Video codec Stories August 28, 2013

Google rolling out 720p HD Google+ Hangouts in the coming weeks

According to a new report from GigaOm, Google is in the process of rolling out an update to higher quality 720p HD video for Google+ Hangouts and Google’s Vic Gundotra later confirmed the roll out will continue over the coming weeks. The report explains that the move is part of Google’s transition to new plug-in free standards including the switch from the H.264 video codec to VP8:

One of the key advantages of VP8 is that it will enable Hangouts in HD, something that Chew said simply wasn’t possible with H.264, because handling HD streams from 10 participants would have required too much processing power. The new video format also makes it possible for Google to serve up better-looking streams at low bit rates, which is especially important when it comes to mobile video chats.

Google’s Vice President of Engineering Chee Chew told GigaOm that the company plans to move Hangouts to the open standard WebRTC standard, which it just implemented support for in Chrome, to provide a plug-in free experience for users and other improvements:

“We will eventually move over to WebRTC,” said Chew, but this process may take several more months. However, eventually, WebRTC could actually provide an even more immersive video chat experience, explained Chew. That’s because when the video becomes a native HTML element, it will be even easier to add overlays and other, more subtle improvements.

More details available in the full report here.

Video codec Stories November 6, 2012

Googler Ami Fischman, a self-dubbed “Watt Wrangler”, just announced a new battery-saving Chrome Stable release.

“We recently enabled GPU-accelerated video decoding for Chrome on Windows,” wrote Fischman on the official Google Chrome blog. “Dedicated graphics chips draw far less power than a computer’s CPU, so using GPU-accelerated video decoding while watching videos can increase battery life significantly.”

Fischman noted test results show batteries last 25 percent longer with GPU-accelerated video decoding switched on. So now, Chrome users on Windows can watch more YouTube videos, as Fischman noted, without worrying about dwindling battery life.

Chrome users can even access website permissions, such as geolocation, much more easily with the new release:

This saves you from having to dig through settings pages to find these permissions. Now, simply click on the page/lock icon next to a website’s address in the omnibox to see a list of permissions and tweak them as you wish.

This latest release also includes an option to send a “do not track” request to websites and web services. The effectiveness of such requests is dependent on how websites and services respond, so Google is working with others on a common way to respond to these requests in the future.

expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP