Exploring Details on H.264 Megapixel Cameras

By: John Honovich, Published on Jun 22, 2008

H.264 megapixel camera support may be the hottest topic in all of video surveillance today. Nevertheless, details on how H.264 megapixel cameras will work have been somewhat hard to find.

Of the megapixel H.264 offerings, Arecont Vision's H.264's cameras certainly have had the most buzz. Today, I spoke with Michael Korkin, the Director of Engineering at Arecont Vision to examine the details of how it will work and what the overall impact on video surveillance systems will be.

First, some highlights:

  • Single Sensor H.264 cameras from Arecont are now available.
  • Arecont's H.264 adheres to the H.264 standard
  • Decoding H.264 will not increase computing costs for clients
  • NVR manufacturers are just starting to add support for the cameras

The rest of the article is technical so please be aware of that.

Now Available

The cameras just started shipping to the general public very recently. Because the cameras were announced months ago, a lot of questions and some concerns were expressed over when the cameras would be available. The single sensor cameras are available now and the dual sensor cameras (the day/nights) and the quad sensor cameras (360s) will be available soon

Adheres to the H.264 Standard

Arecont's cameras do adhere to the H.264 standard and can be used with standards based decoders/media players like Quicktime. When Arecont refers to their H.264 as being proprietary they are referring to their implementation of the encoder/fpga. This is contrast to other manufacturers who are using third party chips from the HD camcorder market.

This is good news for customers, partners and integrators as it means that they do not need to worry about a strange proprietary codec that many feared.

No Computation Increase for H.264 Decoding

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

A big concern was the impact playing back H.264 video on end users PC would have. Dr Korkin informed me that head to head tests of the same settings for MJPEG and H.264 streams revealed that the decoding computation was equal or less for the H.264.

Given that H.264 was designed to work with low processing power hand held devices, this is reasonable. (Indeed H.264 decoding is less resource intensive than MPEG-4 decoding by design.) While H.264 does take much more computational power than MJPEG, the resources needed are mostly at the camera side for encoding (i.e., highly asymmetric). As such, that may not be a concern for users (nevertheless, this has been contested, see comments below).

NVR Manufacturers Are Working On Adding Support

Arecont Vision's own software supports the H.264 cameras as well as a few minor players. A number of the major NVR manufacturters are in development but have not released yet.

Given the demand for Arecont's products and that the codec is standards based, I would expect support to be added soon. That being said, obviously you need to verify with your NVR supplier.

Related Reports

Panasonic 4K Camera Tested (WV-S2570L) on Sep 13, 2019
Panasonic has released their latest generation 4K dome, the WV-S2570L,...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Network Optix NxWitness 4.0 Tested on Oct 10, 2019
Network Optix released Nx Witness 4.0, proclaiming new features like a deep...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
AI/Smart Camera Tutorial on Feb 20, 2020
Cameras with video analytics, sometimes called 'Smart' camera or 'AI'...
2020 Video Surveillance Cameras State Of The Market on Jan 03, 2020
Each year, IPVM explains the main advances and changes for video surveillance...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30...
Camera Course Summer 2020 - Last Chance on Jul 18, 2020
This is your last chance to register for the Summer 2020 Camera Course. This...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support has improved significantly since its introduction, with H.265...
Cisco Video Surveillance Is Dead, Long Live Cisco Meraki Video Surveillance on Feb 11, 2020
A dozen years ago much of the industry thought that Cisco was destined to...
VSaaS 101 on Mar 25, 2020
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is the common industry term for cloud...
The Future of H.266 For Video Surveillance Examined on Aug 17, 2020
First H.264, now H.265, is H.266 next? H.266 was recently announced amid...
Hanwha Presents AI Analytics and First 8K Camera on May 11, 2020
Hanwha presented their AI Analytics and the "Industry's First 8K" camera at...
Surveillance Storage 101 on Mar 23, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Vivotek 4K S-Series Camera Tested on Sep 30, 2019
Vivotek's highest-end S-series camera claims "Supreme Night Visibility",...

Recent Reports

OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations are at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
Verkada Disruptive Embedded Live Help on Sep 24, 2020
Call up your integrator? Have someone come by the next day? Verkada is...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
Norway Council of Ethics Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing" on Sep 23, 2020
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...