IP Camera Manufacturer Compression Comparison

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 27, 2017

Despite the use of standards-based video compression (H.264/H.265), our tests show that default image quality settings for different manufacturers vary widely, with no standards for terminology or scale used. This can result in two cameras with the same resolution produced by two different manufacturers producing widely different out-of-the-box results. 

To help clear this confusion, IPVM has analyzed cameras from 10 manufacturers and answered these key questions:

  • What is the real H.264 and/or H265 quantization level for each camera manufacturer's default settings? How do they vary? Who defaults the lowest and highest?
  • To normalize the H.264/H.265 quantization levels so that each manufacturer had the same compression, what camera settings should be used?
  • What is the impact of bandwidth as H.264/H.265 quantization/compression levels are varied for different manufacturers?
  • What impact do smart codecs have on these settings?

Here is what we found for default settings from these manufacturers, showing manufacturer with the highest default compression (Bosch), 50% higher than the manufacturer with the lowest default compression (Arecont):

If you really care about image quality and optimizing bandwidth / storage use, this is a critical report.

******* *** *** ** *********-***** video *********** (*.***/*.***), *** tests **** **** ******* ***** quality ******** *** ********* manufacturers **** ******, **** no ********* *** *********** or ***** ****. **** can ****** ** *** cameras **** *** **** resolution ******** ** *** different ************* ********* ****** ********* out-of-the-box *******. 

** **** ***** **** confusion, **** *** ******** ******* from ** ************* *** answered ***** *** *********:

  • **** ** *** **** H.264 ***/** **** ************ level *** **** ****** manufacturer's ******* ********? *** do **** ****? *** defaults *** ****** *** highest?
  • ** ********* *** *.***/*.*** quantization ****** ** **** each ************ *** *** same ***********, **** ****** settings ****** ** ****?
  • **** ** *** ****** of ********* ** *.***/*.*** quantization/compression ****** *** ****** for ********* *************?
  • **** ****** ** ***** ****** **** ** ***** ********?

**** ** **** ** ***** for ******* ******** **** these *************, ******* ************ **** the ******* ******* *********** (Bosch), **% ****** **** the ************ **** *** lowest ******* *********** (*******):

** *** ****** **** about ***** ******* *** optimizing ********* / ******* use, **** ** * critical ******.

[***************]

Key ********

**** *** *** *** findings **** **** ****:

  • ******* ******* ************:***** ** *** *****, average ******* ************ ** ~25, **** ******* ******* widely, **** ~** ** 30.
  • *.*** ************ ****** ******* to *.***:******* ******** *************' *.*** cameras, ** ***** **** quantization *** ************* ******* when ***** *.*** *** H.264, ****** ********* *** notably ***** ***** *.***.
  • ****** ********* ******: ** * **** ** thumb, ***** **** ****** compressed *** ** **** average *** ******** ** a **-** ********* ********, varying ** ************. *** to *** *** * roughly **-*** ********. 
  • ** *********** ******* *************:** *** ** ************* tested, **** **** *** same ****** *********** *** scale, *** *** ******* terms (**** ** "******") result ** ******* ************ levels.

Video *********** ********

************* ***********, *** *** manufacturers *** ** **** actual ************ ***** ********, is **** *********. ******************* *** *********, *********** is ******** *** *** be * ****** ****** -**** *** ******* *** bandwidth.

*** ************ ***** ** compressed, ********** ** **********. And, **** ** *** cameras **** *** **** resolution, ***** *********** ****** can ** **** ********* (see *** ***** ******* / *********** Tutorial *** **** **********).

**********, *********** ** *.*** and *.*** ** ************ on * ***** ** 0 ** **, ****** quantization, ** ***** ** the ***** *****:

*******, ****** ************* ****** never ******** **** ************ levels ***** ******* ***. Instead, **** *** * variety ** ****** *** naming *******. *** *******, **** is **** ** ************* refer ** ***** *********** settings **:

** * ******, *** *************' cameras might **** *** **** resolution *** ************* ********* compression ******, *** ********* varying ***** ******* *** bandwidth ***********.

Average ******* ************: ~**

***** ** ****** ******** of **+ ******* **** these ** *************, ** found ******** ***** ** the ***** *****.

  • ******* ******* ************ ***** was ** **** * range ** ** ** **.
  • ******* ******* ********* ** the ****** ************ ** all ******* ****** ** Q20, **** ********* *** Uniview ***** ** **.
  • *** ******* ******* ************ was *****, ************* *** by *******.

Terminology *********** 

**** ** *** ************* tested **** *********** ** scales ***** ****** *** directly ********** ** ***** manufacturers. **** *** ***** confusion **** ****** ** standardize ******** ******* ** one ************ *****.

*******, ****** *** **** different ****** ********* ** the ************, ****** ******** even **** *********. *** example, ******* *** ***** a ********* *****, ***** and **** **** **** Q ******/***** ******* **** compression ** *** ** "1", ***** ********, ****, and *****, **** *** Q ******/****** ******* **** compression *** ****** ** "1".

Normalizing ***********

** **** ********** **** camera's *********** ******** ** achieve * ************ ** ~28. **** *** ** useful *** ***** ******* to ********* *********** ******** on ***** *** *******, acting ** * ***** for ******* ****** **** the **** ************.

**** **** ***** *** vast ******** ** ******* allow ***** ** ******** adjust *********** ********, ***** are **** **********. *** *******, new ********** ****** *** Sony ******* **** ******* a ***-******** *** ************** which **** *** *** compression *** ******* **** only * ******* ****** and/or ***, **** *********** and ******* **** *******. See *** ****** **** *** ******* ******** VBR.

Quantization ************* ******* ***** *.***

***** ** *** ***** of ******** *************' *******, ******* and ************ ************ ****** were ************* ******* **** using **** *.*** *** H.265, ******** ******** **** notably ***** ** *.*** streams, ********* **-**%. ******* should *** *** *.*** / **** ***** Tutorial **** *** **** ***********.

Compression ****** ** *********

********* ** ******** ******** by ************ *****. ** demonstrate ****, **** ******** quantization **** * ******** of *** (****** **********) to * **** ******* Q28, ******** ** * lower *********** ***.

***** ** ***** *****, we *****:

  • Q35 ** ***: Changing quantization from Q34 to Q28 resulted in a 3x-5x bandwidth increase on cameras tested (Axis, Dahua, Hikvision, Panasonic).
  • Q36 ** ***: Changing from Q35 to Q22 resulted in drastic increases, ranging from about 5x to 11x, depending on manufacturer.

Smart ***** ******

*** **************** ********* ***** apply **** **** ***** codecs *** ****** *** or *** *********. ** nature, ***** **** ****** quantization *********** ***** ** objects ** *** ***** instead ** ********* ** on *** ****** *****, smart ****** *** **** difficult, ** *** **********, to ***********.

************, ************ ****** ** smart ***** ******* *** typically **** ****, **+, since **** ** **** scenes ** ******** ** static ********** *** ********* more ****** **********, **** only ****** ******* ********* average ** ***** ***********.

*** *******, ****, *****, *** Vivotek ********* ** ***** codecs ******* ** *** tests, *** *** ***** averaged ** ** ****** quantization:

******* ****** *** *** ***** ***** ***** *** **** ******* ** these ******** *** ******* issues.

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

***** ** **** *********** settings *** **** *************' cameras, **** ***** ********* defaults *** *************.

*******

******* ** *** ** few ************* ** ******** use *** ************ ***** in ***** *** *********. Quantization ** ********** **** 16 ** **, ********** to **.

********

********'* *********** ******** *** be ******* ***** *** compression *** ***** **** tab ** ***** *** UI, *** ** **** a ******* ****** ** "1" (****** ***********) ** "20" (******* ***********). ******* ******** to "*", ***** ** quantization.

****

**** ********* **** *** different *** **********, ** many ** ***** ******* have *** *** ************ to ******** ***** ***** **. **** *** *** old *** *** ******* to *** **** ********: ** compression. *** *** *** interface **** * ******/****** entry:

***** *** *** ********* simply ****** **** *****:

*****

*****'* ***** ***** ***** quantization ** *-******, **** I-frames ******* ** **** by * ******** ****** ("I/P-frame ***** **" *****). To *********** ** ******* 28Q, ***** ****** *** "Min. *-***** **" ** 26, *** *** */*-***** delta ** *. 

*****

*****'* *********** ******** *** found ** *** ***** tab, *** *** "*******" can ** *** ******* "1" (**** ***********) ** "6" (***** ***********), **** 2 ******** ** ~** quantization ** **** ****** ******.

*********

*********'* *********** ******** *** under *** *****/***** ***, ** a ***** ** "******" (**** compression) ** "*******" (***** compression), ********** ** "******." Based ** *** ***** of ******** ********* ******, "Medium" ******* ** ~***.

******/*******

*** ***** ****** ******* do *** ******* *** way ** *** *********** of *** ******, **** both ******* *** ************ varying. *** **** *******, see *** ****** **** *** ******* ******** VBR.

 

***** ****** (******* ***/****) include *********** ** * scale **** "**** (*)" (***** compressed) ** "***** (**)" (most **********), ********** ** 4. ***** ****** ****** be *** ** ~** on **** ***** *** average ** ************.

*********

** ***** ** ****** image ******* ** ********* models, ***** ****** *** transmission ******** ** *** (defaults ** ***** ****). Image ******* ** ******** on * ***** ** 0-9 (***** **** ** Low), ********** ** * (Normal), **** * ******* quantization **.

**** **** ** ******* tested, *********'* *** ******* series **** *** **** models ***** ********* ** H.265, ***** *****. 

****

** **** ***/*** *** video ***** ********, *********** ** *** in *** "***** ******* 1: ******** ****, ***** ranges **** "*" (**** compressed) ** "**" (**** compressed), ********** ** * (roughly ***).

**** **** ******* ** Hanwha, ****'* *** *** cameras ** *** ***** compression ** ** ***** to * *** *****. See **** *** ******* ******** VBR *** **** *******.

*******

******* ******* **** ***** quality ** * ****** ranging **** ****** "*******" to "*** ****", **** no ****** ** ******** enter * *****. *** slider ****** ** *** to ~*/* ** *** way ****** *** **** for ~***.

*******

*******'* *********** ******* ** named "****** *******", ***** below, **** * ***** of "******" (*****) ** "Excellent" (****). "****" ****** be **** *** ************ ~28.

Test ********

***** ******* **** ******, you ****** ** **** to ****** *** * ********* on **** ****.

[****: **** ****** *** originally ********* ** **** and ************* ******* ** 2017]

Comments (14)

***** ******! *** *** elaborate ** *** ****** of ******** * ***** interval (** **** ***, I ***** ******** ** keyframe ********)? ** ***** any *********** ************ ******* keyframe ******** *** ************? Clearly *** ******* *** time ******* * ******, the ****** *** ********* but **** *** *** other ******* ** *** video? **'* ******* *********** *** confusion ** ***** *** the ***** **** *** its ****** ** ******* and *********. ******!

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

** *******, * *** I ****** ***'* ******** impact ************ ******. **** will ****** *** ****** artifacts ** *****, ******. So **** *-***** ******** is ****, ***'** *** trails **** ****** ****** objects, *** ********** ***** throughout *** ***** ***** the **** *-*****. **********, when *-****** *** *****, you'll *** **** ** this *****, *** ***** is ********* *** **** of * ********* *********** from ********* ******* **** a ******.

********* **** *** ********* *-***** ********* ******* from **** ** *****.

** ****

***'** **** *** **** "artifacting" - *** ** looks **** **** ****** blur. *** *** **** the ******* ***** ** default (******* */** ** 1/60 ***)? **** ** probably *** * **** enough ******* ***** ** stop ****** **** - even ** **** ********.

** *** *** - really ***** ******* **** reviews, ********** ** *** industry, ***. - **** up *** **** ****.

******

***** ** ********** **** blur ******* ** ***** videos, ***, *** ** specifically *** ******* *** issues **** *********. 

** **** *** ****** of *********** ********* ****** the *****, *.*.:

******* ************ ******, ***** image ******* ***** ****** on:
- ******* ******
- ******** ******
- ****** ******* ******( a **** ** ***********) 

- ****** ******* ******( accuracy: *****, **** * pixel, ******* ***** *** )

- *********** **** ********* 

- **** ** ***** 

- ******* *******( *** well **** ** ****** changes)

- *** 

************ ********** ** * ***** part ** *** ******* equation, *** ****** **** conclusions ***** ** ** ** likely **********. 

 

 

** * ***** ******* how ******** ****** *** from ********* *******, * would ******* ***** ********** ** well: ** *** *** see **** **** ****** uses *********** ** **** type, ****** ******* ** such ******** ***... * know ****** ***** ** interested ** *******:-)

*** **** **** ******** of ***** *******/******* ** subjective "* **** ** more" ** "* **** it ****", *** ************ ** itself. 

 

 

 

 

***** ******, *** ******* to **** *** ******** versions ****** ** **** camera.

******

******* ****** *** ***-**** must ****** **** ***** the ********* *** ******* issue. *** ******* **** Distributor ****** ****** **** issue ** *** ***-****.

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

*** ******* **** *********** ****** hidden **** ***** ** the ***-****.

**** ***** ****?

** *** ***** **** to ****, *** ** use **** **** ********. I ***'* **** **** stranger...:-P

...*** ** *** **** REAL ********. * ***'* talk **** ********...

** *******, * ******’* want *** ** ********** your **********, “******”.

****, * ***'* **** WHY, *** * *** the ******* * **** you, "**. *********** #*"

***** *** *** ******* great ****** ****.  ********, how *** *************** *******?  *** *** use **** **** ** tool ** *** *** just ******** ****** *** video?  **** **** **** did *** *** ** watch *** *****?  *** viewer ****** *** ******, another ***** ***** **** (ie- ***)?  ***** ******* can ****** *** ********* quality, ***** *'* ******.  Thanks!!!

** *** **** "***** quality" ** ** ******* image *******? ** ** in ***********?

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

** *** **** ***** quality ** ** ******* image *******, ** ******** compare *******. ***** *** ******** tools **** ******* "***** quality", *** * ***** not ***** ******** ************ to ********* **** ** or ** *** * usable *****.

** **** ***** ******** ways. *********** ***** ******* in **** **** *** viewed ***** *****, *** Player, *** *** ******'* web *********. ** ***'* rely ** **** ***, but **** ***** ****, rarely *** ***** ********* *********** between *** *** *** another ** ******* *** web ********* *** * VMS, ***.

 

**** **** ** *****. 

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