Get ready to check out your friends and loved ones in high definition during video chats, thanks to Google. The search engine giant has announced that it will be introducing high-definition 720p video chatting within the next couple of weeks. According to GigaOM, Google will switch from the popular H.264 (AVC) codec to VP8, an open video compression format owned by Google itself.
Launched in 2010, VP8 codec is more efficient and offers better control for Google.
“Connect with friends and family in high res with hd hangouts! we are rolling HD out to hangouts on air initially, then to all desktop hangout video calls over the next few weeks”, Google’s Chee Chew in a post. The rollout will start with Hangouts on Air, the live-streamed version of Hangouts that makes group chats available for viewing by anybody on Google+.
The company has also announced that HD Hangouts would require an HD-capable webcam, as well as “more bandwidth and more processing power than standard definition“.
A small subset of users have already received the HD jump, but all Hangouts users should see the higher quality desktop video in the next few weeks. Besides HD video chat Chew also touted that Google+ plans to adopt WebRTC for plugin-free video conferencing. A combination of WebRTC and VP8 would let Hangouts function totally plugin-free in a modern browser.
I feel this a cool move by Google as it will be really great to see our loved ones in HD.