Avigilon Endorses H.264!

In a stunning turn of events, Avigilon is now endorsing H.264, declaring that H.264 streams result in "using less bandwidth and storage space without sacrificing image detail."

Welcome to the 21st century Avigilon! We are glad you joined the rest of us.

Alas, I am a little surprised given the years of non-stop JPEG2000 hyping and fear mongering about quality problems of H.264. On the other hand, given that they discontinued their 5MP and under JPEG2000 cameras earlier this year, I guess it should not be totally surprising.

However, Avigilon continues to heavily market their 'PRO' series (8-29MP) that are JPEG2000 only. Are they tacitly acknowledging a major weakness of the cameras (that most everyone else has been well aware of for years)?

Wow. When the Avigilon Rep came into our office a year or two ago he did everything but call us criminals for selling H.264 cameras. A interesting turn of events :)

Avigilon was selling H.264 cameras for about 5 may be 6 years as I remember

Yup he told us that also but stopped short of saying it should be illegal for a variety of reasons. I was amazed that someone would come in and tell people that. Safe to say he is not the rep for our area anymore :)

No, they announced H.264 cameras 3 years ago (see our original review and then test). And they only stopped selling JPEG2000 5MP and under cameras this year.

Reps have to do this in all fields. I managed ski shops years ago and remember a boot rep telling us that front entry ski boots are all you ever need, have great perfomance, ect. Then the manufacturer switches to rear entry boots and the next year the same rep is telling us that front entry boots are only good for beginners. They gotta sell the lines they carry. Whether they should carry those lines is another issue.

True to a point. Coming and trying to explain how H.264 is not a true recording compression and insinuating it should be illegal is going to far.

You should threaten to call the compression cops on him.

Hello, Andy:

From your comment, it appears you are suggesting that reps are expected to (and be okay with) caring less about the credibility of what they say and do essentially 'anything it takes' to sell their product. Results like our opinion poll on the usefulness of Reps make perfect sense, with the majority declaring reps 'lukewarm' to outright 'not useful'.

"Professionals" like that are no different than used car salesmen, and they bring the industry lower whether they realize it or not.

Brian, I am an end user, not a rep or an integrator so I don't have the same perspective as a lot of the forum users here. When we talk to a rep about buying a device to pound nails, they almost always seem to have the perfect hammer for us. I don't think that is either dishonest or unethical - we expect them to try to sell us something. My fiduciary responsibilty is to my employer (and to my family), the same for them. If we need unbiased advice we don't go to somebody who makes their money on commission. Having said this, there are a few reps that we trust, but that takes a long time to develop.

Too true, too funny!

"I managed ski shops years ago and remember a boot rep telling us that front entry ski boots are all you ever need, have great performance, etc. Then the manufacturer switches to rear entry boots and the next year the same rep is telling us that front entry boots are only good for beginners."

This is why I don't understand reps who get so religious about their products. The chances are in a few years they will be selling something else with the opposite sales proposition. Such extreme displays do nothing to convince but a lot to dismiss them.

Maybe Mobotix will finally "discover" the same thing? Not that they have much in their product line that intriguing to me.

Lol, that's funny. Give me MxPEG or Death!

Btw, recently Mobotix has released a number of interesting offerings - VMD++, analytics, newer cameras, etc. They are still expensive (even relative to their features) but if they supported ONVIF and H.264, they would significantly expand their potential market.

Just to clarify, the quote is contrasting M-JPEG and H.264, not JPEG2000:

Most HD video surveillance users are partial to h.264 over M-JPEG because of the way the compression works. It doesn’t capture each frame as a separate entity like M-JPEG. The video stream is composed of a reference frame, called an Index (I) Frame, and then changing areas of the image in subsequent frames, called Partial (P) Frames. The End result is a collection of I Frames and P Frames in an ordered pattern that is configurable on most cameras (for example: 1 I Frame every 30 Frames). This results in less “full” images (I Frames) and using less bandwidth and storage space without sacrificing image detail.


I wonder if that's the technicality here, something like "We said it did not sacrifice any image detail compared to MJPEG but JPEG2000 is different."

However, see these JPEG vs JPEG2000 test results. You are really getting into very minor differences to say one's image detail are better than the others.

The bigger issue is compression levels - regardless whether you use JPEG2000, MJPEG, MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, etc. If you are a fanatic about subtle image issues, dropping down the compression levels in any CODEC will make a difference.

This is a trick I've heard many integrators and users complain about. Avigilon will do a demo where they set the compression as low as possible (with correspondingly crazy high bit rates). Then what it comes time to size out and deploy the system, the compression levels are set much higher (so that storage costs can be contained).