As Gigaom reports, Google has been rolling out HD to a subset of Hangout users over the past few weeks, and it constitutes part of its move away from the H.264 (AVC) codec to VP8, an open video compression format owned by Google itself.
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While H.264 is a standard compression format for HD, Google has said Hangouts would struggle with the format when multiple people were involved in an online video chat. With VP8, this will lower the bit-rate and improve the quality too.
The switchover should happen without you even realizing it – well, when you start seeing better quality video you’ll know it’s happened. It should be within the news few weeks though, this was confirmed by Google’s Vic Gundotra earlier.
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