In the past, Google has offered a low-bandwidth version of Hangouts which can be used on slow internet connections. Now, the search giant is rolling out support for HD-quality videos on Hangouts. Initially, the high-quality video feature will be limited to Hangouts on Air.
Naturally, if you wish to have HD-quality video on your Hangouts, you will need to get a webcam which is capable of recording in HD as well as an internet connection which would stream the video online without any issues. In certain cases, it may even require better computing resources to stream an HD-quality video on the web.
Hangouts on Air is the live-version of group chats which are available for public viewing and can be embedded on websites and other places. Initially, the HD-quality Hangouts will be limited to this. However, eventually Google plans on rolling out the feature to the public so that anyone with a good webcam and internet connection can bring together an HD-quality Hangouts session.
Interestingly, Google has also replaced the H.264 video codec that it has been used in Hangouts with open-source VP8 codec which is equipped with more feature, especially the support for HD videos. The move, many have speculated, was made just ahead of rolling out HD support for Hangouts sessions, which means that Google has been contemplating it for a while now.