Wide D1 / 960H - Will Axis Encoders Work?

I have a site where the client has recently installed a couple hundred streams of analog WD1 / 960h cameras. For this particular site we would normally encode the streams using Axis encoders. Has anyone had experience encoding these? If so, I have a few questions:

1. Will Axis encoders recognize WD1? It appears they go up to extended D1 (720x576). Does NTSC apply to WD1?

2. If it will recognize them as extended D1 do the encoders end up cropping the image, or worse, scale it to extended D1?

3. Does the encoder have to natively support WD1? If so, can someone recommend a reputable name brand manufacturer for this purpose?

I have received conflicting answers and prefer to rely upon the real world experience of fellow installers.

Axis encoders do not recognize 960H, nor do any IP vendors that I can think of (like Bosch, ACTi, Vivotek, etc.).

However, 960H, from our tests, is nonsense or worse, as they take an NTSC / PAL signal and stretch it horizontally, like so:

However, the 960H, even at standard 4:3 aspect ratio, was better when connected to 960H recorder than a D1 one:

You could just take a 960H DVR, set it regular D1 (for the slightly better image quality but no stretching) and then use its RTSP output (if, like Hikvision DVRs, they have that) to connect to a VMS.

Btw, what 960H manufacturer are you using?

We aren't. It's an existing installation we have to encode.

It sounds like the big league manufacturers will be forced to support this on encoders. The lower end/more commonly installed analog manufacturers in our region are predominantly Speco/Pelco/Bosch. It looks like half of Speco's product line is now 960H.

It sounds like the big league manufacturers will be forced to support this on encoders.

I wouldn't count on that. Last year I asked a number of manufacturers, including Axis, Sony, TKH, Bosch, IndigoVision, Pelco, Dallmeier, Geutebruck and Verint if they planned to "upgrade" their encoders to support 960H. Every one of them stated that they have no plans to do so.

I think the handwriting is on the wall for all things analog. Encoder manufacturers, including VMS companies who manufacture their own encoders, have basically given up on encoder development. Their concentration is on IP almost exclusively.

I also have to wonder at the likelihood we'll ever see ONVIF-compliant encoders for HD-SDI, HDCVI, HD-TVI or AHD. Perhaps some manufacturer of those products will release their own encoder but it appears far more likely that those technologies will be relegated to DVRs and, perhaps, the occasional PCI capture card.

This gets me to my "Rant of the Day".

We've tested a few 960H cameras and our conclusion is basically the same as IPVM's: 960H, even when optimized with suitable end devices (essentially DVRs), offers little perceivable advantage over SD (</= 700TVL).

In fact, the absence of encoders makes 960H's miniscule resolution advantage over SD cameras disappear. When fed into a 4CIF/4SIF/D1 encoder, all analog SD cameras deliver essentially the same resolution; whether their "claimed" resolution is 470TVL, 520TVL, 540TVL, 600TVL, 700TVL or even 960H.

The one major difference between SD-resolution analog cameras and 960H cameras is price. We've been paying in the low $100 range for analog SD box cameras. Even the Pelco box cameras we were buying in the late 90's and 2000's seldom cost over ~$170. Now, manufacturers are discontinuing SD cameras and replacing them with 960H cameras at, or greater than, double the original cameras' price.

I think the whole 960H thing is a scam by analog camera manufacturers to increase their bottom line.

ACTi has brought to my attention that they have new encoders that support 960H - a single channel V21 and a four channel V23. Pricing, respectively, is in $200s and $400s for each.

Did you ever get this to work? I have to replace a Samsung 960H DVR was going use hik-vision encoder. Came across your discussion. Curious what you ended up with.