Testing Bandwidth vs Frame Rate

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Aug 30, 2011

Frame rate selection has a major impact on bandwidth consumption for surveillance cameras. While most cameras have a maximum frame rate of 25 to 30 frames per second, users typically choose significantly lower frame rates, driven by a desire to minimize storage consumption. The most direct way to reduce storage is to use a lower bit rate stream for each camera with lower frame rates.

A key practical question is how much bandwidth is saved as the frame rate is dropped? Lower frames rates should result in lower bit rates but how significant are those changes and does this change depending on the scene?

Our Test

In this report, we share our result of a series of experiments we did with 3 IP cameras (Avigilon, Axis and Sony) in 3 different scenes: (1) indoor daytime, (2) indoor dark (< 1 lux), and (3) daytime outdoor (intersection). We did tests at 1, 5, 10, 15 and 30 fps to see how bandwidth consumption varied across a variety of frame rates.

We then produced a series of charts comparing bitrate vs frame rate and average frame size vs frame rate to provide two views on the relationship between these parameters.

With these test results, we answer the following questions:

  • How does bandwidth efficiency vary with changes in the frame rate?
  • Are low frame rate streams inefficient?
  • How can you project bandwidth consumption for various frame rates?
  • Does different scene types impact bandwidth vs frame rate efficiency?
  • How does the choice of VBR vs CBR impact the relationship between bandwidth and frame rate?

For background on frame rates, Pro members should review our frame rate fundamentals training. Also, for those interested in understanding the impact of bandwidth, review our sister report that examines the relationship between bandwidth and image quality.

***** **** ********* *** * ***** ****** ** ********* *********** for ************ *******. ***** **** ******* **** * ******* ***** rate ** ** ** ** ****** *** ******, ***** ********* choose ************* ***** ***** *****, ****** ** * ****** ** minimize ******* ***********. *** **** ****** *** ** ****** ******* is ** *** * ***** *** **** ****** *** **** camera **** ***** ***** *****.

* *** ********* ******** ** *** **** ********* ** ***** as *** ***** **** ** *******? ***** ****** ***** ****** result ** ***** *** ***** *** *** *********** *** ***** changes *** **** **** ****** ********* ** *** *****?

Our ****

** **** ******, ** ***** *** ****** ** * ****** of *********** ** *** **** * ** ******* (********, **** and ****) ** * ********* ******: (*) ****** *******, (*) indoor **** (< * ***), *** (*) ******* ******* (************). We *** ***** ** *, *, **, ** *** ** fps ** *** *** ********* *********** ****** ****** * ******* of ***** *****.

** **** ******** * ****** ** ****** ********* ******* ** frame **** *** ******* ***** **** ** ***** **** ** provide *** ***** ** *** ************ ******* ***** **********.

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

  • *** **** ********* ********** **** **** ******* ** *** ***** rate?
  • *** *** ***** **** ******* ***********?
  • *** *** *** ******* ********* *********** *** ******* ***** *****?
  • **** ********* ***** ***** ****** ********* ** ***** **** **********?
  • *** **** *** ****** ** *** ** *** ****** *** relationship ******* ********* *** ***** ****?

*** ********** ** ***** *****, *** ******* ****** ****** ******** **** ************ ********. ****, *** ***** ********** ** ************* *** ****** ** bandwidth, ****** *** ****** ****** **** ******** *************** ******* ********* *** ***** *******.

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

Key ******** *** ***************

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

  • ********* ********** ** ***** ***** ***** *** ** ******** **** efficient **** ****** ***** ***** **** *** * ***** ******** or ***** ********** ** ***
  • ** *** ***** ******* **** ******* (*.*., *********, ***** *****), bandwidth ********* ****** ******** ** ***** **** *********
  • ** '*******' ********* ********* ***** *** *** ***** **** *.*** encoding
  • ******** *** *** ***** ******* *** * *** ****** ** different ***** ***** ** ****

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

  • ****** **** ***** ** ***** ****** (*.*., ****** ******), *** can ****** *** ****** ** ***** * ***** ********* ** low ***** ***** ********* ********* **********
  • **** ** ****** ****** **** ***** * ***** *********, ********* consumption ** *** * **** ******* ** *** ******* **** be ***** *** ********** (****** **** *** ** **** **** low)
  • **** ********** *********, ***** * ***** ***** **** ** ********* a **** ************* *** ** ******* ******* ******* ***** ** off ** ** ** **% ** **********.
  • **** ***** ***, ** ********, *** ******* ** *** **** first ** *** * ******** ********* ***** *** *** **** as **** *** *******. *************, ****** * *** ****** ***** at ********* *** *** *****, *** **** ** * ****** analyzer *** **** *** *** **** **** ******* ** * DRF ** ** ** ****

VBR ****** ******* (***-**********)

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

** **** ****** ******* ******** *** ***** ** ****** ***-*******. Both ******* ******* ** ***, *** ****** ** ***** *-***** intervals. *** ******** ** ***** * ** *-***** ********, ******* the **** ********* ** *-***** *** ***** ** ******.

******* **. *****-****

*** **** ****** ** ************ **** ********* ** *** ***** frames **** *** ******** ******. **** ** ******* ******* *** I-frame ******** ** *********** ****** ** *** ******** ** ***** frame ***** (** **** *** ***** ** ******** ** **** I-frames ** ~**:*). ** ************* ***** *** ******** ** *** two ******* ******** ******* * *:* *-***** *****. ******* *** point **** *** *** ** ** ******* **** *** ***** of *** ******, ** **** ******** ******** **** **** ********. As **** ********** ******** ** ****** *****-***** (********** *** ********, which **** * *** ****** *-***** ********).

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

** *** ***** ***** ***** *** ************ ** *** ****** I-frame ******** ** ***** ********. *** ******** ***** (***) ********* a ************ **** (** *****) *** *-****** ******** ** *-******. This *********** ** ************** ** **** ******* ******, ***** *-****** are ********** ********* ** ******* (around ***** ** ******* ****. *** ****** **** ******** ** descend ** * ******* ** ***** ** ~***. ** ***** P-frame ***** ******** *** ******* ***** **** ****** (~**:*). **** a ***** ** ~*** ** ******** * *** ********** ***** and **** *********** ************.

VBR ****** ********* (****-**********)

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

** **** ****** ********* ******** *** ***** ** ****** ******* due ** *** ******** ** *****/****. **** ******* ******* ** VBR, *** ****** ** ***** *-***** *********. *** ******** ** using * ** *-***** ********, ******* *** **** ********* ** I-frame *** ***** ** ******.

******* **. *****-****

** *** *** *****-***** *** *-***** ********* ******* *** *** cameras *** **** ***********. *** *******, ** **** *** ******** produces *** *-***** *** ***** *** *-***** (** * ***** second), *** *** **** ****** ******** *** *-***** *** ***** 31 *-****** (** * ***** ** *******). ** **** ** would ****** ** *** ********** ** ***-***** ** ***** ***** frame-rate ******, *** **** ** *** *** **** ** *** curves ****** **** ***** ** **** ********* *******. ** ** clear **** *********** ********** ** **** *** *** ** *** complexity ***** ** *** ***** *** **** ****-**** **** ** P-frames ** *** **** '*******' **** *-******, ** * ******. A *** ******* ** ***** ****** ** *** ****** ************ between ******* *** *****-****, ********** ** ***** *****-**** ***** ********** is ** *** ********.

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

*** ******* ***** ***** ** *** *** ******* ** ~**** to ~**** ** ************ ****** **** *** ~*** ******* ***** in *** ***-******* ****** ******* *****. *** **** *********** ******* of **** ***** ** *** ******** ******** ** *** ******** (red) *****. ******* *** ******** ******* ***** **** ** ********** strongly ** *-***** **** ** ***** *****-***** *** ** *-***** sizes ** ****** *****-*****, *** ***** ********* *** ******** ***** of * **. * ******. ***** **** *** ***** ** mostly **** ******** ****** ******** ********** ******* * *** * frame *****. **** ** ************** *** ******** ******** ** ****** complex ******. ** * ****** ***** ** ** ***** *****-**** that ** **** ********* *** ** *** ******** ***** ******* bitrates ******** ****** ******** ** *****-***** *** *********.

VBR ******* ************ (********** **** **********)

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

** **** **** ************ ******** *** ***** ** ********** **** in **********. **** ******* ******* ** ***, *** ****** ** their *-***** *********. *** ******** ** ***** * ** *-***** interval, ******* *** **** ********* *** *-***** ** ***** ** frames.

******* **. *****-****

** ** *** ****** ******* ********* ********, *** ****** ** the *** ******* ******* ** ***** **** ** ***** ** divergence. ***** ******* ****** *** ******** ***** ******* ** **** frame-rate *******. *** ******** ***** * **** ** ~***** ** 30fps, ***** ** ************ ***** **** ~*.***** **** ******** ****** the **** ******* ********* *****. **** ***** ** ******* * somewhat ***** ***** ** ********** **** *** ***** *****.

*** ***** ** *** ***** ***** ** ******* *** ***** from ***** ** ****** *****-*****, ********** **** ********** ***** ** the ****** *-***** ********* *****-*****.

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

** ******** *** ******** ******, ***** **** * * *** second *-***** ********, ******** * ******* ******* ** ******* ***** size ** ***** ***** ********. *** ****** ******* ***** **** range ** *** ******** (~**** ** ~****) ******** **** *********** efficiencies *** ***** ** ******** ** ******** *** ***** ** I-frames ** *-****** (*.*., ******** ***), *** **** *** ***** is *** ** ******* ** *** ********* *****.

*** **** ***** (****) ** ******** ********* ** *** *- to *-***** ***** ** * ********, *** ** **** ** would *** ****** *** ***** ** ** ** **** ** experienced **** ** *** ************ ********. ****** *** ****' ***** was ~*** ** *** ******* *** ********* ****** ****** *** ~10KB ***** **** **** (**** ** ****).

CBR ********** *** ******* **. *****-**** *************

******* *** ***** ******* *** * ********** ***** **** ** significantly ****** ** *** **** ** ***. **** ***, *** camera ************* ******* *** *********** *** **** **** *** ****** a ********* ***** ****. ** ********, **** ***, *** ***** has ** ******** ****** *** *** ****. *** *******, **** a ****** **** ** ****, ** *** ******* *** **** is ***/*, ** *** ****** *** ***** **** **** *** default ** ** ** **, *** *** **** ***** *** same. **** ******* ** **** *** ****** **** ******** *** compression (** ************ *****) ** ******** *** ****** ** **** in *** *****. *** *** ********* ******** ** **** **** can ***** *********. ** * ******* *****, ********** ************ ****** have ****** ** ** ********* ******. **** **, *** ************ loss ********* *** *** ***** *** ************* ** *** ***** eye. *** ********** ** ****, ****** ****** ************ ** ***** ******* ********** **** **** *** ***** ** ************.

**** ***** ***, ** ********, *** ******* ** *** **** first ** *** * ******** ********* ***** *** *** **** as **** *** *******. *************, ****** * *** ****** ***** at ********* *** *** *****, *** **** ** ******* *********** **** *** *** **** **** ******* ** * *** of ** ** ****. *** ***** ****, *** ****, *********** is ** ****** *** ********* *** *** *****, **** *** sample ****** *** ****** *** ****** ********* ***** ***** *** cannot **** *** ******** *********** ** *******.

***********

**** *** *** ******* **** ** '********* **. *****-****' ******:

***

***

  • **** *****(****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; **.* *******; *.* Lux (**)

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

  • ******** *.***-**-****-** - ** *.*.*.*(****)
  • **** ***** - ** *.**.*
  • **** ***** - ** *.**.**

*** *** ***** *** *** (*) ******* **** **** ** their ******* *** **************. *** **** ** *** ***** *** scenes (******* ******, ********* ******, *** **** ************), *** ******* were ******** ** ********* *****-***** (*, *, **, **, *** 30 ***). ******* ***-***** *** ******* ***** ***** **** ******** for ******** ****** **** ********.

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

Last Day Save $50 IP Networking Course January 2017 on Dec 08, 2016
Today is the last day to save $50 on next month's IP networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
CODEC Guide 2016 on Nov 30, 2016
CODECs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...
Longse vs Dahua and Hikvision Tested on Nov 16, 2016
For many, even $100 cameras are too expensive. That is where spam king Longse comes in with their relentless offer of ~$20 cameras. In our past...
Major Manufacturers Dropping MJPEG on Nov 04, 2016
MJPEG has hung on for years, still in use in some systems despite H.264's dominance for the better part of the past decade. However, now some...
Sony 35mm Super Low Light Camera Tested on Oct 31, 2016
Sony is making a big push for their SNCVB770 camera, touting its low light capabilities that they claim can deliver true color in pitch black...
60% Lower Bandwidth, 'Video Anywhere' - Digital Barriers TVI / EdgeVis on Oct 28, 2016
Streaming video over low bandwidth, wireless connections often results in stalled video, broken up video or significant video delays. But Digital...
Mobile VMS Top Integrator Problems on Oct 24, 2016
In an IPVM survey, integrators report 4 problems most consistently with using mobile VMS applications: Network setup / cybersecurity...
Sony and Samsung Breaking VBR on Oct 21, 2016
For years, users have known variable bitrate (VBR) as one thing only: bandwidth varies, compression stays the same. This is not an accident but an...
4 Biggest Low Light Problems on Oct 10, 2016
100 integrators told IPVM what their biggest problems were with low light images. The most commonly cited themes were: Limited IR Range Uneven...
Samsung 'Q' Low-Cost 1080p Dome Tested on Oct 10, 2016
The most competitive part of the market is for low-cost cameras. Hanwha Techwin / Samsung has released its new low-cost Q series to go after this...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The Russian SMP Security Robot on Dec 08, 2016
A Russian manufacturer, SMP, has a commercially available outdoor security robot, at a lower price and with much less marketing than their main...
How Hikvision Beats Its OEMs on Dec 08, 2016
Hikvision GM declared that they are not aggressive with their competitors. But some of their own OEM partners disagree. Inside, we reveal a key...
Dahua Discontinuing H.264 Only Products on Dec 08, 2016
Dahua has taken a stand for H.265 and is discontinuing its H.264 only products. We examine the shakeup inside this...
Last Day Save $50 IP Networking Course January 2017 on Dec 08, 2016
Today is the last day to save $50 on next month's IP networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
Hikvision vs Dahua Mobile Apps Tested on Dec 07, 2016
With smartphone use and low-cost video recorders surging, many user's main interface to their surveillance system is their phone. With mobile video...
Paxton Drops US Reps, Plans Major Expansion on Dec 07, 2016
Paxton is gearing up to make a big run at  US access control success. The first step they have made is to cut all US Rep Firms, in anticipation of...
Axis Partner Elder Care Video Analytics (Smartervision) on Dec 07, 2016
Can video analytics be used to improve the care of the elderly? Axis and a video analytics startup, Smartervision, are working together to do so....
Sony IP Camera Backdoor Uncovered on Dec 06, 2016
A backdoor has been uncovered in ~80 Sony IP camera models, attackers can remotely enable telnet on the camera, and then potentially login as root,...
Power Drill Selection Guide on Dec 06, 2016
Boring holes is a basic part of running cables for most security system projects. To do so, you will need to choose the right drills for various...
Milestone Favorability Results on Dec 06, 2016
In our second installment of manufacturer favorability results (first was Pelco), we turn to Milestone. 100+ integrators rated and explained what...

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