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?

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RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by andrewclunn on Wed 28th Aug 2013 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
Member since:

So, no open code, but open codec and open API? I admit I'm a bit confused by the whole transition that is happening with Google Hangouts. If there's an informational article I could read somewhere, I'd appreciate a link.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by lucas_maximus on Wed 28th Aug 2013 17:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
lucas_maximus Member since:

Tbh I wasn't overly commenting about Google Hangouts.

The tech being used here, one can find quite a few examples of how to do the same thing with WebRTC.

Edited 2013-08-28 17:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by Alfman on Thu 29th Aug 2013 00:30 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
Alfman Member since:

When I found out how easy it was (at least conceptually) to use WebRTC to do video conferencing across platforms, I was immediately thrilled at the prospect of being able to dump skype in favor of it by telling friends to visit my webpage instead. It actually worked strait away for me on both window and linux with firefox... however I tried it on android and I couldn't get it to work under chrome or firefox.

Can anyone else get this video chat app working on android? Or iphone for that matter?

Reply Parent Score: 4