There’s some good news for avid Netflix watchers when it comes to Microsoft’s incoming Chromium-based Edge browser, as a tester who did a bit of digging found that it will seemingly support 4K streaming on the service.
This is according to an eagle-eyed Reddit denizen who spotted (opens in new tab) flags in the preview version of Chromium-based Edge to enable Widevine and PlayReady, the latter of which is the hardware-encoded DRM (antipiracy measures) needed to play 4K or Full HD content from Netflix (and indeed other streaming services).
Netflix streaming in 4K was one of the major plus points the original Edge boasted, as Chrome and other rival browsers only support streaming the popular service at 720p resolution (at least on Windows) – with the exception of Internet Explorer, which can do 1080p by default (although there are workarounds in the form of extensions to get 1080p on other browsers too).
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Note that to run 4K Netflix streams, your PC will have to qualify for some minimum hardware requirements, primarily that you’ll need at least an Intel Kaby Lake (7th-gen) processor or better, and also a GeForce graphics card from the 1000 series or newer.
At any rate, it’s good to see that Netflix 4K support is making the transition to Microsoft’s new spin on Edge, which is effectively a mix of the old Edge with Google’s Chrome – that's assuming nothing changes between now and the official release of Edge-based Chromium, of course, though we can hope that’s not too likely, as we shouldn’t have to wait long before the browser gets its first public outing.
Streaming is apparently seen as a strong suit of the new Edge, with comments in that Reddit thread observing smooth playback of 4K videos no matter what the source, not just Netflix.