Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Aug 2013 15:43 UTC

Noticed any differences when using Google's Hangouts video chat lately? If you did, then you may be one of the lucky users who has already received an upgrade to 720p HD video. The company quietly started to roll out HD for Hangouts to a subset of its users in the last few weeks and hopes to complete the rollout soon. But the change isn't just a quality upgrade - it's part of a bigger move towards open standards that will eventually bring us video chat in the browser without the need for any plugins.

To enable HD, and prepare for this plugin-free future, Google quietly started to transition Hangouts from the H.264 video codec to VP8, an open and royalty-free video codec the company released back in 2010. Google's Vice President of Engineering Chee Chew told me during a recent interview that the switchover from H.264 to VP8 should be more or less invisible to consumers, with some possibly noticing a little less choppiness. "It will be cleaner, better video," Chew said.

Good move.

On a related note, whatever happened to Apple's promise to make FaceTime an open standard?

Permalink for comment 570996
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[8]: Comment by shmerl
by henderson101 on Fri 30th Aug 2013 08:05 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by shmerl"
Member since:

Okay - but where is the protocol coming from? How does client A using a bespoke protocol talk to client B with an implementation of XMPP and client C using legacy AIM? All over a WebRTC based solution. You have never explained how that would work, and I believe that is what Shmerl is asking. Having a low level transport is only part of the issue. TCP/IP doesn't automatically give you HTTP out of the box. TCP/IP is WebRTC and HTTP (etc) is the chat protocol from what I can tell. Please explain how that works and we can all agree with you.

Reply Parent Score: 4