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Microsoft’s Chromium Browser Might Support 4K Netflix Streaming

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For those who haven't caught up with the news, Microsoft announced back in December that it was developing a new web browser based on Chromium, the same one powering Google Chrome.

That in itself is major news, as Microsoft has never delved in open source collaboration for a browser. But tides have changed. It's not clear if this browser will replace Edge, but it seems Microsoft isn't messing around.

As first spotted by HTNovo, Microsoft's Chromium-based browser will be able to stream videos in 4K, with support for WideVine and PlayReady DRM to be baked in. That means this browser will be able to play Netflix videos at both 1080p and 4K resolutions — the only browser on Windows 10 that does that at the moment is Edge.

Microsoft Chromium Browser Will Stream 4K Content

When streaming Netflix on a computer, the quality depends on the browser and DRM being used. For instance, Safari can stream at 1080p with the FairPlay DRM, while Firefox and Chromium-based browsers can stream only up to 720p using the WideVine DRM standard. On Windows 10, only Edge can stream in 4K provided the computer ticks all the requirements. That includes an HDCP 2.2 compliant connection to a 4K capable display, Intel's seventh-generation Core CPU, and the latest Windows updates.

What Does This Mean?

If the rumor is true, Microsoft stands to gain an advantage over Google as the company looks to acquire a bigger piece of the browser market share, which is currently dominated by Chrome. Might Google add 4K support in the future, as well? It's not clear. But the new Edge browser being able to stream in 4K might be reason enough for some users to make the Switch, and that will most likely be a concern for Google.

The Chromium Edge beta will launch in beta soon, so an official, stable release date might be on the cards sooner than users think. Make sure to check back Tech Times as we learn more.

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