- Browser video playback has come a long way largely thanks to the advent of HTML5 video, which has largely replaced browser plug-ins such as Flash.
- The best video browsers support most HTML5 video and audio codecs, provide fast browsing speeds, and have plenty of extensions with which users can enhance and customize playback.
Browser video playback has come a long way largely thanks to the advent of HTML5 video, which has largely replaced browser plug-ins such as Flash.
Users can watch high-resolution videos on websites such as YouTube or subscribe to video-streaming services to watch movies and shows within their browsers.
The best video browsers support most HTML5 video and audio codecs, provide fast browsing speeds, and have plenty of extensions with which users can enhance and customize playback.
These are four of the best Windows browsers for watching videos.
Opera incorporates some unique video options and features that users won’t find in most alternative browsers. It includes a video pop out that enables users to move videos out of Opera page tabs into separate standalone frames on the Windows desktop.
Mobile versions of the browser enable users to compress video, which reduces buffering. Turbo Mode is a similar feature for the Opera desktop browser that can save bandwidth when playing videos and speed up browsing.
Opera incorporates a 360 video player for virtual reality headsets.
The browser’s built-in ad blocker will also remove ads from video website pages and their clips, which will further speed up browsing on YouTube, Vimeo, and other sites.
Entering the keyword ‘YouTube’ in Opera addon’s search box will find 195 extensions for YT from the browser’s own extension library. However, users can also add Chrome’s video extensions to Opera as it’s based on the same Chromium engine.
Thus, Opera users can transform YouTube with additional add-ons much the same as in Google Chrome.
UR is the best browser for watching videos that most users have probably never heard off. Yet, UR has been getting some rave reviews and scores highly on HTML5 video, audio, and streaming benchmarks.
It is a great browser for watching videos on websites primarily because it’s based on the same Chromium engine as Chrome and Chromium-Edge.
Thus, this browser’s HTML5 support is comparable to Google’s flagship browser; and users can utilize Chrome’s video extensions to customize playback on YouTube and other websites.
UR also boasts built-in VPN that few other browsers can match.
Note, however, that UR is a new browser. As UR is currently still in beta it is not an entirely finished product. Thus, the browser is not widely supported by video-streaming services at the moment.
Microsoft Edge is the browser included with Windows 10 that most users overlook in favor of other alternatives. Yet, Edge is certainly one of the best browsers for videos.
Edge is the only browser that currently supports all HTML 5 video and audio codecs. It’s also the only browser that can play Netflix video at a 4K resolution thanks to its PlayReady DRM tech.
The browser provides the most battery efficient video playback on laptops (according to Microsoft). Furthermore, Edge users can add Chrome’s YouTube extensions to Microsoft’s flagship browser now that it’s embracing a Chromium engine.
Google Chrome is the browser king with a massive user base. It generally provides the most extensive HTML5 support and incorporates the latest web technologies to ensure the best video playback.
Chrome is among the fastest browsers for browsing video websites and more generally. Users can add a plethora of great YouTube video extensions to Chrome, such as Magic Actions, Turn Off the Lights, YouTube Plus, and more besides.
Chrome is also a good choice for streaming as users can certainly be sure all the big video-streaming services support Google’s flagship browser.
Chrome users can also watch Netflix movies at a high-definition resolution with the Netflix 1080p extension. Furthermore, users can enhance streaming with numerous other Netflix extensions from Chrome’s vast add-on repository.
Opera, UR, Edge, Chrome, and Opera are four great browsers for watching videos that fully support HTML5 multimedia.
As they’re all Chromium browsers, they also share Chrome’s extensive extension repository for video websites and streaming services. So, Chromium browsers are the best for playing videos.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has since been updated for freshness and accuracy.