but users will need a PC running an Intel Kaby Lake processor or an Nvidia GeForce GPU 1000 series and up. Naturally, a 4K monitor will be required also.
All this might mean a strong debut is on the cards, for Microsoft’s forthcoming browser update. Strangely, those flags aren’t available in Chrome, despite also being built on Google’s Chromium framework, although that could quickly change.
Despite the leak, there’s no news yet on when the Chromium-based Edge browser will officially launch. In a blog post in December, Microsoft explained its reasoning for moving to the new framework.
“Ultimately, we want to make the web experience better for many different audiences,” wrote Windows boss Joe Belifore in a blog post. “People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all web sites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices. Web developers will have a less-fragmented web platform to test their sites against, ensuring that there are fewer problems and increased satisfaction for users of their sites.”
Will access to Netflix 4K streams encourage you to give the Anaheim browser a shot when it eventually launches? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.