Camera DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) Guide

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 20, 2014

Bandwidth spikes are a significant video problem.

An IPVM study found 250 - 500% increase in bandwidth from day to night (see: Testing Bandwidth vs Low Light).

Digital noise reduction is key for reducing night time bandwidth and preventing dramatic spikes which can kill your surveillance storage. In this guide we answer three key questions:

  • How much of an issue are bandwidth spikes?
  • How much does DNR reduce bitrate?
  • What impact does DNR have on image quality?

In order to answer these questions we tested 11 cameras from eight manufacturers in an approximately 1 lux scene, adjusting DNR to various levels from off through maximum, while measuring bandwidth.

  • Arecont Vision AV3116DNv1
  • Avigilon 1.0-H3-B1
  • Axis Q1615
  • Bosch NBN-733V
  • Bosch NBN-932V
  • Dahua IPC-HF3100N
  • Hikvision DS-2CD864FWD
  • Samsung SNB-5004
  • Samsung SNB-6004
  • Sony SNC-VB600B
  • Sony SNC-VB630

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Comments (4)

Since then if you do use the DNR, you bound to get some blurries anyway,

maybe it would be better to leeve shutter open longer instead? Instead trying to fixate pixel later from worse image?

Which blurry is worst, dnr, or slow shutter?

No, slow shutter is worse.

first of all - thank you for a nice table.

But why had you choose Samsung for supporting video, comparing with your statement that their implementation of noise reduction has practical no impact to bandwidth? how it is looking with other cameras that are more bandwidth-sensible?

It's true that the 6004 had little effect when changing going from its default setting to its max, but it actually had a considerable effect (87%), when going from off to default setting.

Though I'm curious why the 5004 (which is in many ways similar to the 6004), is so unresponsive to DNR, merely dropping the rate from 2.64 to 2.43, barely affecting it. The reflexive reason of 'it must not be doing as much DNR' is confounded by the fact that its bitrate is the lowest by far with DNR off. So low in fact that it's bit rate is still lower than all but two of the other cameras even with DNR set to default. Implying that there isn't so much DNR because there isn't so much DN, or the DNR is always on...

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