January 21, 2009

Gmail to get HD video & it's not Flash

Google Operating System notes a CNET report in Upcoming Gmail Features: Contact Deduplicator, Better Video Chat. CNET spoke with Google which said to expect:

"video chat [that] is capable of HD... Gmail got video chat last year. However, instead of using Adobe's Flash to serve up the video, Google went with a small 2MB plug-in that had to be installed on your machine.

Jackson says the team had gone back and forth between doing the add-on and Flash, but in the end, what mattered was quality, which the plug-in delivered. Going forward, Jackson says the plug-in route will be able to provide even higher-quality video as people's connections improve, going to Video Graphics Array (640x480 pixels) all the way up to high definition."

Update: Mozilla is looking for more open alternatives (to h.264 licensing and proprietary developer tools), and willing to throw a very modest amount of cash at the problem to beef up the Theora codec; see Chris Blizzard's why open video?

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