Subscriber Discussion

IP Camera Processing Power Revealed?

I have seen specs with 32 bit processing etc... while most hide this info in the datasheet.

Is this important to note?

I am not sure if they are hiding it, it's just typically not as critical for the average use case.

IP camera processing power most impacts multi-streaming and on board video analytics (because they are processor intensive). For instance, if you try to run 3 streams at full resolution, the frame rate on most cameras start slowing down because it can't keep up (UPDATE: and this can happen with even 2, depending on the camera).

That said, almost no camera actually shows you processor load so it's hard to figure out when a camera is overloaded outside of guessing from common symptoms.

Btw, the recent 'Windows' camera does disclose this because a big part of its value proposition is running analytics / applications on board.

Our Bosch cameras/encoders display processor load on the browser page as well as in Configuration Manager. It differentiates % load for encoding, motion analysis, and overhead processing individually so you can determine consumption by each function. Also, our IVA models include a seperate FPGA chip dedicated to analytics processing. This ensures encoding is not affected by IVA tasks and vice/versa.

And you're the exception :) It is quite useful though!

Three John? We haven't tested a large number of network cameras but only one or two were able to provide even two streams at full resolution while maintaining 30fps. Most dropped the frame rate down to 22fps or lower. Were we doing something wrong?

Carl, it depends on the camera. I wasn't stating 3 as a rule but as an example that, with more streams, overload can occur, resulting in frame drop and other problems.

Btw, this is probably worth us doing a test on for various cameras.

Thanks. I think it would be a good idea to test network camera stream capabilities a number of ways, including:

  • Unicast - one stream
  • Unicast - multiple streams
  • Multicast
  • Unicast - one stream, plus a Multicast stream
  • ONVIF stream Only
  • ???

thanks, true that some camera manufacturers boast of their processing power...

Some manufacturers say 5 streams simultaneous.. and they hardly ever mention on what frames/resolution..

We were having problems with the Axis P3354 handling two streams simultaneously- one to the VMS and one to the on board SD card. Frame drops were noticeable. We also had problems rotating the M300x series 90 degrees, causing frames to drop here as well. Axis stated that the camera was an M series camera and that corridor mode is made for P series cameras. The cut sheet and webpage for these new M series cams specifically state that they support corridor format. But not at full frame rate!!

John, when you do a test on video streaming, please also test with HTTPS connections not just HTTP. In 2007/2008 when I was testing 1.3 and 3 MP cameras, It was hard to find a model that would support full resolution and frame rate under an HTTPS connection.