Thanks to a recent update, Google+ Hangouts On Air will now be a little better, at least for those watching a Hangout.
Users can now rewind live broadcasts, allowing late arrivals the option to start a feed over. This will allow viewers to watch the very beginning of a broadcast even before a live event has wrapped up. In addition, Hangout recordings will be available on YouTube almost instantly.
In the past there, was a delay for the Hangout chats when viewing from YouTube, but according to Google that limitation has since been removed. You no longer have to wait for a Hangout to end before you can start watching the resulting YouTube stream.
Rewind live broadcasts. Regardless when you start watching, you can always go back to the beginning.
Access recordings immediately after your broadcast. Once you're no longer On Air, your recording will be waiting for you on YouTube.
When viewing a page that's hosting a Google+ hangout, you will no longer have to refresh the page once the streaming starts. For example, if you're watching the pre-stream before an event starts then you won't have to refresh when the live broadcast actually begins.
Start live broadcasts without having to refresh. When you visit a page with a Hangout On Air (like Events or YouTube), the video will begin playing as soon as the show starts -- no refresh required.
Other video centric features were implemented too. Video quality should be much better when participating or viewing a hangout on a mobile device. Hangout load times should also be significantly shorter, as the time between loading a chat and playback has been lessened.
Google did explicitly note that hosts may experience longer loading times when first setting up a hangout, and that's the drawback to all of these recent improvements.
As part of these enhancements, it may take longer to set up your Hangout On Air. For example: the 'Start broadcasting' button may be grayed out for a bit, before it turns red. Nothing to worry about, this is just us getting everything in place before you go live.
Have you had a chance to experience any of the new features yet? If you did, what did you think of the improvements?