Calculating Video Surveillance Storage / Bandwidth

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Dec 29, 2016

Calculating surveillance bandwidth is complex, and inexperienced users can easily underestimate bandwidth, leading to reduced storage durations and/or overloaded networks.

The most common way technicians estimate storage is to use manufacturer or third party calculator tools. However, these tools are too simple for the complex factors impacting bandwidth / storage, a fundamental flaw which fails to reflect real world conditions. In this tutorial, we explain these key issues and give our recommendations for how to most accurately calculate surveillance storage needed.

Most Use Calculators, Despite Issues

Despite their high potential for inaccuracy, most people use calculators. They are simple to use for even novices, typically asking only for a few basics such as number of cameras, resolution, frame rate, with an estimate immediately generated.

From an IPVM member survey, here is the breakdown on preferred method, with a strong majority using storage calculators:

However, it is nearly impossible for calculators to reflect the wide range of conditions in which cameras are installed, as well as the variances between camera models. For example, we asked users how much bandwidth a 1080p H.264 camera uses. Notice how widely bandwidth estimates vary, even using the same resolution, framerate, and CODEC:

All of the respondents could be 'right' even though the answers vary by more than 300%. Differences in cameras used and sites deployed can easily result in massive differences in actual bandwidth/storage consumed. Calculators do not reflect them.

*********** ************ ********* ** *******, *** ************* ***** *** ****** underestimate *********, ******* ** ******* ******* ********* ***/** ********** ********.

*** **** ****** *** *********** ******** ******* ** ** *** manufacturer ** ***** ***** ********** *****. *******, ***** ***** *** too ****** *** *** ******* ******* ********* ********* / *******, a *********** **** ***** ***** ** ******* **** ***** **********. In **** ********, ** ******* ***** *** ****** *** **** our *************** *** *** ** **** ********** ********* ************ ******* needed.

Most *** ***********, ******* ******

******* ***** **** ********* *** **********, **** ****** *** ***********. They *** ****** ** *** *** **** *******, ********* ****** only *** * *** ****** **** ** ****** ** *******, resolution, ***** ****, **** ** ******** *********** *********.

**** ** **** ****** ******, **** ** *** ********* ** preferred ******, **** * ****** ******** ***** ******* ***********:

*******, ** ** ****** ********** *** *********** ** ******* *** **** range ** ********** ** ***** ******* *** *********, ** **** as *** ********* ******* ****** ******. *** *******, ** ***** ***** how **** ********* * ***** *.*** ****** ****. ****** *** widely ********* ********* ****, **** ***** *** **** **********, *********, and *****:

*** ** *** *********** ***** ** '*****' **** ****** *** ******* vary ** **** **** ***%. *********** ** ******* **** *** sites ******** *** ****** ****** ** ******* *********** ** ****** bandwidth/storage ********. *********** ** *** ******* ****.

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

Most ******** ******

** ********** ********* *********/*******, ***** *** ***** *** ***************:

  • **** ******* *** ****** ********* ** ******* ******
  • ****** ***** ********** *** **** ******** ****** ****
  • ********** *** *** ****** ******** ****** *********/******* ***********

***** ***** ****** *** ******** ** ****** ********** *** **** help ***** **** ******** ******** ** ************.

*** *******, * ********** *** ******** * **/* *** * given *****, *** ***** ** **** ******* *** ********* ** specific ****** ***********, ******* ** **** ****** ** ** * Mb/s, * ***% ********.

Testing *******

******* ** ****, ** ** ******** ** ***** *** ********* consumption ** **** ****** ***** *** *** ** ****** ******* from ****** ** *******, **** **:

  • ********:***** ****
  • ******: ***** *******
  • ******:**** *** *****/********* ****
  • *******:******* ***
  • **** *******:**** ************

****** *** ******* *** **** ** ***** ********** ******,*** ***** *****, *** * ****** **** **** *** ******(*). ***** *** be ****** ******** ** ***** ** * ******** ** ************ and *********** *** **** ********* *** **********. ** **** ** take ******* **** ** *** **** *** ********* ****** ** plunges (******** ***** ** ***, ******* ********, ***.) *** ****** specific ******** ** *********.

*** ***** ***** ***** *** ****** ** *** ** ********** and measure ********* ***********, ***** ** *** *****.

Recording **********

**** ******* ** ******** ****** *************, ** ********* ******** ***** ********** as **** ****** ******** ** ********. **** * *** ******* to ******* ******* ******, ****** *******, ******** ** **** *******, and ***** ***** ******* ***** *** ****** *********.

***** ******* *** *****, ****** *** ******'* ******** **** *** complexity ***** *** **** * ***** *** *********. **** *** be ** ****** ** *** ***** *****:

***** **** ***** ** *******, *** *** ******* ** ** actual ********* **** ****** ******. ********* **** ****** ******* *** be ****** ******** ** ****** ***** **** *** ******** ***** for **** ******** **********.

Further *********** *************

******* ************ ************, ***** *** **** ******* ***** *** ***** slight ** ******* ********* ** ********. 

  • ****** ***** ***********
  • ************/***********
  • ***** ******
  • ****** *********/********* ******
  • ***** **** / *** *****

Camera ***** ***********

** *** ****** ******* *** **** ****** ********* *** *** camera **** *** *** ***** ***** ******** ** ****** ** the **** ********** *** *********. **** ** *** **** ************'* line. ********* ****** ******, **** **** *** **** ************ *** produce **** ********* *** *****.

*** *******, *** ********* ***** ***** *** *******, ** **** Q1604 *** **** *****, **** ****, ** ***, *** ** a ~**' ********** ***, ** *********** ** ~***. ******* ***** factors ***** ************, ** **** **** *** ****** *****, *** Q1604's ******* *** *** **/* ***** *** ***** ******** *.** Mb/s, ****** ** *** *********.

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

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

************/***********

**** ** *** ** *** **** ***** ****** *** ****, using *.*** *** *** **** **********, *********** ****** *** **** significantly, ******* ******** *********** ** ********* ***********.

*******, ************* ******* ** ****** ********* *********** ****** (*** ***** ****** ************ *********** **********), **** ** ***************, ****** ************ ***** ** **** *** ***** inaccurate.

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

***** ** ***** ****** *******, **-** ************ ** ************* *** "***** ****" ******* ***** quality *** *********. ****** ****** **** *********** ******** ****** ** image *******, ***** ***** ****** ******** ********* **** ****** **** in ********* ***** *******. ************* ******* ** **** ***** ****** for **** ************ ******* ******** ** ************ ********.

*** *** ***** ***** *************** *********** ********** *** **** *******.

Smart ******

** *** ****, ******* ****** ****** **** ***** ******** *** ***********, I-frame ********, *** *********, ****** ************ *******. *** **** *** introduction ******* ****** ** *** **** *** *****, ******* *** *** *********** ****** these ******** ********* ** **** ** ** *** *****. ***** are ***** **** ********** **** ** ***** ****** (****** *** all *** *** *****):

  • ******* ***********:******* ** ******** *** **** *********** ***** ** *** ****** field ** ****, ***** ****** *** ******** *********** ** ******/********** objects *** ****** ** ** ******/********** *******, ******** ********* *******.
  • ******* *-***** ********:***** *.*** ******* ********* *** * ***** *-***** ******** (*.*. * second ** ** ******), ***** ****** ******** *** ******** ******* I-frames **** ***** ** ** ****** ** *** ******, *** immediately ******** **** ******** ******. **** ********* ******* ******** ************* due ** *** **** ******* **** ** *-******.
  • ******* ***:*******, **** ***** ****** ****** ********* **** ***** ** ** motion ** *** *****, **** ** * ******* ** * FPS ** * ********** *** ** *** ****.

***** *** ** **** ** ***** **********, ******* ******* ** up ** **% **** **** **** ** **** *****. ** a *******, ******* *********** ******* ******** ** **-**% ** **** very **** ******.

**************: **** ***** ****** ** *****/************ *********

*************, ******* *** * ***** ***** ***** *** ******* ** a ***** ***** ** *************. **** ***** ******* ** ******, such ** ******* ** *******, *** **** ** ****** ******** to ******* ******* *-*****/*** ******** **** ***********. ** * ******, the **** **** ******** ** ** **** *** ******/***** ***** in ***** ** *** ***** ** ** ******** ***.

******* ****, ** ********* ******** ***** ***** ******** ** **** a ******* ****** (*-**%) ** ******* *************** *** ********** *********** of *******.

*** *** ***** ***** ***** *** **** ******* ** ***** *** ****** *** ******* ******.

Video ****** *********/********* ***********

***************/***-********** ***** ****** ********* *** ********* *** ** *** ** the ******* ******* ** ********** ******* ************. *** ********, ** *** are ********** ******* ** '****' ****** ** * ****** ****, it ** ****** ** ** **** *** - **** **** 5%. *******, ******** ****, ************, ***********, ***. *** **** ****** detection ****** ****** ************, ****** ***** ******* **** ***** **** estimations.

**************: ********/**-******** 

***** ****** ** ******** ** ******** *** ***/** ***** ********* regularly. ** * *******, ******** *** ************ ****** ** ********* about * **** ***** ************, **** **** ******* ********** *** bandwidth/storage *** ** **** *** ************.

*******, ******* ** ******, ***********, ****** ************, ***., *** **** make ******* ******* ********* **********. ***** ****** ************ ***** ***** configurations (~**-** **** ** ** ***** ******* *** ****) *** adjust ** ******.

*** ********** ****** ***** ********* *** **** ******* ** **** *******.

Night **** / *** ***** ********* ***********

********** **** *****, ** *** ***** / ***** ****, ********* tends ** ** ******, ********* *** ****** (*.*., *** ** high). ***** ** ** **** / ****** *** ** ******** this ** * ****** ** ******* **** **** ****:

  • ****** ** ******* *****:** * ***** **** ** *****, *** **** ***** *** can *** ** *** *****, *** ****** **** *********, ****** this *** ** ****** **** **** *** **********. 
  • ********** **:** *** *****, ******* **** ********** ** **** ** ******* more ********* **** ** *** *** *** ************* **** **** non-IR *******. *******, **** ** ***** ******** ** *** ******* and ***** ** ********** ** *** *** ********** ** *** scene.
  • ****** *** ***** ***********:**** *******, ******* *** ** ****** *** ***** ***** ********** or ******* ** ****** ******* ** ***** * **** ******, will ******* ************* **** ********* ** *****.

*** ******* ********* ** *** ***** *** ******* *** ***** ** ***** ******* *** **** *******.

**************: *** *** / *** **** * ***

** ***** ** ****** ******* ********* *********, ** ********* ***** *** bitrates ** *****. **** **** **** *** *** **** ***** than ******** ******** ** *****, ********* ***** ******* ** **** similar, ** *** **** ****** ** ******* ***** *** ****** images ****** ** *** ****** **** ********* ** *********** *** way **** ***** ****** **.

*** *** **** ******** ********* ** ***** ** **** *** ******** *** *** ***************.

Storage ********** ********

****/**** ****** *** *** ************* ***** * *********/******* ********** ******** ** their ********. *** ***** ******** ** ***** *********** ****, **** differing ****** ** ********** *** *************. ***** ****** ******** ***** *** freely ********* ****** (** ***** ******** ** ** ****) *** discussed *****:

Supercircuits ****

** * *** ****** ****** ******, ************* ********* ****** ***** ***** *** ** ***** **********, **** ******* ****** / **********:

** *** *** **** ** ********* **** ***** *** *** not ******** **** *******, **** ** **. *** *** ********** fails ** ******** *********** ** ****** ******, ******, ******** ******, to **** * ***. ****, ** ******* * ****** ************ between ***** **** *** ********* (*.*., ****** *** *****, ****** the *********) ******* **** ********* *** ***** *** **** ** practice (*.*., ******* ********* ** ***** ****).

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

*** **** ****** **** ** **** *************, **** ***** ** ******* *** ****, **********, and ***** ********* *******, ***** ******** ** ******** ****** *** compression/CODEC ********, *** ****. *******, ** ****** ****** ********** ** ******** settings, ** ***** *** ****** ****** ** ** *** ***** real ***** *******. *** ******** ******** **** **** ******* *** ******** compression ****** *** ******, *********** ** *** ***** *****:

** **********, **** ****** ******* **** ****** (****** *********) **** adjust ********* ********* *********** ***********, *.*., *** ******* '*******' ******** more ********* **** *** '*********', ***** ** ********* **** ***. The ***** ***** ***** *** ******* *** ****** ****** **** provide:

*******, **** ** **** ****, *** ****** ** ********* **** frequently *** ******* ***'* ********. *** *******, ***** '************' ******** has **** ****** ******* ** ** *** * *** ** empty ********** ********* ** ********* **** **** *** ********* ********:

'****' ************ *** ** ******* *** ** ** ** ******, its ********* **** ** *** ****** (******, ******, ********* ***** possible). **** **** *** **** **** **** '*****' *** ** reflects *** *********** ********** ** ********** ********* **********.

****, **** ********* ******* *** ***** ** *** *** *****, however, **** *********** *** ********** *** ** *** ****** **** cameras **** ********** ** **** ****** ****** ******* *** **** bandwidth **** ***** ******* ** ** *** *****. *** ******* below ***** *** ** **** ***-** *** ** ****** ****** the **** ********* ** *** *****:

******, ** *** ***************, **** **** ********* ******* *** **** ********* for *** ******* ** *** **** ********** / ********, *** factoring ** ********* ** ********* ****** ****** ** *** ** sensors (***** ** *** *******, ** ** **** ***** *****, have ** ****** ** *********).

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

*****'* ************* **********, **** **** *** *************** ****** *** ********* ******* ****** manufacturer's ******. *** **** ******* ** **** *** *** ***** which ****** *** *********, **** ***** ****** *** ** **** automatically **** ** **** *****'* *** *********, *.*.:

*******, *** ***** ***** ** **** *** ********* ********* ** extremely **** ** ********, *.*., **** ** ***** *** / 15fps ******* *** ********* ** *.***/*. **** ******* ***** ******, that ** ******** ** ********, ****** *** ****** ******* **** complexity ****** ** *** *********** **************.

** ** ********* ** **** **** **** *********** *** ******* / ****** ********* ****** *** ****** **** ******* ******, ***** is ********* **** ** * ****** ******* ** **** ****** from ********* ** ******* *** ******* **************. *** *******, ***:****** ********** ***** ******* ***********  

******* 

** *** **** ***** ******* **** ********* / ******* ************ correct, *** *** *** ****** ****** *** **** ** *** locations *** **** ** *** ****. ***** **** *** **** a ****** ** *****, *** *** ******* **** *********** ****** of ******* (*.*., **** **** * *** **** ******), *** will ****** **** ******** **** *** ****** ******** ** ********** yourself ****** **** ********* ** *********** **** ****** **** ***** to ***** / ********** ******** ***'* *********** ** ******* / scenes.

Comments (5)

***... **** *** * ***** **** ****** **** ******** **** actually *** ****** ****** *** ***** ***** **** ***. **** are *** **** *********** ** *** **** ********* *****.

*** *******...*** ********* **** *** ***** *** *** *** **** with *** ******** *** **** ** *** *** ******* *******. Be **** ** ****** *** ****** ****** ** *** ****** the *** ****** ******** ******* **** ****** ******* *** *******. One ***** **** **** *** * *** ** ** **** server ********* *** *** '*********' ******* ******* *** ***** ********* on *** ***** *** ****** *****.

****://************.****.*** ** *** *****.

** *** ******** ** **** **** **** * ******* ** history *** ***.

**** * ****... *** '***** **********' *** **** **** *** represent **** ** ********* ** **** *******.

****, ******, **'** ** ******* ** *** ****** ** ****.

*** ****** ** ***, **** *** **** ** *** ****** Mike ******** **:

******** ****** ****** ****. **** ** * ******!

***** *** ** **** ***** ********* ***** **** **** ***** complexity *** ********* ****** ** *** ********** ****** *********. *******: 45 **** ****** * *****, ** ******* ****** ***. **** retention ** * ****** ****** - ****** * ** **** @ ***, ****** * *** **** @ **** ***** *** cameras. *****, ****** ***** *** ************ ******** *** **** ******** we *** ****.

* *** ** ***** ** *** ********** ** *****, *** constraints *** ***** **** **** ***** ***** ******** * ********** of ******* ******** ** *** ** ***'* **** ***** *** frying *** *** **** *** ******* *******. * **** ******* many ***** ****** *********** ** *** *** **** ***** **** mine *** ********* *********** *** *** **** *** ***. ** yes ******* *** *** ******, **** **** ******** *** ********** before ******* *** *******.

***** ******* *** ********, ***! ***** *** **** ******* ** scene ***** *** ****** ******** **** ********** ** ********* *******; some ** *** ******* ************ ***** ** ***** *******, *** of ***** *'** **** *** **** ***, *** ****** *****:

*** *** ******* ** *** ***** ****** ** ****** **********?

*** ***** ****** ******* ** ******, ***** ** **** ******* availability?

*** ***** *** *********** ** ****** ***** *** ****** ***** that ******* ********* ** ****** ****** ** *** *****?

*******, *** ***** ****** ******* ** ******* ******** ** *** device (********** ********* ************* ** *** ******* ****** **-***** **********).

*******, *** ** *** ***** **** ***** ** *********, *** can ** ********* *** ******** ******* ** * ******** **** article ** ****** *****-** ***** ** **** ** ** *********.

****'* * ****** ********* *****, *** ** **** ******* * list ** ******* ***** ***** *** ***** (***** * **** 6):

*****://****.***.**/**/*****/********/************************.***

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