Microsoft Edge is the only one of the four big browsers that can stream Netflix at 1080p

By midian182 ยท 43 replies
Jul 14, 2016
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  1. Microsoft’s Edge browser isn’t a lot of people's first choice for internet activities; most users prefer the likes of Chrome or Firefox. To this end, the Redmond company is going all-out in promoting Edge’s best features - last month it was battery life, now it’s Netflix viewing.

    Surprisingly, Microsoft is the only one out of the four big web browsers that can play Netflix in full 1080p high-definition. The company published data, since confirmed by PC World, showing that Chrome, Firefox, and Opera can only handle 720p. Edge is also able to reach a higher maximum bitrate of 7500, whereas its rivals all hit 4420.

    The blog goes on to talk about the future of video streaming. It states that “In the Alliance for Open Media, Microsoft and other leading internet companies are developing next-generation media formats, codecs and other technologies for UltraHD video.”

    Microsoft also publicized Netflix's own support document showing the different maximum streaming resolutions for each browser. There's good news for Mac users: Safari is another browser able to stream 1080p, on Mac OS 10.10.3 or later.

    In June, Microsoft claimed that Edge was number one when it came to battery life. Its tests apparently proved that laptops using Edge lasted 70 percent longer when compared to those running Chrome. Opera, however, vigorously challenged claims that Microsoft's browser was the most energy-efficient.

    The 1080p revelation could see more people turning to Edge, if only for streaming Netflix, though it’ll definitely become a more appealing prospect once the Windows Anniversary Update arrives on August 2. Not only will this bring even more power-efficiency features to the browser, but it will finally introduce extensions to Edge, and Flash content will no longer play by default.

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  2. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,075   +428

    I'd love to know why exactly Youtube has been offering 4k+ resolutions for years now and both Chrome and Firefox handle it fine yet Netflix allegedly doesn't work at 1080p.

    I have a 4k display and watch 4k videos on youtube pretty often without any problems.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Not that this "feature" is of any interest to me but a M$ browser would always be the last browser I'd consider.
  4. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Booster Posts: 102   +42

    Edge handle a lot better 4k with less cpu utilization than chrome. Chrome has improve with the latest updates but still edge runs 4k better (tested with a core i3-4330)
  5. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,596   +257

    As if that's their selling point...
  6. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 330   +100

    From their blog article they make it seem like its due to inefficiency in the way Chrome and Firefox use Widevine. And their table also mentions EdgeHTML for Edge (which I didn't know was a thing), so I would assume that MS and Netflix had some arrangement to make it possible to stream 1080p with them and not bother with anyone else. I'm just guessing though, so worth as much as salt.
  7. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +357

    If I had to wager a guess, it is because Netflix and MS have been pretty buddy-buddy for a while now - what with Netflix using Silverlight to do their streaming last time I checked.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about a conspiracy. Just that MS and Netflix probably worked together, at MS' proposal, to make sure the Edge would be the first to be capable of pulling a 1080p stream from Netflix.

    I doubt anything is stopping the other browsers, beyond that they would need to work on their Silverlight implementations more. Seeing as how that is a relatively niche feature, I'm not convinced that they will. If they do, it would be just to take the 'best for Netflix' trophy away from Edge.
  8. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 303   +108

    When Edge gets extension support, it's going to be waaay better than Chrome.
  9. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    Microsoft just got to 1080p for netflix? I thought sony is selling 8k tvs. What would they be useful for? Roku streams netflix at 1080p; no computer required. Another thing about microsoft's restrictions on downloading the latest browser is I believe windows xp, windows vista, and might be even windows 7 cannot stream html5 youtube videos. You can do it with firefox, but what typical people really know about that? Overly competitive attitudes. Youtube happens to be owned by google, a competitor to microsoft's bing. Html5 was steve jobs' idea. Firefox also doesn't run properly on the 4 gig allowed by 32 bit machines extended addressing without adblock plus. Now that I have my 8 gig 64 bit mac, I don't have adblock plus, so I'm now a paying reader. Might be why some people call me a freeloader, but I'm not. Att has a similar non competitive attitude. My ooma internet land line goes thru silicon valley. Thus calls to all these number in du page county, il go thru att long distance from california. If you don't call an att mobile phone, like you call someone on verizon from att long distance, sometimes you first get a fast busy when it doesn't handshake and boot the verizon from att server. Since they seem to have seperate servers for like sprint, tmobile, cricket, etc., they cheaply don't keep these servers booted. They are often completely od, or out of order in phone terms. It may even say the number is not in service. The second time you call it mostly works. It could only be att long distance since no one reports it and it is fixed the next day. Not in this case, but on mobile phones they always give you att long distance. This is called slamming and everyone should be given the choice of your long distance carrier like mci long distance and sprint long distance. These companies are still in existence for verizon and att land lines which give you the choice. In the 1980's, the whole reason they upgraded to ess (electronic switching system) from the mechanical switches like crossbar and panel WAS because the us government decided long distance competition was necessary in case att went to puddles and failed. How things go to the outhouse. When I lived in california and they had a fire at the hinsdale, illinois land line switch in may of 1988, my mother in darien, using the downers grove switch, was unreachable for a month except by mci long distance (you'd then prefix the land line call with 10222, now 1010222.) After 30 days when the hinsdale switch was replaced, you could again reach all of du page county.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  10. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    Ye because all of its flaws are suddenly going to go away "when" edge gets extension support...
    Teko03 likes this.
  11. wiak

    wiak TS Enthusiast Posts: 51

    The netflix app beats them all ;)
  12. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Its a DRM thing for 1080p content from the studios ( MPAA digital rights management ) with Chrome and Firefox not in compliance.

    It's up to the web browsers to become MPAA and HDCP compliant with all that before Netflix can send out MPAA content at the 1080p /2160p encodes via Firefox or Chrome .

    64 bit IE 11 on windows 8.1 and windows 10 only will play Neflix 1080p and maybe 2160p also .NO 1080p Netflix in Windows 7 .

    You tube video is a Google proprietary VP9 HTML 5 codec maybe not MPAA DRM compliant (not sure ) Anyway aside from that it is more compressed and less efficient than than Netflix HEVC and HTML 5 1080p/2160p
  13. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 355   +73

    Without my plugins browsing would be intolerable.
    Due to facebooks shitty comment plugin which has no spell check I need grammerly
    Then there is Youtube subscription grid that does what youtube should and hide watched vids
    and lastly unless you are somesort of muppet who uses the same password for everything you need a password manager.

    There is the fact that edge ****s up your bookmark order as well
  14. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Netflix windows run time app is not that hot and it can be unstable . The Andoid TV ( Sony TV app) for Netflix is decent and more stable .

    The x86 PC web browser Netflix UI is the fastest and most efficient way to browse Netflix then you can use whatever extender or browser you want keeping in mind Edge and Windows 8.1 & Windows 10 x64 IE 11 are the only MPAA /Netflix 1080p compliant browsers .

    The Roku Netflix UI is decent and will play 1080p Netflix and the 4K Netflix extenders ofc will play 2K 4K Netflix I think the NVidia Shield extender and APTV and ( X BOX /PS consoles up to 1080p ) will do all that too .

    The best viewing for 1080p /4K Netlix and (other) MPAA HD/UHD iptv content ) is a premium 4K TV MPAA compliant TV app same for Amazon Prime 4K and HDR on both services . NO HDR on You Tube yet they are working on new UHD HDR codec .
  15. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 199   +164

    It depends I think. At least from what I've heard the initial extensions are in-house only, so not sure if they're going to disallow 3rd party extensions permanently, or just temporarily. I doubt they'll disallow permanently, however this is Microsoft we're talking about lol, and they have a history of lodging their head up their rear end lol.
    bluto 2050 likes this.
  16. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    MS been doing 1080p Netflix from the get on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 x64 IE 11 and more recently Windows 10 Edge no joy In windows 7 .
  17. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    OFCouse Edge plays 1080P Neflix also
    No 4K Neflix on the web but I can get it in my 4K Sony XBR TV
  18. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Google is my default browser and I think Firefox is fine also .Edge is below those two in my pecking order
    OTOH Egdge plays and loads a lot of web videos at any resolution that Chrome and Firefox will not open or are unstable playing and that includes many prominent websites .
  19. Bao Nguyen

    Bao Nguyen TS Booster Posts: 61   +38

    I have the answer for you, it's the DRM feature. Movies that was 1080p was compressed and encrypted, and only devices with HDCP support will play, that is why there is no browsers that can play 1080p movies, you're mistaken 1080p movies with 4k non DRM youtube video that will play on all devices/browsers.

    Soon we will move forward to 4k DRM which the current HDCP won't be able to play.
  20. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    1. ppppfffft Edge will play 1080p MPAA DRM /HDCP 2.0 Netflix movies all day on windows 10 so will Windows 8.1 and windows 10 specific IE 11x 64 and a lot of extenders ouside of web browsers (if you have an HDCP 2.0 compatable GPU or IGPU/APU ) .....but nothing in Windows 7 for all that .
    OTOH 4K MPAA content is HDCP 2.2 nothing for any of the web browsers and PC GPU ( that I know of yet ) but some new extenders and my Sony TV can play all that and Windows 10 nativeley supports 4K so it is plausible that could happen with Edge at some point because the new Microsoft Windows 4K game consoles and the X Box one reboot (upgrade bridge product ) will be up to 4K devices .
    Outside of MPAA/ HDCP any of the web browsers can play 4K .but no HDR on any of them and of course HDR implies 4K but not always DRM *outside of MPAA DRM /HDCP 2.2 content .
  21. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Above should read no 4K HDCP /MPAA /HDCP 2.2 for PC yet but maybe HDR 4K gaming and HDR you tube when they get the new codec out if you have the right HDWE and connections .
  22. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    FWIW DVI-D ,Display port and HDMI support 1080p MPAA HDCP 2.0 *with a compliant GPU /IGPU and player or Edge or IE 11 X64 on win 8.1 /win 10 only
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  23. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Kodi on a PC may play all that 4K HDCP2.0 stuff from a HDD with the right GPU and connections it plays all that and 4K HDCP 2.2 on my 2015 Sony's 4K HDR Andoid TV KODI app and from my TV's dedicated add on 3TB NTFS USB HDD with the KODI player /media browser,that TV will play anthing out there short of Dolby Vision without an HDR-10 layer
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  24. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Right ....Edge is still unstable, frequently locks up and more with multiple tabs open and half the functions don't work right .....don't belive the hype all its good for are videos that wont load or play well in other browsers and 1080p Netflix and downloading a better browser

    Sent from Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview Evaluation Copy . Build 14388.rs1 Microsoft Windows 10 fast ring Insider since 01/2015

  25. bluto 2050

    bluto 2050 TS Addict Posts: 270   +33

    Netflix is is mostly or only using HTML5 now on the web .... AFAIK Silverlight never supported 1080p Netflix anyway and nobody's been working on it for years, it's going the way of Windows Media Player with my blessings and likewise for WMP even You tube ditched Silver light altogether
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016

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