Dahua Smart H.264+ Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Aug 17, 2016

The smart codec trend continues, with Dahua adding Smart H.264+ to many of their models in new firmware.

In this test we see how it performs and how it compares to Dahua's key competitor Hikvision and their H.264+ smart codec in day and night scenes, both low and high motion.  

For more Smart codec details, readers should see our Smart Codec Guide as well as tests of Axis ZipstreamHikvision H.264+Panasonic Smart Coding

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Comments (9)

I assume this works by dynamically increasing the GOP for periods when there is no motion. When the camera is in such a period and has not sent an I-frame for some time, and suddenly there is a certain amount of motion then will it break out of this mode and send the next I-frame?

I ask this because I am wondering if smart codecs have any impact on VMS products that have an I-frames only option on their server based VMD.

Interesting question. Theoretically, the camera should see the motion and start sending I-frames, so the VMS should resume VMD quickly. We have not directly tested it but we can take a look at it in upcoming tests. We'll be looking at Axis Zipstream 2.0 soon.

I just tested this with a Hikvision H264+ camera with the H.264+ feature enabled. (I do not have a Dahua smart codec camera)

The answer seems to be that it depends on the amount of motion.

I have the camera staring at a wall and with no motion it is sending an I-frame every 12 or 13 seconds. With lots of motion it sends an I-frame every 3 seconds. If I wave my hand in front of the camera it will send an I-frame much sooner than the 12 seconds, sometimes straight away if the movement is large and fast (but not less than 3 seconds after the last I-frame). However, if I move my hand much more slowly in front of the camera, it doesn't always send an I-frame right away. If the motion is both small and slow then it may still be 12 or 13 seconds before the next I-frame.

Reducing bandwidth is great but are there any compromises in picture quality when there is scene change? We have found various Dahua IP camera models lately to be no longer viable to record in VBR due to unacceptable compression artefacts. An example, is the DH-IPC-HDBW2320R-ZS. At 1080p resolution, 6 FPS, VBR capped at 1920Kbps and quality 6 the bit rate doesn't kick up when the scene is complex and changing, staying at around 500Kbps, so picture quality is unacceptable. Can IPVM do some tests on this model which include scene change to prove or disprove this issue?

Andrew, what firmware do you have on that IP camera? That would help us isolate if its related to specific firmware release.

Firmware: : 2.400.0000.23.R, build : 2015-12-15

I have an internal test report I can email you with more detail. Please let know what email address to send it to.

Ethan, what was the client used for this test?

There is a claim that Dahua h.264+ requires an update to their NVRs as well as the cameras to work. I assume that non-Dahuan gear wouldn't work therefore. Can you confirm or deny?

It was tested with multiple VMSes. Exacq, Milestone, Genetec, no issues with any. I did not try it with the Dahua Smart PSS client or an NVR, but I can look at it.

Man, I'm not even sure anymore. I can copy paste where I got the confusion from in my QQ conversation if you want?

Edit: Screw it. Here's my source from a QQ conversation back on 09/23.

"潇魈撒哈辣 11:46:57 AM
As to the H.264+ technology, it is especially developed by Dahua, so you need to match with dahua specific NVR series during the use, or the H.264+ function is not available. Currently, your NVR3XX series can support H.264+, your 3MP/4MP cameras can also support H.264+
潇魈撒哈辣 11:48:04 AM
the specific FW version that can support h.264+, you can ask Raul for the verison update
BaiginLong 11:55:05 AM
Ahh that's what I was looking for.
BaiginLong 11:56:03 AM
I want the new H.264+ and new IVS time frame for the models I listed earlier, pretty please!
BaiginLong 11:56:10 AM
>^.^<
潇魈撒哈辣 12:05:06 PM
only lite series and eco-savvy series support H.264+, ultra series donot support, so HFW81200E-Z/HDBW81200E-Z, EBW8600, EBW81200 donot support. DSS4004, EVS7048S-R, M70-4U-E, these donot support h.264+, but support h.265
潇魈撒哈辣 12:05:40 PM
BTW, we already have h.265 camera, if customer has the need, let me know
BaiginLong 12:06:05 PM
Will they get updates to support H.264+?
潇魈撒哈辣 12:06:10 PM
ok, gotta to sleep, wish u a good day, talk tommorrow
潇魈撒哈辣 12:06:27 PM
no, don't have this plan
BaiginLong 12:07:02 PM
And btw, I am interested in helping with Dahua marketing for the English sector. Is there anything we can do to make sure the English product descriptions are both appealing and accurate?
潇魈撒哈辣 12:08:23 PM
but theroretically speaking, EVS is just a storage device, just storage what the data it gets from camera, so, it should support H.264+."

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