OK, I will bite on this, which may cost me additional posts to back up my claims.
I know John stated that the more standard was 4 Mbps, but I do not buy this. I am a firm believer in VBR over CBR. Why on earth would you want worse video when action occurs. And why would you want top quality video when nothing occurs. Does not make sense. I took so long on this because I had to hijack a customers system (via Logmein) to confirm my results. (And had kids/camp situations during vacation week)
First of all, I live in Maine, where we have over 12 hours of night in the winter. I always design for "night" when I do systems. In my experience, we are in a mode of "bigger is better" but this is absurd. I have tested 1,2,3, and 5 MP cameras at night and none provide any better that a camera with a 1-2 MP sensor, so I stick to 1-2 MP (or 720-1080 if lower installed elevation). A matter of fact, I always though the Arecont AV3135 camera was "genius" with a day 3 MP and night 1.3 with no cut filter (Do not use now, but the concept is good). Anyway...
I went to a customer site and tested my "VBR" cameras. (Like I said, I do not understand the CBR philosophy). I was looking at "idle state" which occurs on average 80-90 percent of the time. All of the 1 to 1.3 MP cameras (1/30 or faster shutter) run at no greater than 600 kbps on main profile cameras in idle state (I do use High Profile cameras, which show better results). On total motion scenes this can jump to 2 Mbps, but on average, I would say 1 mbps (wait, is not that what I said in my post?). I decided to vary fps to see increases in bw/storage to back my claim that higher frame rate is not linear (do not direct this reponse to a past IPVM test). On a 1280 x 800 camera with multiiimage WDR, in idle state, and Q of about 30, Gov 1 sec, I was getting 450-600 kbps h.264 no matter the frame rate with a 1 fps value of 50 kB H.264 and JPEG of 85 kB. I verified this by sabataging the customers 100 camera system, setting 4 or the 1 MP cameras (VBR) to 10 fps, and only recording these to continous (none of the rest were recording). This was after hours, so there was no motion. The average per camera with mid level compression was 500 kpbs (I looked at the size of the storage file for the hour and determined average Mbps and then "un-hijacked' customer system).
Could someone tell me why they are running 4 Mbps BW on cameras. Is this for CBR mode just to cover the 10% instance when motion and complex scenes exist. I guess I can see a 5 MP camera in an airport or casino (no wait, Carl said he needs 30 fps so this can not be so), but how may interior locations need high resolution cameras. (I work daily telling customers why the 20 MP surround camera is a day only solution (competitors without Electical Engineering degrees like I have make these recommendations) and why the 5 MP fisheye can not view an area effectively unless in a 24 x 7 mall.
To restate, my theory is no greater than 2 MP for exterior (use more if needed instead of higher resolution) and normally 1.3 MP 4:3 for halls or low hanging 720/1080 with 16:9 for larger areas. Depth of view reduces ability of higher resolution cameras in hallway areas, so < 1.3 MP with more cameras (heck, 1.3 MP domes are now <$150) is the norm. Strive for 1 MBps average (wait, once again, is not that what I said in my original post). Use multiimage WDR for entry doors and exterior window/glass areas. Always use < 1/30 second shutter. Get rid of 2x and 4x Sensup. (trade show marketing, I think).
1 Mbps ( I say less than this per average per average camera) = 325 GB per month. 2 TB drives = $150 continous per camera @ 30 days = $25 (continuous motion cost per camerea per month)
See original post. (If anyone backs up the claim by John that an IP camera can be installed, programed, and licensed for $400 for a system, I would like to hear it - our average is $1000 per interior camera installed, licensed programmed, and commisioned - if they can, I was thinking of getting into solar energy).