Subscriber Discussion

720P Low Bandwidth Camera Needed - Suggestions?

Interested in testing an IP camera over VSAT (satellite) - hence need lowest BW usage possible while still getting reasonable results. I think the Bosch 720P (cant remember model) had the lowest BW usage?

Can anyone recommend another camera over the Bosch? Where is a good place to source the Bosch camera - i prefer to order from USA. I am in Africa so will be importing from somewhere - i think generally the USA is about the lowest cost to buy from? I will be using US dollars and in the USA a dollar is a dollar unlike Europe and treasure Island(UK) so think this is the best palce to buy from

Any other camera i should consider? Long time reader of this site to gain knowledge of IP cameras but we have never used or deployed a survelliance camera. We do IT all day long so IP addressing etc is our game.

Is the Bosch my best bet?


The new Hikvision 3MP cameras are great and I was amazed that they need not very much bit rate to make the image look good. You can knock down the resolution to 720p if you wish which would require even less bandwidth. How much bandwidth can you get away with?

Sean, please be more specific. I am concerned this discussion will descend into spam self promotion.

What does 'need not very much bit rate to make the image look good'? What bit rate? What quantization level?

As for low bandwidth, a big factor is the scene complexity.

Mark, are you filming the interior of an office or an intersection?

With simple scenes, bandwidth across cameras tends to be fairly similar. The differences tend to occur more with complex scenes and dark areas. The Bosch Starlight cameras are surprisingly low bandwidth and good image quality in the dark. They claim to be using some sort of analytics to analyze the scene and reduce bitrate.

Regardless of the camera, one can always lower the compression level and decrease bandwidth (though frequently degrading the image quality). A lot of variance across manufacturers (assuming H.264 and the same frame rate / resolution) comes from differences in compression level settings.

No matter the brands look at specific functions to save & control bandwidth :

Cropping, Smart Streams ( kind of VBR + cap + concentrate best pixel quality on ROI or moving pixels to decrease bandwidth) good vision at night to avoid traffic saturation in darkness

test should be done at night, not when you have perfect light conditions

Looking at offering IP camera service to security companies as a service. We would not do the security ourself. Of course Satellite is expensive BW so its only bigger more special case type ites that would go for this. However, given i am in Africa and the infrastrucutre is poor, there is oppertunity for this even at the higher BW price.

The more BW efficent the better. We think it will be all outdoor, mostly at night - black and white with IR illuminators ? If not this approach then we would light very well with LED lighting on battery systems so if the power goes down we can at least watch for an hour or two untill a patrol can go check it out. That sort of thing.

I do recall reading here on the site that the Bosch was the overall lowest BW user so this sounds like the way to go. Because i have to import whatever we go for its not worth paying for expensive frieght and clearing on cheap cameras. Best to get quality but not go over board.

I have a full 36Mhz transponder that we lease on a satellite over Africa. We have loads of BW at night that sits idle - hence the idea to resell what otherwise goes to waste. Ideas?

Mark Young

Check out what is the overage upload with your sat transmission (not max, overage)

test your camera - configured in B/W - , with Variable bit rate - lowest acceptable fps, with the desired res, acceptable compression level and Gop - in direct with a bandwitdth sniffer (networx for example) : when you have reached "suffisient" bandwidth level (under your overage uplad by sat) then setup your camera in Cbr with this limit, this will garanty you, you won't pixelise too much or saturate your transmission ( That's what we are doing when using 3G, 380 Kb/s max, 250 overage..) .. bandwidth survival mode process.


Sounds like a reasonable approach. Will def give that a try out.

Now which camera? So many to look at, so little time.......

Rightly or wrongly i tend to follow what i read on IPVM - these guys cut to the chase and dont mince words. Hence the Bosch 720P seemed to be about the "sweet spot" to me. We def want IP and need some res but cant go silly - seems 720P is the middle of the road for this.

The Hikvision 3MP camera has been mentioned. Where can i read a review of this? Price?

Any others i should look at? BW is my biggest single issue ( as it is for most i guess - in our case we are VERY sensitive to BW issues)

Mark, Hikvision has made some aggressive claims about bandwidth, but we've never seen any validation to it. Worse, what we found that it was based on a very low quality default setting. We have a test of one Hikvision camera from last year, and bandwidth consumption was fine but not exceptional.

Hikvision's main advantage (like Dahua, Vivotek, ACTi) is lower cost compared to Bosch, Axis, Sony, etc.

If you buy a Bosch Dinion 720p or 1080p, be sure to update the camera firmware to version 5.80. They have been shipping with 5.72 so you will want to use 5.8 to get better bandwidth savings.

Most of the time, I don't like to push specific brands or models, because it 's moving so quickly. I'd better insist on technologies. One brand, VVK, (may be others ) proposes a very good flexibility at the time being : CBR/VBR and Smart streaming and great flexibility to force B/W mode, disable sensor over exposed areas (spot lights ..), setup Exposure/Gain/Shutter profiles at day or night ... with customized settings to save bandwidth. So you can tune accurately instead of putting one single setting and pray to get the best results during 24H . These cameras exist in HD, FHD, 3MP, 5MP Bullet as well, some even include adaptive IR (to avoid too close overexposed IR on target for better identification)

disclaimer: I am a Samsung Rep and we have been involved in shoot-outs with Bosch and others for low light shootouts (Axis was not invited).

We have done very well in low lught and low bandwidth shootouts their Wisenet III 720P series could be what you are looking for.

Lately this request has been asked for many times and we are getting very positive response.

Our older models were bandwidth intensive however these are very bandwidth friendly and we are always winning image quality to the end-user.

Is there a specific model number you are claiming?

Yes John I did not want to be to sales pitchy the 720P model from the Wisenet III series is SND-5084

You made a sales pitch in your original comment. The specific model helps make it more concrete.

John, I honestly do not try to make a sales pitch. Though IPVM is an independent organization and funds its own tests my perception is Samsung is hardly in the mix of the reviews and considered in the top tier of surveillance options.

To me the proof is in the pudding, when I am in a show or a counter day I always ask the host to turn out the lights and let the audience determine who is the best low light provider. You know what I get back? the other manufacturers might not like it.

To me it is a difference of opinion and fact, I am willing to show my cameras against anyone in a live shootout which in my experience in the actual situation we win. On the internet Samsung is not mentioned as a major player on one of the most respected boards in this subject.

So please I do not want to be accused of a sales pitch I am willing to put my camera line against any other manufacturer out there and when on the street we win.

We actively seek competition and testing, now I am getting into a sales pitch.

Sales Pitch would be come invite me to your most challenging video surveillance situation. Should I not be able to meet your requirements which will most likely mean I have the best image quality but you have a little quirk to install 15,000 cameras and save 10 minutes in each camera in the installation phase and you need something made to do this I can do it for you in 90 days or less as I produce everything myself that is a sales pitch.

To make a suggestion of a 720P camera the way I did I did not think it was a sales pitch.

Nobody even mentioned the most advanced camera in the history of surveillance?

Aventura's '50% less everything' H.265 camera?

According to Aventura a month ago, this camera should be shipping...... now.

When I followed the link it says it's a 1080p not 720p

Spare me. It's a typical sales pitch, long on strong claims, short on actual specifics.

In your original claim, you mentioned testing against only one named manufacturer (Bosch) and no models. You say 'very well' in low light and low bandwidth but offer no quantifications. For low bandwidth, how low? what bitrate? what quantization level? what scenes?

Then you conclude with the assertion that you are "always winning image quality to the end-user". "Always" is a classic sales claim. Any specific? Which ones are you winning? how many total?

When you load up on strong claims but leave out every important supporting detail, that's a sales pitch.

Then you respond with turning off the lights at counter days? Really? You do not understand why that's absurd?

Camera Interface - Settings - Set resolution to 720p - Click Save.

John. Can you publish IPVM's evaluation methodology for testing cameras? It would help me to understand how you arrive at your conclusions. I do not want to weigh in on the salesperson discussion but I would like to understand and perhaps duplicate your lab conditions. Thank you for your consideration.

Agree however it has been my experience that when I mention to lower the camera resolution, they are upset that they are paying for the higher resolution.

This conversation has been really interesting.

John, undisclosed brings up a good point - why is Samsung not among your tested cameras? Sammy is a big name world wide and if they have IP cameras i for one would like to see them and have you rip them apart - this is why i pay for your site - non biased, in depth technical real world results AGAINST other cameras in its class.

I am sure i am like many others that subscribe here - very busy (over worked?), always up against a deadline on a job somewhere and no time to read read read all over the Internet trying to get the skinny on what REALLY works and what does not. So i sub here and limit my reading on IP cameras to YOU. I just dont have the time to dig around so i find this resource worth paying for. That said, is it practical to widen the scope a little on which cameras you review and dig into?

My guess is, like everyone, you have staffing issues and just not enough time to do as much as you would like.

Still, digging into Samsung sounds ideal to me - please if you can manage it - i'd love to read up on the sammys HERE - then i know what i read is sensible and all the bull pulled out.

As a side note; love the razor sharp wit - give'em hell and keep'em honest!

Mark, until recently, Samsung has been like Honeywell in IP cameras - a big name but with so - so offerings and lots of reliance on their brand. That's why we have not tested them.

In the last year (more like 6 months), Samsung has really turned up the heat on their sales and marketing. In addition, the Wisenet III cameras are now starting to ship. The two of them combined make Samsung of greater interest now. So we will be releasing a test of Samsung cameras before the end of the year.

Right now we are talking to the Samsung product manager about which models they believe are their best. One of the one's cited is the SNB-5004, which is their 720p 'super low light' Wisenet III box camera. We can't find it for sale online yet but presumably it will be available shortly. Also, we will likely test the Samsung 6004, same series, 1080p version.

Btw, thanks Samsung for hijacking this thread.....


Is H.265 worth waiting for? Big claims on the BW needed. If it is only 50% true there are huge BW savings to be had. The capex is not my problem on this project - its the monthly opex that has always killed this project off before it even got going.

I need BW effiecent - i dont care who makes it. Willing to pay more (but sensible) for robust unit that is BW efficent.

Today, i think my choice is the Bosch and a few of the other cams mentioned in this thread.

To put this into perspective - i have just paid for 8 TDMA licences on our NMS so that we have another 8 Upstream (TX) channels to push data UP from the sites on the ground, over the bird. Cost $54K. Cost of the BW over the Bird per month $110K. None of this is for IP cameras. However, if i can leverage these investments by finding a new "after hours" market it would be wonderful, hence this discussion.

Even though we have a lot of SAT BW idle at night, we need to be VERY BW efficent at these sorts of figures being thrown around. I need to get as many streams going as possible - so the more frugal the BW use the better.

Given all this, is H.265 the clear winner and worth waiting a while longer for? ANy H.265 cameras ready to go now that you know of?

Can you give any indication of how long it may be before we see a H.265 camera review here?

50% is the marketing claim and the max that proponents typically talk about. Because of that, you'd except the typical savings to be a lot lower.

Moreover, there's a ton of variation with bandwidth consumption even within H.264 (different levels and different ways of handling low light noise, etc.).

If H.265 was widely available, it might be worth moving to but it is not. There's only one vendor claiming it (Aventura) and they have no 3rd party support and are unlikely to get any anytime soon. Sometime in 2014, there will be vendors starting to announce and some shipping but you'll still need VMSes to add support (and then deal with any resource consumption problems). Mature H.265 is likely 2+ years away.

Also, the move from H.264 to H.265 will absolutely be less impactful than the move from MP MJPEG to MP H.264. Remember, back in 2008, essentially all Megapixel cameras were using MJPEG. Going from MJPEG to H.264 brought massive savings (literally 80% reduction was common). Going from H.264 to H.265 is most likely going to be similar to moving from MPEG-4 to H.264 - better but not earth shattering.

Noted. Thank you for the conversation.

Hi Mark,

We distribute the Bosch kit in South Africa if you want some info.

The model you're looking for is the NBN733V-P if you want the Box camera.