This means you will soon be seeing Google+ Hangouts in HD quality. Expect us to roll this out over the next few weeks.
#googleplusupdate
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The lovely world of RTC is the future. Well done Google. 
 
And are browsers other than Chrome supporting VP8?
 
Fantastic news, can't wait to try WebRTC on Hangouts.
 
This is a brilliant enhancement to an already great product +Vic Gundotra.  The video quality of hangouts now is already fantastic so having them in HD will be mind blowing.  Thanks for the update, I am excited.
 
Great. I hope the audio quality improves as well.
 
Chrome, Firefox and Opera support WebRTC natively, but Microsoft has actually been trying to push for a different take on the standard that isn’t based on the VP8 video codec, and Apple has given no indication that Safari will ever support WebRTC.

They're just shooting themselves in the foot. Who uses IE or Safari nowadays anyways.
 
How about native Hangouts clients so we don't choke our poor browsers to death as we are currently? Even text chat can kill Chrome if left open long enough ;)
 
Good to hear... unfortunately, facetime quality is still vastly superior. Heres hoping the VP8 is a huge quality boost to Hangouts!
 
Will it impact on quality for low bandwidth locations ?
This was the power of Hangout vs Skype. 
 
Hope to see an improvement in audio and stability soon.
Also when I want to make a video call the other partner doesn't get any notification about this
 
I just finished a Hangout with my girlfriend. We usually only see each other on the weekend, but it's nice to talk while we make dinner most nights. A clearer picture is only better!
 
If Hangouts can run in a browser without plugins then it should work on mobile devices too, right? That'd be one way to get around AT&T blocking video chat on Android phones. 
 
Awesome! Google really needs good quality. Now to deal with network speeds...
 
If only I could use hangouts to reliably text chat with my wife .. All this great functionality is entertaining but the core functionality is broken :(
 
Now everyone can see my wrinkles in HD :)
Fantastic update. Keep up the good work.
 
You guys are soooooooooooooooo great thanks for the dedication to give us users the best tools for free! 
 
This will go well with the New Nexus 10 coming! 
 
Question - As is Hangouts have been flaky for my friends and I on our (pretty much) average to above average broadband connections. Audio wouldn't sync well, and video would be choppy. I'm skeptical now as to why the push for HD hangouts? Wouldn't this move make the above issues worse?
 
This is great! However, I wish the G+ Hangouts team would do something about screen sharing. Right now, it's only usable on a large, high-resolution screen, because there is no way to see a shared window full-screen. Will there ever be away to do so +Vic Gundotra ?
 
What happened to VP9?
 
Please make the emoticons bigger! It's like one pixel for each eye, I can't tell what emotion they are supposed to be! 
 
Using open Standards would allow other companies build hangout clients or not at all?
 
Whoa! What next? This is so awesome!
 
When will we get Google Voice on tablets with just WiFi....?
 
Please add the ability to make the watched video full screen. No full screen mode means that sharing your desktop is not very useful, since the text isn't readable. If you want proof that people want this do a a Google search for 'Google hangouts fullscreen' and check out the multiple pages of results. 
 
WebRTC is the game changer. Looking forward to it.
 
How about a way to disable the very extremely annoying auto keyboard mute?
 
please add audio-only calls so I can finally ditch skype.
 
This is simply fantastic news! It was a logical step up, but still - just fantastic!
 
Awesome +Vic Gundotra glad to see google push VP8 / VP9 codec standards, DSL where I live is to slooow. Anything that helps "the tubes" go faster is welcomed. Now if we could get mobile clients on board.
 
Sad for Samsung chromebooks users, because their camera is not HD! 
 
Are most front facing camera's on smartphone and tablet even capable of producing HD video?  The pixel count has always been much lower on the front facing camera and not sure what it has to be to produce HD video.  Anyone have any info on this????
 
Audio-only calls would be nice too...
 
Man this is something that should be at the bottom of the list of things to change in Hangouts. There are so many fundamental issues with hangouts that should have been fixed before this was even considered. Typical Google move lately.
 
2mp is over 720p and just short of standard 1080p
 
Thanks for the info +Steven Knox , that is lower then I expected so that is awesome news.
 
When will we be seeing the standalone application for the desktop?
 
+Peter Yates On mobile you can do this with GV Phone, Chrome plugin you can do this as well.
 
You are welcome +Josh Fisher
Only major issue of now is the fps, with today's galaxy phones they run pretty smooth.
 
My guess is they would be shooting for 720p30fps, IDK, I could easily be wrong, I know about home audio video processing and how it works and tricks they use (like double the frame rate or more) but not really sure if it applies the same here.  the input still has to be good enough though, garbage in, garbage out.
 
100% reliable operation of standard-definition google hangouts would also be nice to have.
 
What about #VP9 ? which is supposed to be the real competitor of #HEVC aka H.265?? 
 
A much better upgrade to hangouts would be the ability to disable the hangout from messing with my mic volume, and being able to disable the keyboard detection. It's retarded and doesn't work.
 
What kind of CPU/GPU requirements are there to encode 720p or 1080p in real time?
 
Awesome! Do away with the annoying un-intuitive popout windows too, and this will be a winner. 
 
+Oleg Kikin , if your display is 720p or above and you can view HD video's from Youtube then I think you should be good to go.  Bandwidth and the codec will be the deciding factor on quality.
 
Awesome! Can't wait for WebRTC, too
 
I have a Logitech C310 HD camera.But I dont see the HD thing.Country Romania.
 
No audio-only calls but here we have HD video-call. Bravo. :-) 
 
Aw, man! Now I have to invest in heavy pancake make-up! I'd pay for features that would improve me during a video conference! (Hmmm... start-up idea?)
 
Hum, what about sms integration with hangouts?
 
Does this include the Android client as well?  Apple's FaceTime makes Hangouts look like a joke and I was never quite sure if it was a hardware (camera) issue or a software one.  The video I receive from Nexus 4 and Nexus 7's are terrible in hangouts.
 
Nice. Hangouts look like great fun, and now might be the time to jump on board with them!
 
Make it possible to switch camera between users manually. S'il vous plait. 
 
I really wish hangouts would be my primary messaging/video service...but without SMS, I can't use it. I don't want to be annoying, I want Google products to be the best it can.
 
While you guys are at it, please disable the uber annoying auto-mute while typing feature. It makes collaborating over Hangouts very challenging.
 
I agree with +Wesley George. While the HD steam is a nice feature (hopefully will bring the quality on par, or better than Apple's FaceTime). Hangouts without SMS integration is not ready to be integrated into my life. I'm curious why this hasn't been done yet.
 
awesome feature and i love the app but PLEASE bring sms to hangouts!  Integration with the dialer so we can click a button while on a call and "hangout" would be ideal too!! 
 
Its great only need something other than my droid:
 
+Daniel Nabavian To answer your question. No it won't affect bad connections most likely as the video quality adjusts to the network. It can also be manually set
 
+Gavin Treadgold Google has been moving away from native clients and to web apps for years so reversing the trend isn't likely. (Unless you meant NaCl.)
 
+Dang Ren Bo I understand that, but honestly, the browser interface and perhaps of the HTML, and the browser extension versions of Hangouts is horrible, and it is causing a more unreliable experience in Chrome. Hangouts won't become more mainstream until it is more reliable, and doesn't choke Chrome till it is unresponsive. I've given up on the Chrome extension and gone back to the plain HTML version for text chat. Won't be touching voice or video until its in standalone.
 
Since it appears nobody replied to +John Nichols ...
The latest update to Hangouts enabled video over data on AT&T!!!
 
I know Google owns VP8 and you're sort of obligated to use it, but as recently as a few months ago people were doing comparisons between h.264 and VP8 and found VP8 is still far inferior.  
 
I love hearing from people like +Vic Gundotra high up in Google talk publicly to everyone like this and so often. Makes me feel a part of the family. 
 
I use hangouts to converse with my girlfriend since we live on opposites sides of California at the moment. I love this! So much better than Skype.
 
another vote for a native client. until my mum can click on a windows icon and load up a hangout easily, skype will remain the goto tool, despite the benefits of hangouts.
 
+Vic Gundotra does this mean no more hardware accelerated video coding when using Google hangouts with current hardware like most smart phones and tablets sold previously to this day?
 
+Vic Gundotra I know that you very probably won't read this but please, who is responsible for the Android G+? I was thinking a month ago "hope they won't synchronize g+ settings across all the devices"

So the hell, what are your thinking? We use our phone in the same way like our tablet? So why do the tablets exist?

Do you really use your products like we, poors? I really doubt that.

Thank you for understanding that from now we can't choose different notifications in our devices in the name of simplicity....= ok,I will disable some notifications......again using less and less, is that your goal?

Please, replace someone....Android G+ is a real pain when using, so many flaws...

Thank you for understanding
 
Is there any way to voluntarily opt-in to the HD video feature? I know a company who wants to do G+ Hangouts On Air, but in testing the video looks pretty mediocre, even with a quality source (Canon XA10 + hardware capture device).
 
+Vic Gundotra Now I can only hope that Google will give some attention to fixing the very poorly implemented (and rushed) replacement for Google Talk - Hangouts - especially for mobile.

Just read some of the reviews, I refuse to believe the developers (of the mobile hangouts app) do not see how horrible their replacement for Google Talk is.
Also, as a Google apps for business user, I think hangouts is a big step back from talk.
Love the fact that we are getting HD.
 
+Kurt Palmer it's obvious they don't use it, they just code it.....how can I explain that they can not see the difference between Android tablets and phones= notifications sync settings between these products??

Once we will stop taking care and take the same attitude like we have with Microsoft= we don't expect anything, just using.....this has already happened with poor android Google maps and play store......soon with android g+

We really use the apps so we know what to fix.....it's so simple, not a big deal......but we know it because we really use the apps........they really should lock themselves into the dark room an communicate just via Android products to learn them our pain :)


The same reason are the obvious fails of Google TV, chrome OS.....one good thought without proper thinking what to really create.....missing a real integrator, taking in charge the Apple's obviously falling simplicity, blankness and featurelessness.
 
+Joaquim Santos my ground is a great list of basic flaws (just 20 about Android G+). Another ground was my right prediction about fail of Chrome OS, Bada, WP, WRT, Google TV etc a few years beefore....so a very good ground :)
 
+Roman Kasal You say so.. And you seen to believe in it.. But that doesn't necessary makes it true 
 
+Joaquim Santos removed features from Google maps, play store in the name of "simplicity"....just try to read hidden in text :)
 
Ugh. G+ is already way too slow. So slow I barely come here any more. I like the old interfaces better. 
 
The new HD hangouts work fantastic on the Pixel.
 
"HD" Hangouts requirements are ludicrous:

To send HD video, you’ll need:
...
A CPU with at least four logical cores (for example an i5 with HyperThreading)
...

(source:  https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3367675?hl=en)

WHAT.  That's unbelievable.  I understand wanting to move to an open codec.  I think open source is the wave of the future.  However, you can't just mandate this codec when it's obviously more CPU intensive than it's H.264 counterpart.  I understand that VP8/9 allows you to use more web friendly programming, and add cute little hats to people's heads in the Hangout.  But I'd take HD over any of that "fun the first time you do it" additions.

Why not write an encoder that can work with Intel/nVidia GPU to hardware accelerate the compression?  Right now, I can run 1080p HD Skype on an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 2.53GHz without issue.  And it looks gorgeous.  With Hangouts?  It brings my machine to a grinding halt.  This is on a Logitech C920 camera.

What webcam are Googlers using with this new VP8 based Hangouts???  It can't be a hardware accelerating camera like mine above.

There is a solution, but I just don't see Google doing it.  Release an HD webcam that can do hardware VP8/9 encoding.  Take the stress off the CPU so that I can actually screen share, or do remote troubleshooting.  Either make it a standalone camera that plugs into ethernet and HDMI (NO WIFI!!!!!!!!) or release a true Android TV device with a camera attachment (again, NO WIFI!!!!!).

I'm sorry that this seems so bossy, but I want to believe that Google wants to make their products the best they can be.  But lately, it just seems like a half hearted attempt.
 
What about hardware encoding or decoding on the new format? Is the nexus 7 v2 compatible with this new format? 
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