H.264 High vs Main vs Baseline Tested

Author: Derek Ward, Published on Jun 27, 2014

In surveillance, H.264 is often considered a single 'thing' but there are many different sets of capabilities, called profiles, to choose from.

The most well known of these are:

  • Baseline
  • Main
  • High

This chart shows the theoretical tradeoffs amongst them:

Basically, as you move 'up' from baseline to main to high, the theory is that you get the same quality for less bandwidth. Some vendors even claim that high profile reduces bandwidth by up to 50% compared to baseline profile.

In the beginning of H.264 IP cameras, baseline profile was the only option. However, over the past few years, more and more manufacturers have added in main and even high profile support.

In this report, we share our test findings comparing the bandwidth consumption of 4 IP cameras that support all 3 of these profiles to see what the savings, if any, really are:

  • Dahua IPC-HF3101
  • Hikvision DC-2CD864FWD-E
  • Samsung SNB-5004
  • Sony SNC-VB600

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

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

  • ********
  • ****
  • ****

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

*********, ** *** **** '**' ************ ** **** ** ****, *** ****** ** **** *** *** the **** ******* *** **** *********. **** ******* **** ***** that **** ******* ******* ********* ** ** ** **% ******** to ******** *******.

** *** ********* ** *.*** ** *******, ******** ******* *** the **** ******. *******, **** *** **** *** *****, **** and **** ************* **** ***** ** **** *** **** **** profile *******.

** **** ******, ** ***** *** **** ******** ********* *** bandwidth *********** ** * ** ******* **** ******* *** * of ***** ******** ** *** **** *** *******, ** ***, really ***:

  • ***** ***-******
  • ********* **-*********-*
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[***************]

Key ********

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

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  • *********** ******* **** *** **** ******* ** *** ****** ****** varied ****** **** * ******** ** ***** **% ** ** increase ** ***** **%.
  • ** * **** ****** *** ***** *****, ********* **** **** to **** ******* ******** ** *********** ***** ****** **** ********** ** 25% ** ********* ** **%.
  • *********** **** ********* **** ******** ** **** ******* **** ********* small, **** **** ** *******.
  • *** ***** *** ******* ******* ********** ** ***** *.*** ******* was ****.
  • ******** ******* *** ******* *** **** ********** ** *******.
  • ********* ** ****, ****, *** ******** ******** ****** ******* *******, often **** ********* ***** **** ** ******** *** **** *******. 

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

***** ****** ********* ****** **** ********* ********* ****** *** ***** as *.*** ***** **** ******** ** **** ** **** *******, unfortunately, **** ** ****** *** ****. ***** ******* ** ****** bandwidth ****** **** ***** ****** ** ***** **** ******** ******** to ********* ***** ** **** *** ***** ***********, ** ************ implementation *** ******* **** ******. ********* ** **** ******* ** some ******* *** ******** *******, *.*., **** ****** *****.

Manufacturer *******

********* *.*** ******** ** *** ********* ** *** *************, **** some ********** ** **** *** ******* (********* ******** ** ****). Others ******* **** ******* ** ***** **** *******, *** *** others. For *******, **** **** ******** **** ******* ** ******* ***** their ******-* ****, ***** ****** ******* **** ******** *** ****. 

******* *** ******* **** ******* ** **** *** ** ******. A *** ************* **** ** ** *** ****** **** ****** or spec ******, **** ** **** ******* **** *** **** * series *****:

*******, ** ** ** *** ******, * ****** ******** **** as************* ** **** ** ********* ***** ******* *** ****** ** using. **** ** ***** ***** *** "***** *********" ******* ** AVInaptic, **** *****:

CPU ***** *** *******

** ** ***** ***** ******** **** **** ** ******** **. **** *******, ***** *** ** ******** ** *** ****** ** *** media ****** *** ***** **** ******** **** ******* ******* **. main **. ********. **** **** *** **** *** *** *** dedicated ******** *****, *** ****** *** ******* *** *** **** increase, *** **** **** ****.

******* ******* ******* ******** *** **** *********. **** ******* ****** more ******* **** ****** (********* **** ***** * ******), *** this ******** ************* *** **** ********** ** **** ******* *** selected.

Full ***** **********

*** **** ****, ** **** ** ******** **** ***** *****, ~******, **** ** ****** *******, **** ** *** *** ******* below.

** ******** ********* **** *** ******************* ** ************ **/**, ** ** ***. ** **** *****, ***** *** ********* both ********* **** ******** ** ** *******, ****** ***** *** the ******* ********** **** **** ** **** *******, ***** ********* decreased **** **** ****** ************ ** ****. **** ******* *** **** ********** ********* ******** when ****** ************ ******* ****.

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

****, ** ****** *** ******* ** ** ******* ****** ***** (<1***, **** * ** ***** ***) ** *** **** *******, if ***, **** ****** ** ******** ********.

***** ************ ** ** *** *** ***/**, ***** *** ********* decreased, ***** ******* *** ****** ******. *******, **** ********* ***** 4 **/* ******* ******** *** **** *******, ***** * **% increase.

Setting ******** *** ********* *******

*******, ** ***** **** * *** ******** ** *** ** change ******* ****, ****, *** ******** *.*** ******** *** ******* IP ******* ***** ******* **** *******. ***** ** * *********** of **** ******* *.*** ******* ******** **** ***** ********** **.

*****

** ***** *******, ******* ** ******** ***** "****** ****" **** below. *.*** ******* ******** **** **** ******* (***** ** **** the ****** ******** **) ***** *.**** *** *.**** *** ******** and **** ********, ************.

*********

********* ******* *** ************ ****** *** **** ** ************* ** *** *** ********, ******* ****** "*******."

*******

******* **** ******* ****** ******* **********, ****** ********, ****, *** High, ***** ******** ******* ********.

****

*******, **** **** *** ****, **** * ********* ******** *** Profile ** *** ***** ***** ****.

**********

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

  • ***** ***-******: *.***
  • ********* **-*********-*: *.*.*
  • ******* ***-****: *.*********
  • **** ***-*****: *.**.*

Comments (36)

***** ******* ** ***** ** ***, *.*** ** *** ***** even ** *****. *****'* **** ** ****** ************ ******** ***** (********) *** ** **** ***** **** ***** *** *********.

* ** ***** ** **** ******* ************** **** *.*** ** we *** ***** **** *.*** **** *******, ********* ** *** many ************* ********* *******.

********** -*.*** / **** ***** ********

*'* **** ** ************ **** *** ****'* **** ******* *** latency ********** ******* ********.

***** *** ******* ********** ****. ***** *** **** ** ** measure *** ******* **********?

***.

** ****'* *** ** * ********* ** **** ****, *** looking ** ***** ** ***** ******* ** *** ***** ********, we *** ** **** ********** ** ******* **** *** ******* was *******.

******* **** *** ******* ****** *** *******. ******* **** ****** latency ****** ****** *******.

**** **** ******! * ** ******* ** ** **** *** results ***** ** **** ******* ******** ** **** ******* **** as ***** *** *********. ***** * ****** ****** **** ******* them *** ****? **** * ***** ****** ****** ** **** especially ** *** ************* ** **** ** *** *** *** feature *** ***********.

** ***, * ******* ******* * ***** ****** (******* **** don't **** ******** ******* ** ****** *******) *** ** ***** they *** ***** **** *******. **** ** **** ** ****** to *** * ******, ** ***** ******* **** ** ******** to **** *******, *** * ****** *** **** ********* ** main, ** ***** ***.

** *** ****, ** ***'* **** ** ******-* ****** ***, but **** ********** ******** **'** **** **. *** ** ****** **** *** generation ********* ******* ******.

**'* ****** ****** ** ****** ******** ** **'** *** ** for ****** ***** ** ** *** *** ** **** ***** and ***** ***** *******.

*****,

**** ** ****** * ***** ******, ** ***** ** *** at ***** ***** ******* *** * ***'* ****** ** ******* profiles, *** **. ** ***** ** ** *** ******* ****:

  • ** '*' ****** (**)
  • *** '*' ***** (***)
  • *** '*' ****** (****)

* **** **** ** ****** **** ** ***** *** ** the ***** ******** ** ****** *** * ******* *** ****** but * ***'* ****** ***** *******.

** * **** ******* ** ** ******** ********, *** ***** found **** **** ******** ** '*' ****** ****** * ************* increase ** *******. * ***'* **** *** ***** ******* *** as * ******, *** ******* ******** ******* ******** ******* (** IP) *** ****** ******** *** ****** ***********, ** *** ***** of ** ***** *** ***** (****) *** **** ****.

** *****, ***** *** *** * **** ****** ******. *** you **** **** * **** ** *** ******* ** ***** quality **** ********* **** ****** ***** ******* *** * ********? In **********, **** ***** **** ******* ********* **** *** ** the * ********? ***** ***!

*********, ** *** **** '**' **** ******** ** **** ** high, *** ****** *** *** **** ******* *** **** *********....***** was ** ******** ** *** ****** ** *** ***** ****** CPU ***** **** ******** **** ******* ******* **. **** **. baseline

**** **** **** ***** ** * **** ***** ** ** had ***** ***? ******* ** **** ****** **** ** *********? What ** ********* **** **** ***** ******** ****** *** **** time ***? ** ***** ** *****-**** ******* **** ****** *** next ****?

***,

* ***** ******* ****, ******** ***** *** *** ** *** increase ************ ****, ***** ** ****** ** ******** ************ ****.

***, * ***** *** *** ********** **** ** * *** levels. *****, ** **** *** ****** *** ******* ** '******'. We **** *** ******* *** *** '****'.

****, **** ** *** ******. ** ** ******* ****** *** test *******, ** ***** **** **** *** *** ****** *** case.

****, *** ****** ** ****** ********* * **** '**** ***********, and *** ** ***** ******* *** *** **** **** ********* and ******* ** ********. ** * **** ******* **** ** you********* *** ****** ** *********** *** *** ******** *** **** back ******** ********* ******* *** ***, ***'* *** **** *******, *** ****! *** *'* ***** ** **** ***** * got ****** **....:)

****, **** **** **** **** **** ***** ****** **** * camera ** ********* **** **** ******* ** ******?

********* *** ******* ** ******** ** **** ** *** ** talking ***** *** **** *****, *.*., *** **** ***** ** compression.

*** ********,******** *.*** *** ********* ***** ** *********** *****. **** ** why *.*** *** **** *** **** ******* ** ***** *** rates **** *****.

** *** **** ***, *.*** ********, **** *** **** *** different ***** ** *********** *****, ******* **** ** ** ******** to ************ ***** ******* *** **** *******.

* ********** **** ** *********, ********** ***** ***** *** *********** levels ** ****, *** ***** *****, **** ********* *** **** video ** **********, ********** ** **** ***** *** *******.***** ******* / *********** ********

** *** **** ***, *.*** ********, **** *** **** *** different ***** ** *********** *****, ******* **** ** ** ******** to ***** ******* ***** ******* *** **** *******.

** ****** **** *** *****'* **** ****** ******* ******** ** a ******** ** ******** *** *******, **** *********, *** ******* change ** ********** ** *** *****:

  1. ****** ******** ******* ** **** *******- ********* ***** ***- ******* ********
  2. ***** *** ***************** ** ******** ***** ********* ***** ********* ********* ***- ******* ********* **y

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

** ***,

* **** ***** **** ********** **** ******* **** *** ******* CODECs ** *.*** *** *.*** ***** ** ******* *** ********** new ********** *** **** ******* *** * **** *** *********** team. *** *** **** **** *********** ********* *** *********** ********* as *** **** **** ******** ** *** **** ******** ** simply *****. ***** ***** **, ** *** ******* **** ** and ********** ***** *** ****, **** *** *** ************ **** information *** *** ********* **** ** **. *************, ** ********, this ** *** **** * ****** ***** ***** *** ********** of *** ***** **** ** ** **** *** **** **** baseline ** *** **** *******. *** **** ******* ** * very **** **** *********** ********* **** **** ** ********** *********** tricks. ** ***** **** **** ******* ***** (*** * **** a ***) ** ******** **** *** **** *******. ********, *******, is ***** *** ****. *** **** **** ** ******** *** how ** ** *** ***********. **** *** ***** **** **** was ****, *******, ** ** **** ** ****** *** ************* steps.

** **** ** *********** *** ** ** **** **** ***** dependent. ****'* *** *** *** **** ***** *** ****** ** the ***********--***** *** ***** *******, ***. *** **** ****** *** additional "*********** ******" ** *** **** ******* *** *** *** helpful. ****, ** *** ** *** ******** ***** ** * "q" ********* **** ******** *** *******. ** *** ***** ** compressed **** *** **** ******* *** * ***** * **** the ******** ******* **** * ****** *, **** ******* ***** be *******, *.*., ******* ******* *** *********. *** ********** ** the ******* ******** ****** **** *, *.*., *******. ** **** quality, *** **** ******* **** ** **** ********* (***** *********), since ***** ** ** **** *********** ** ****** *** *** tricks *** ** *****, ** ***** ** ******* *** **** efficient ******** ******* *** ** **** ** **** **** ** the **** *********** **** ** ************ **** ** *****. ** low *******, *******, ***** *** ***'* **** ** ** ** efficient, *** ****** **** ** ************ ** *** **** ******* loses ** *********. ** ** ** ******, ****, **** *** high ******* ** ****** **** *** ***** *** ******-******* ******. This ** *** ********* *** ****, *******, **** ************ ******* when **'** *** ** ********* **** * *** *********** ********* here *** ***** *** *** **** ****** ** *** *****.

** ***** ***** *** **** *********. ** **** ***'* **** what ********* *** ****** ************* **** **** *** ** ****** predict *********** ******* ********* **. ***** ****** ** *** ****** rule-of-thumb.

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

****

**** ****!

...*** **** **** *********** ********* *** *********** ********* ** *** move **** ******** ** *** **** ******** ** ****** *****. Think ***** **, ** *** ******* **** ** *** ********** stays *** ****, **** *** *** ************ **** *********** *** the ********* **** ** **.

* ***** ******** ****** **** ****, *** ***** ** *** say

...*** ********** ** *** ***** **** ** ** **** *** move **** ******** ** *** **** *******...

**** **** ******* *** ********* **** ** **** ** ******** the ******* ** **** ** ********** **** ******* *** ****, like **** *********, ***? ** **** ****** ** ***, **** if *** **** **** ** **** **** *** * ***** one ****** ** * ****, **** ***** ******** *** *********, yes? *** ** *** ******* ***** **** *** ********* *** the **** ** ** *** ****** *** ******** ********, **** the ******* ***** ** ****** (**** * ***** *) *** the ********* *** ****, ***?

***** **** ********: ** ************************************ *******, **** ************** ****.

**** *** *******. * ****** **** **** ******* * *** more ******* ** ** *****, *** *** **** **** **** I **** **** *** ********** ** *** **** ******* **** up **** *** ***** ******* ** **** *** ** **** down **** *** ********* ***** ******* ** ***. **** ** the ******** *** ****** **** ** **** **** *** **** a **** ******* *** *********** ******** **** ** ** **** in *** **** ******* ******** ** * **** ******* ******** used ** *** ******** *******. *** ***** ** **** **** the ******* *********** ***** ** *** **** ******* **** * higher ******* *** ********* ****** *** *********** ** **** ********** in *** ******** ******* ***** **** ********* *** **** *******. There ** * *****-**** ***** ********* (***** ** ***** *********). Generally, *******, ** *** ****** **** ******* *******, **** *** high ******* ****. ** *** ********* ******* ** ***, **** the ******** ******* ****.

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

****

***, ** ****.

** ** **** ** ***, ** ***'* ******** *****, ** those ***** ***** ********************* ** ********* ********, *** *** **** ***** **** ********* savings *** * **** *******?

***, *** *** ******** ******* ***** *** ********* **** ** to **** ********* *****.

** ****, **** ** ******* *** ********. ** *** ************ Q ****** ** ***** ** ********** ** **** ******* ** were *****, ** ** ***** ** ********* **** ********.

* ** ***** ****** **** *** *** ** ***'* **** what ********* ************* **** ****. **** **** *** *********** ******* in *** *****!

** **** ******* ** *** **** **** ****** ***** **'*.
******* ********* ****** ****(** ***** **** ********* *****) ** **** his ******* ******* ** *** ** ********, ***** ************ **** algorithms.

**** ** *** ***(*** **** ***** ***) ** *** ********* to *** **** ******* ** ***** ******* ** ***** *** all ******* ** ********** **** ******.

*** ******* *** ** **** **** *** ** *** *** even **% *** ** ******** ** ***** *******, *** ** you *** ** ***** *** *******( **** * ******* ***, which **** *** **** ********* ) *** ** ***** ******* - *** ****** ***** *** ******* ** ******** ******* ******* and *** ****** ***** ** *** **** **** ** **** be ******* ** *** **** ******* *******. *** ******* ** now ***** *******.

********* **** **** ******* **:
*) *** */* ***** ******** *** **** *** ****** **********
*) ***** ** ***** ?

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

**** ***** *** *********** *.*** **. *** ******* ****** ******* weighed ** *** *** ************* **** ******. * ***** **** it's *** ****** * ****** ** ***** ******* *** **** which ******** ******** *** ******* *** ***** **** ** ****** the ******.

** *****,

***, ** ** ***********. *** ** ** ********* ** ******** that * ********** *.*** ******* ** * ******** *** *************. It **** **** ************ **** ** ** ********* ** *** decoder. ** **** ******* ***** *** *******. ** ***** *** be ******** *** **** ********. **** *** ** **** **** better **** *** **** ***. ** *** ***** **** *** in ***** ******** **** ** *** ****** ************* *** **** trades **** ****. *** **** ******* *** ** **** *************** intensive *** *** *****'* ******** ***** ** **** * ******** task **** *** ******* ***** ****** * ******. *****, * haven't **** ** **** **** **** ** **** **** ***** are *** ***** *****. **** **, *** ******* ********** *** rather ****-*****. ****'* *** ***** ********* ***** *** ******. *** can't ****** ******* *********** **** ** ****** ***'** ***** * particular *.*** *******.

****

* *****. *** ********* ***** *** ********** ******** -- ****'** the **** *** ** *** *** **** ** ****** *** bandwidth ** ********.

*** ***** **** *** ******* ** *********** (** ************) ****** profiles ** *** ***, *** ***** ** * *********** **** at *** ****** ***** * ******* ** **, ***** ** would ** * ********** ********** ** ******* ****** ***** **** CODECs *** **** ****** **** ** **** *********?

**** **** ***'** ******, ***** ****** ***** ******* *** ****** to *** **** *** *****, **?

*******,

** *** ***? * *****'* **** ** ******* **** *** change ****** ******* *********, * ******* **** ********* ***** * substantial ****** ** ****. * ***'* ******* *** *********** ***** the **** ** ***** *** **** ******* *** ** ** encoder ****** ***** ** * *******.

** *** ***? * *****'* **** ** ******* **** *** change ****** ******* *********...

********* *** *** *** * *** ***; *'* **** ***** encoders *** ** **... :)

*** **** ** *** ****-***** **** ******** ** **** * more ********** *****, ****** *** ********* ****** (*.***/*****) ** *** same ****!

*** ***** *** ***** "****** *.*** *******", *** ***** *** se. * ***'* **** *** ************ *******, *** * ******** a ***** **** ******** ** **** **** ** ****** *** maybe * * ****** ******. **** ***** *** **** ********** as * ***/***** ********** ***** *****. ***** ************** ***** ** a **** **** ** ****** ** **************...

*** **** ** ** *** **** ** *******, ****** *** can*********** * **** ******** (***-****/******/********/********) ***** ********* **** *** ******** of "****** ***** *** ** ******* * ***" *** "***** able ** ** **** ** **** ******* ** **" ***** choose, **?

*******, **** ** ** *** ********** ** **, * *** merely ****-******, ***** ****** **** **** ******** ** ** ***** 'Has ***** **** *** *******'.

*******, *** ****, *** *******, ********...

*'** **** ******** **** ******* ** * *** ******* *** I've **** ******** **** *******. *** ***'* ******* **** ******* will ** ***** **. **** **** * **** ****, ** least *** **** ** **********. *** *'** ***** **** *****-***** changes ************ ** ******* ** ******* ***/***** *********** - ***** typically **** **** **** * ******.

* **** ******'* **** ** **** ** ******* ** * customer *** ***** ****** ****'* ******* ** ******** ******* ** was ** *** ******* ** ********* **** ******** ** **** profile.

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

******** ******** '** *** ***', **! *** **** *** **** CSI *** ** ** ***'* *****? :)

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

** ******* ****, ******* *** ********** ** *** ** *** largest *********** ** ****** ***** *********** ** ** *******. * see **** **** **** ******** ******* *.***. ** ***** ***** up ** *** ********* ** ****** ******** **** ***** **** streams. **** *******, ** ** *****, ***** *** ******* *** simultaneous ***** *******.

**** **** ****** *.*** **** ****. ******** *** ****** ***** is *** ******** ******* ** ******* ********** ******* ******* ** h.264 ** **** *** *******, * ******* **** **** ******* many *********** ** ******* **** ************ ****** ** *** ****** to *** *** ******* *****. ** **** *****, * **** have ** ****** ** *** ******* ******* ***** ***** ** worth *** ********** ********** ************. ******* ** **** ** ****** to *** **-****** ******** **** **** ******* *********. ****, **** storage *** ********** ************ ******** ** *** ***** **** ******** about ******** ****** **** *********, ******* ******* ****** **** *********.

* **** ***** ***** *** ****** ****** *** *********** ******** to *** ****.

** ****'* **** *****, ****? *.*. **** *********** * *** enough ****** ** ****** **? **% ********* *******? **%?

****, **** ******* *** ********** ************ ******** ** *** ***** that ******** ***** ******** ****** **** *********, ******* ******* ****** less *********.

******, ** ** ***********, *** ******* *** ********* *.*.** ***. **** ** ** 5 ** ** *****...

*** ** ********, *** ***** **** ****** ** *** **** because **** **** **** * ****** ** ***** **** ***** have ****** ************. *** ***** ************, * "**** ****** ******" analysis ***** **** ** ** *********.

** ** *******: *** *********** ** *** *** ****** ******** miscalculated ******* ************ ***** ** * ****** ********** **** *** manufacturer (** ** **** ****). *** *** ****** *** **** the **-******* ******* ************ **** ******** ***** *** *-* **** versus *** * **** *** *** ****** ***.

** **** ****** ***** ** ********** *** ****** ******* **** the ********** ********* ** **** *** ********** ******* ****** ** extra **** **** *** ****** ** **** ** ********** *** it.

*** ***** *'* ****** ** **** ** **** ****** we ******* ** ********* ** *** *******, *** ********** ********* all ***** ** ****** ****** ** *** ******* ************ ****, including ***** ****** ** ******* ******* ** *** ***** (***** rates, ***********, ***.). **** ******* **** ** *** ******** * compromise ******* ********** **** ***** ****** ****** "********" ** *** streams *** **** ** *****.

** *** ***, ** ***** ** **** ****** ******* ** provide ** ***** * **** ** **** ******** ****** **** a *** ***** ****** *** ** ****** ** *** *** additional ******* ** ******* ****** ****** *********. **** ******** ******** and ******* *** *** ****** ***** **** ****** ** ******* for ************* *** ******.

** **** ****** ***** ** ********** *** ****** ******* **** the ********** ********* ** **** *** ********** ******* ****** ** extra **** **** *** ****** ** **** ** ********** *** it.

***'* **** **, * *** *** ***** *** **** **** the ******? :)

**** *** **** '' ****>

* ***'* ******** *******. ** ***** ** ** **** ********* 78TB *** ** ****** ***** *** **** ***** ** ********* 130 ** *****.

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