Home » Uncategorized » Google Hangouts Getting 720p HD Video Chat, VP8, WebRTC

Google Hangouts Getting 720p HD Video Chat, VP8, WebRTC


Engaging in a video chat with a bunch of your buddies from around the world is fun and all, but it’s not so great when everyone is a blurry, pixelated mess. Google has heard your cries and they will soon be offering 720p HD video chat to everyone. In fact, a few select users have already gained access.

Set to roll out to all users in the next few weeks, the HD video upgrade should make for a better overall experience, but they have to make a few changes in order to accommodate the higher resolution video. One of these is switching away from the H.264 codec, freeing them up from royalties, but also moving to the more efficient VP8 codec. They acquired and open sourced VP8 when they purchased On2 Technologies in 2010. This codec requires less processing power and makes it possible for the average user to handle up to ten 720p video streams at once. VP8 isn’t supported by every browser, though. If you’re using IE, Safari or some older mobile clients, you’ll still be able to run Google Hangouts using the H.264 codec instead.

Google is also working toward implementing WebRTC. Google developed and open-sourced this browser-based video chat standard and the idea here is that they will soon be able to implement a plugin-free browser experience for Google Hangouts. WebRTC doesn’t really support some of the features that Hangouts has — like AR hats and glasses — but that’s something that Google will be working on for the next little while.


About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

Check Also


Try Oculus Rift And Wii To Roam Around On The Back To The Future Hoverboard

Check out how you can fly in virtual space by using an Oculus Rift and a Wii Balance Board.


Amazon Appstore for Android Holiday Deals, Including Free Apps

There are tons of deals from the Amazon Appstore that will be offered starting now and throughout the holiday shopping season. They say that they will have "hundreds of titles that are eitehr free... or available between 50-90% off" the regular price.


Black Friday: Google Play Store Apps, Games and Content on Sale All Weekend

Case in point, if you head over to the Google Play Store right now, you'll find that Google is celebrating all Cyber Weekend with discounts on all sorts of content. This includes many popular apps and games


Black Friday Deal: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-Inch for $100 Off

Did you manage to score any epic Black Friday deals this morning? Are you still ...


Arduino Co-Creator Releases Plans for $200 DIY Mobile Phone

Mellis was one of the people who came up with the now hugely popular Arduino platform and now he has come up with plans for people to build their own cell phone for about $200 in parts.


No Discounts for Apple Black Friday, Just Free Gift Cards

If you were hoping to save yourself some cash as you brave the Black Friday shopping crowds, you'll want to go somewhere other than the official Apple Stores.

  • ReactOSisCool

    Yep, VP8 in the lead for high-res. VP9 will be supported in youtube at the end of this year. We are moving forward for this open source video codec