Arecont Bandwidth Savings Mode Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 14, 2014

How would like to reduce your storage costs by up to 50% with just a click of a button? That's the promise of Arecont's 'Bandwidth Savings Mode', a new option that slashes bit rate up to half 'with least impact on image quality.'

On the other hand, we are skeptical of such claims as often they are nonsense (e.g., DVTel's super low bandwidth cameras) and now that bandwidth consumption can vary dramatically (see our Advanced Camera Bandwidth Test Results).

However, such savings, if real, can be enormous so we put them to the test with Arecont's 3MP, 5MP and 10MP.

Two fundamental questions are answered:

  • How much bandwidth can I save by using this mode?
  • How does it impact image quality?

We used an indoor test scene:

And a low light scene:

Finally, we tested the cameras outside against moving vehicles:

*** ***** **** ** ****** **** ******* ***** ** ** to **% **** **** * ***** ** * ******? ****'* the ******* ** *******'* '********* ******* ****', * *** ****** that ******* *** **** ** ** **** '**** ***** ****** on ***** *******.'

** *** ***** ****, ** *** ********* ** **** ****** as ***** **** *** ******** (*.*.,*****'* ***** *** ********* *******) *** *** **** ********* *********** *** **** ************ (*** our ******** ****** ********* **** *******).

*******, **** *******, ** ****, *** ** ******** ** ** put **** ** *** **** **** *******'* ***, *** *** 10MP.

*** *********** ********* *** ********:

  • *** **** ********* *** * **** ** ***** **** ****?
  • *** **** ** ****** ***** *******?

** **** ** ****** **** *****:

*** * *** ***** *****:

*******, ** ****** *** ******* ******* ******* ****** ********:

[***************]

Key ********

**** *** *** *** *** ******** **** *** **** ** Arecont's ********* ******* **** (***):

  • ******* ********* ******* **** ** ******** ** ******* ********** ******* from ~**% ** ** **** ** **% ********* ** *** camera *** *****.
  • *******, *******'* ******* ********* **** ******* **** *** *** ************* higher **** *********** ******* (~** **/* **. ~* *** *********** in **** *****). **** **** ** ****** **, ********* ******** higher, ************* * **/*, ****** ******.
  • *** *** ********* ******* **** ** *** *****, *** **** 'bandwidth ******* ****' *** **** *******. ******* ******* ***** ***** by **% *** ********* ******* ***** ******* *** ********* ******* bandwidth.
  • **** ********* ******* **** **, ** ***** ****, *** ******* desaturated ** ******* ******. ***** **** ******** ** * ********** reduction ** ***** ********, ** **** *** **** *** * color ************** (****** ****** ********* ** ***** ** *** ******).
  • **** ****** **** *** ********** ** * ******* ******* ******* with ******* **** **. *******, ******** ****** ** **+ ***** per **** ** * ****** **** *** *** ******* *** blur.

***************

********* ******* **** *** ****** ***** ***** (*) **** **** it **, ********** ******* *** ***** ********** ***** *** (*) it ***** **** ***** ************ (***** *** ***** ******). ** the ***** ****, ******* ******* ** ****** *** ************* **** rare.

Full ***** ***********

** *** ****** **** ***** *****, ********* ******* **** ******* bandwidth ** ***** **% ** **** *** ****** *** *******, while ********* * ********* ** **** **% ** *** ******. 

***** ** * *** ***** ** *** **** ***** ** full *****:

** *** *** ****** ** ********* ******* **** ** ***** quality, ** ***** ** *** ******* ****** **** ***** **** a ***** ******* *** **** *****. ** **** *****, ************ is *******, *** ***** *** ** *** ******* ** ****** details ********* ** ****** *** ******* ** **** *****.

************ ******** **** * ******* **** *****, ** *** *** *** **** effects ** ************. ***** *** ******* *********** ****, **** *** AV3116 *** ****** ******, **** ****** ****** ********* ** *****. 

Binning ****

***** **** ********* ******* ****, ***** *** ******* ***** ******* of ******* ******* ** ******* ******* **** ** ** *****. This **** ********** ** **% (******** ****** **. ********* **** resolution ** *** ******), ******** ********* ***********, ** **** ** low ***** ***********. **** ***** ********** **** *** ******** **** ** *** ****** ***** **** *********** ** *** ***** *********** *** *******:

Low ***** ***********

** *** *****, ** ******* *** *** ***/***** ******* ** switch ** **********, ***** *** ******* ****** ** ***** ****. Bandwidth ********** **** ****** **** **-**% **** *** ****** ***** seeing *** **** *******.

****: ********* ************ ** *** ****** *** **** **** **** binning **:

***** ** * *** ***** ** *** **** ***** ** dark:

** ~* ***, ******* *** **** ****** ******** *** ***** is *******, ********** *** ** * ******** ** ****. **** reduces ****** ****** ** *** ****** *** *******, ***** *** subject's **** ** ********** *****. *******, ** *** ******, *** reduction ** ***** ******** ******* ** **** ******* *** *****.

Motion ****

** ***** **** **** ******** *** ********** ** *** ****** subject **** *** *** ****** **. **** ********** ***** ***** effects ** **** *****, ********** ******* ** *** ******.

** *** ***** **** *** **** ****. **** **** *** cameras **** ************ ** **** (*/***) ******** ** **** *****.

*** ** *** ******** ******* *******, ** ******** ** *** the **** ****** **** ****** ****** *******, ** ****** *** cameras ** * ****** ****. *******, ******** ****** **-***** ** a ****** **** *** *** ******* *** ****** ****. 

**** ** *** *** ** *** ******* *****:

 

****** *** **** ********* ******* **** ****** "**", *** ****** and ***** **** **** *******, ****** *****, *** ********, *** while *** ********** ***********, ***** ******* ** ********** *****. ** an *******, **** ** *** ******* **** ** **** ******, and ****** *** **** ******* *** *** *** ***** ** compared ** *** ****** ***** ******* **** ** *** *** On *****.

Competitive ********* **********

********* ** *** ****** ** **** ******** ** *** ******* of ***** *** *** ***** *** *******. ******* *** *****, reducing ********* ** ***** **** ** *** **** ***-***** *** nearing **** ** *** ******** ** ***, *** ** ***** remains ****** **** **** ***** *** ******* ** **** ***** (even ***** ********* ** ****** *********** ******* * *** *** 1080p ***** *****).

Comments (8)

Interesting...Wonder if this is possible with the surround series cameras

Comprehensive, well executed.

Though this "recommendation"

Bandwidth savings mode has little value since (1) even with it on, competitor cameras are still frequently lower...

seems more like a misapplied conclusion, since why does the fact that "competitor cameras are still frequently lower" negate the value for either an existing Arecont owner or a prospective one?

I think the mention of bandwidth with BSM on still being more than competitor cameras is worthwhile since it puts a marketing claim in perspective, but I agree that it goes over a little too far in editorial and subbjectivity space with the "has little value" comment, since it may still be of value to someone who likes Arecont cameras or already has Arecont cameras and is looking for a way to better optimize storage. Juts probably could use a different phrasing.

There's also missing some key details such as is BSM part of a new firmware update available on all or certain preexisting model cameras, or is it limited to newer or certain model cameras?

Over all still a good article and a good test!

At ~1 lux, turning BSM dims images slightly but noise is reduced, presumably due to a decrease in gain. This reduces facial detail in the AV5115 and AV10115, where our subject's face is completely black. However, in the AV3116, the reduction in noise improves details of both subject and chart.

I don't think the facial detail in the AV5115 and AV10115 because i can read numbers on the chart further in BSM on.

Still no factory reset button?

Nope. Unfortunately they can't add a reset button via firmware.

Unlike other cameras Arecont does not use ASIC. Non programmable cameras. They use a programmable type that allow old cameras to be up grade via firmware. We would not like it if every camera went through a total reset. It also allow a few great features in WDR. If you dont believe me take an Arecont camera down to your localbank, do a shoot out and see the difference.

Difference in WDR? Lots of cameras, including the new generation of Arecont's have true multi-exposure WDR. I am not sure what the huge difference/advantage is for Arecont outside of their relatively lower price. See: Testing Arecont's WDR Camera (AV3116DN)

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