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:
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