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[5]: Comment by shmerl
by Lennie on Thu 29th Aug 2013 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shmerl"
Member since:

XMPP is great, but I also think the WebRTC guys and gals might be taking a slightly different approach.

They want to have flexibility in how WebRTC is used, take Cromecast, it used WebRTC screensharing.

How would the model of XMPP apply to Chromecast ? Not so well I think.

A lot of work is not done with WebRTC.

They are actually now busy connecting the "identity assertions" to the encrypted media (audo, video, data):

That is, I know, a different approach to XMPP.

But their goal is to support direct P2P media. It should eventually be possible so that your webbrowser can send the audio directly to a VoIP-phone.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 29th Aug 2013 15:14 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:

So they are trying to standardize something above WebRTC? That's good, but it's nowhere standard yet.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by shmerl
by Lennie on Thu 29th Aug 2013 15:36 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by shmerl"
Lennie Member since:

Maybe you should think of WebRTC more of a framework of protocols that can be used to build other things.

People are using XMPP and SIP with WebRTC, that works.

VoIP phones probably less good, because most VoIP phones don't support proper encryption and WebRTC only supports encrypted transport (it is probably a good thing to put improvement above compatibility).

But WebRTC itself does not define anything.

It is to bad Google Hangouts does not support XMPP anymore.

The real problem is of course that Google doesn't say why they did it, they probably have a plan.

My guess is some product or service they want to announce. Or use of Google Hangouts we haven't considered yet. Something like Google Helpouts maybe ?

Edited 2013-08-29 15:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3