Google+ Hangouts allow you to video chat with up to nine other people, and have finally got the ability to stream video in HD.
Chee Chew, VP of Engineering at Google, and who heads up the Google+ Hangouts team, broke the news this morning.
HD capability will roll out to Hangouts On Air first, and then to regular Hangouts over the next few weeks.
Previously, HD quality Hangouts weren’t possible due to running on the H.264 video codec.
According to Chee, HD streaming with the H.264 video codec would have required too much processing power, causing performance and stability issues.
Now, Google is transitioning over to its open source VP8 video codec, allowing the ability to stream higher quality video at low bit rates.
This means that even users on slower connections or an okay 3G mobile connection should see improvements.
To fully take advantage of HD capability, you need an HD-capable webcam, and above average Internet connection.
Google+ Hangouts continue to remain free, and as HD starts to roll out, you will be able to toggle the new setting by clicking on the connection icon within a Hangout.