If you need to get your Orange is the New Black fix in 1080p, Edge might be the browser for you. Microsoft Edge is now the only Windows browser that can consistently stream Netflix in 1080p (the other browsers were limited to 720p). These recent tests follow-up an investigation conducted by Microsoft on browser battery life in June.
According to Microsoft’s own testing, Netflix sent higher resolution and higher bitrate video to Microsoft Edge compared to the other browsers. The fact that Microsoft Edge received 1080p content in their test indicates that the browser actually ran a somewhat higher power draw than it otherwise would have. Internet Explorer also ran 1080p, however, it was less predictable and drew more from the battery.
Their browser also lasted three hours longer than Google Chrome while streaming the same content side-by-side on identical Surface Book machines. Edge delivered 17%-70% more battery life than other competitors. Laptops streaming through Edge lasted about seven hours and twenty-two minutes, while the closest competitor Opera 38 shut down after six hours and eighteen minutes.
How does Edge do it? The browser takes advantage of Windows 10 platform features that keep the CPU in low power states during video playback. CPU intensive video processing operations are offloaded to power efficient peripheral hardware. Microsoft Edge also works with Multiplane overlay display hardware and graphics and UI compositing features to offload video rendering operations.
Microsoft along with the Alliance for Open Media now has their sights set on developing next-generation media formats, codecs and other technologies for UltraHD/4K video. They are also working with chipset companies to support Enhanced Content Protection. The full support system, which will likely enable content owners to stream 4k or higher resolution video, will be available this autumn once software components are completed. Whenever it comes, it is crystal clear that Microsoft is working on making even more crystal clear images.