Chrome on Windows PC

Multiple commits recently revealed that Chromium browsers such as Chrome will eventually get better on Windows. A commit by Microsoft revealed that the Chromium-based browsers will respect Windows 10’s system styling for captions and as well as allow Outlook users to drag or drop files from the desktop.

Another new commit by a Chromium contributor suggests that Chrome will finally address an issue where the quality of videos deteriorated in some cases.

According to a bug post, in some cases, if you play a video in low-resolution mode (140p) on Windows devices, the video quality is dramatically worse when the mouse cursor is not over the YouTube and other videos.

Expected behaviour:

  • The video should not be pixelated when not occluded.
  • The video’s color should not change when not occluded.

What went wrong:

  • The video quality is dramatically worse when the mouse is not over the video.

In the comments section, Google employee, Chromium contributor and Microsoft engineer have discussed the problem in detail. Chromium contributor Maggie Chen writes that they could experience pixelation/aliasing problem on YouTube with the video source size 192×144 and the video display (destination) size 1076×808.

It appears that the problem is experienced on Windows PCs with Intel GPU and Intel overlay hardware technology.

“This is a case of overlay vs underlay. Today when video is on top, we go down the hardware overlays path; if something is on top of video (we call it underlay case), then we composit the video with the rest of Chrome. So the Aliasing and color change switching between two modes are the difference between two modes,” explains a Google engineer Zhenyao Mo.

Following a suggestion from Microsoft’s engineer, Chromium contributor Maggie Chen has now submitted a commit to address this issue and it could be pushed out to Chrome browsers in a future release.

“The video quality of low resolution mode improves after calling SetBitmapInterpolationMode to change the filtering mode to linear. The code is out for review,” Chen said in a bug post.

“Improve the video upscaling quality in low resolution mode on Windows,” the title of the commit reads. “This is done by setting interpolation mode to linear in direct composition visual. The visual default is nearest mode and the quality is not good. The upscaling quality improves after calling SetBitmapInterpolationMode() to change the interpolation mode to linear,” it explains.