Here at CrowdEmotion one important tech topic is capturing video in the most efficient way: we must be very careful about the quality of capture process, as on it depends part of the accuracy of our analysis processes.
On desktop web platforms the obvious choice is between Adobe Flash and, quite recently, HTML5.
Why bother to find something different from Flash? I’ll not add anything to what someone way more authoritative than me wrote on this topic; the conclusion is simply that HTML5 is the way to go for a number of very good reasons.
Currently, we use a 3rd-party Flash-based solution and we are fairly satisfied with it, but we need to do more, be more flexible. We already started experimenting with Flash development (with Haxe to try to work with open tools) and open source RTMP video servers (Wowza, Red5), but in any case you’re limited by the closed Flash platform.
One simple question first before going on more on HTML5 capture: why Google Hangouts does not yet run on HTML5 and relies instead on a native plugin?
Quick answer: because HTML5 real-time communication stack, called WebRTC, even if feature-complete, seems definitely too young to be adopted for a mainstream & strategic product like Hangouts.