Axis Fixes VBR / CBR Setting

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 23, 2015

Bit rate control is an important element in transmitting surveillance video. The three most common options as explained in our CBR vs VBR: Surveillance Streaming Guide are:

  • VBR - variable bit rate
  • CBR - constant bit rate
  • VBR with a cap - variable bit rate with a maximum bit rate level

Historically, Axis settings here have been misleading. Now, new firmware (5.60) has fixed this. In this note, we explain what changes they have made and what this means.

*** **** ******* ** an ********* ******* ** transmitting ************ *****. *** three **** ****** ******* as ********* ** ****** ** ***: ************ Streaming ********:

  • *** - ******** *** rate
  • *** - ******** *** rate
  • *** **** * *** - ******** *** **** with * ******* *** rate *****

************, **** ******** **** have **** **********. ***, new ******** (*.**) *** fixed ****. ** **** note, ** ******* **** changes **** **** **** and **** **** *****.

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

Axis '***'

**** *** ************* ****** its *** **** * cap ******* "******** *** rate" ** ***** ** the ***** ***** **** a ****** ******* ******** 5.21:

**** **** **** ******* that **** ******** ********* CBR *** *** *** with * ***, ***** was ******. *** "****** bit ****" ******* **** when ** "***" **** actually **** ** * cap, **** ******** **** rising ** **** ***** if ********* ***** ** scene **********.

New **** *** *** ****

***** ***** ** **** confusing ********, **** ******* the ******** **** ** camera ***** ********** *.** (.*** ******* notes), **** "********" ** "maximum" *** ****, **** here:

******* *** **** **** functions **** ** ******** bit **** ***. *******, this ******** ** **** more *****, **** ** line **** *** **** of *** ********, *** may ***** ********* ** new *****.

**** **** **** ******* do *** **** * constant *** **** **** at ***, **** ***, either ****** ** ********.

Using '***' ** *** **** * ***

**** ******** ********** ***** VBR **** * *** bit **** ******** ********. **** allows ********* ** ****** low **** ****** *** less *******, **** ** daytime ** ******** *****, but ** *** ******** as ****** ** ****** complexity ******, *.*., ********* or **** *************.

***** *** ****** *** increase *********** ** ***** to **** ********* ****** its ***, **** ********* in ****** ** *****, with ****** ********* ******. Readers *** *** *** ******: ******** ********* ** Night ** **** ****** *** **** *******.

Comments (12)

Interesting, I tried to get them to change the word "constant" to the proper "constrained" for 6 years with no luck.

Thanks Ethan, for sharing the information.

it seems there are two VBRs ?

1. VBR no Rmax cap

2. VBR with Rmax cap

No CBR setting?

-Ling

Axis does not support traditional CBR, e.g., set the bitrate to 5Mb/s regardless of what the scene, resolution, frame rate, compression, etc. is.

That makes sense to me, given that maximum is simply better than constant.

Thanks John. For big Metro and Enterprise applications, the MBR (VBR + CAP) rate control is essential.

Btw, I think MBR would be a good term to adopt. A 3 letter acronym makes it a clearer contrast to VBR and CBR. CBR is constant, VBR varies and MBR varies to a maximum bit rate.

The old CBR settings were critical to manage "runaway" bandwidths with some network cameras at night. I think IPVM did one of the first studies on this and validated what we've observed for years. A 720P or 1080P camera that could manage on 2 to 4 Mbps during the day, could drive 10 to 15 Mbps bandwidth at night. The CBR settings, effecting a cap at say 5 mbps, with priority on quality, should really be a default. Thanks for the info. Hadn't seen this in the new firmware yet.

Brad, yes, and here is the most recent test report showing runaway night bandwidth: Tested: Lowering Bandwidth at Night is Good

Note, the new setting works the same, it just now is clearer and stops people from believing that Axis has a true CBR, which did not have previously either, despite labelling it constant.

After years of this confusing verbiage, Axis changed the language used in camera setup in firmware 5.60 (.pdf release notes), from "constant" to "maximum" bit rate, seen here:

I am unable to find the mention of that verbiage change in the release notes you linked, nor in the detailed notes of either of the 5.60.x firmware releases for the P3364.

How did you discover it?

Curiously, in the 5.60.1 notes mention is made of a change in the behavior of CBR:

Improved Constant Bitrate Control, the Constant Bit Rate (CBR) will now adjust to target bit rate quicker.

What does that mean, if 'constant' now equals 'maximum'?

I found alluded to in the Axis Latency whitepaper, which the spider picked up.

Wow, they are a bit conflused about this change. The paragraphs below are duplicated word for word in this manual, except for changing Constant to Maximum.

I heard previously from a sytem integrator that Axis' 'CBR' (VBR with a limit) was good at limiting bandwidth, however the SI was not so happy when his customer complained that they lost frames in the recordings of an incident. Turns out that to maintain the bandwidth limit, the codec was dropping frames. This is Ok if you know what's going on but the customer was surprised and complained that his requirement of x fps was not maintained. In some applications a specified fps (or minimum fps) is a legal requirement in Europe. Is that also the case in the US?

"I heard previously from a system integrator that Axis' 'CBR' (VBR with a limit) was good at limiting bandwidth, however the SI was not so happy when his customer complained that they lost frames in the recordings of an incident."

That's the integrator's mistake.

By default, Axis is set to true VBR (i.e., goes as high as it needs). So either the integrator's techs set the 'CBR' level too low or someone from the customer mucked with the settings. It's not an Axis issue.

Yes, if you sets the max bitrate too low for one's needs, either frames are going to be dropped or compression is going to be increased to compensate (see the priority option in the Axis configuration screen).

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports on Bandwidth

Avigilon ACC7 VMS Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Avigilon's Control Center 7 boldly claims it will "transform live video monitoring" with the new Focus of Attention "AI-enabled" interface. We...
Last Chance - Camera Course Summer 2019 on Jul 11, 2019
Last day to register is Thursday, July 11, 2019. This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...
Avigilon 32MP and 12MP H4 Multisensor Cameras Tested on Jun 11, 2019
Avigilon has released their H4 Multi-Sensor line of cameras claiming "broad scene coverage and high image detail" We bought and tested the...
Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 03, 2019
Smart codecs are now nearly a standard feature in IP cameras, but our statistics show integrator adoption has not increased at the same rate. In...
Verkada Favorability Results 2019 on May 29, 2019
Verkada has taken the industry by storm with the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever and a half billion dollar valuation....
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...

Most Recent Industry Reports

How To Quickly Assess An Unknown Company on Jul 23, 2019
There are hundreds of companies in the physical security markets, ranging from a flood of new startups to small companies that may or may not be...
Bosch Starlight 8000i Cameras Tested on Jul 23, 2019
Bosch has released their new Flexidome IP Starlight 8000i cameras, claiming "exceptional detail even in extreme low-light situations." To see...
Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
Vivotek Trend Micro Cyber Security Camera App Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Vivotek and Trend Micro are claiming five million blocked attacks on IP cameras, with their jointly developed app for Vivotek cameras. This new...
Avigilon ACC7 VMS Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Avigilon's Control Center 7 boldly claims it will "transform live video monitoring" with the new Focus of Attention "AI-enabled" interface. We...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to emerging into an AI cloud era.  The goal of this history...
Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Anyvision Aims For 2022 Revenue of $1 Billion on Jul 17, 2019
Only 3 video surveillance manufacturers do a billion dollars or more in annual revenue - Hikvision, Dahua, and Axis. Now, Anyvision plans to join...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact