Google Hangouts upgrading to HD video chat, switching to VP8 and WebRTC | Ars Technica: "Google Hangouts is in the process of switching to 720p HD video, and a select group of users may already have access. GigaOM has gotten Google to spill the beans on the latest Google Hangouts upgrade, which switches several protocols to more open standards so that Hangouts can eventually morph into a plugin-free chat service.
For video, Google is dropping the royalty-encumbered H.264 codec for its own VP8. VP8 was acquired and open sourced by Google in 2010 with the purchase of On2 Technologies. Google says the codec swap will require much less processing power, which will enable most computers to handle 10 720p video streams at once. It should also enable higher-quality, lower-bit-rate streams across the board. The H.264 plugin will still be supported for browsers that do not support VP8: IE (of course), Safari, and older mobile clients." (read more at link above)
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