Tested: Lowering Bandwidth at Night is Good

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Dec 29, 2014

Bandwidth spikes in low light are commonplace, with increases of 300 to 500% over daytime normal.

IPVM recommends lowering bandwidth levels at night, relative to those spikes. For example, if your camera consumes 2Mb/s during the day, but 10Mb/s at night, you can easily cap it to 5Mb/s (or even less) without any quality loss. This can reduce overall storage costs by 50%.

In this report, we share our test findings of multiple cameras set to average compression levels and then to high compression level to answer the following questions:

  • What visible difference does high compression video have in low light?
  • Are human subject or text details more difficult to discern at higher compression levels?
  • How did this increase in compression impact bandwidth?
  • ********* ****** ** *** light *** ***********,**** ********* ** *** to ***% **** ******* normal.

    **** ********** ******** ********* levels ** *****, ******** to ***** ******. *** example, ** **** ****** consumes ***/* ****** *** day, *** ****/* ** night, *** *** ****** cap ** ** ***/* (or **** ****) ******* any ******* ****.**** *** ****** ******* storage ***** ** **%.

    ** **** ******, ** share *** **** ******** of ******** ******* *** to ******* *********** ****** *** then ** **** *********** level ** ****** *** following *********:

    • **** ******* ********** **** **** compression ***** **** ** low *****?
    • *** ***** ******* ** text ******* **** ********* to ******* ** ****** compression ******?
    • *** *** **** ******** in *********** ****** *********?

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

    Key ******* 

    ***** *** *** *** points **** **** ****:

    • ********************* (*.*. ************) **** ** ** 35 had ****** ****** ** low ***** (~*.** ***) image ******* ** **** high *** ****** (**+) while ********* ********** ******** by ** ******* ** 87%. 
    • **** ** ********* **** PPF (***+) **** ******** differences ** ******* ****, with **** ********** ** subject ******** *** ********* ********** of **** ****.

    Why **** *******

    **** *** '****' ************ cameras ******** **** ******** low *****. **** **** produce * '******' *****, this ** ****** ****** because ** ******** ***** image ********** / **** *******. **** **** ******* increases ******* ***** ***** is **** ****** ** encode / *********** **** daytime *****, ******* ********* and ******* *****. ****** advancing******* ***** *********** ******** **** *** somewhat, ********* *********** ** still *** ****** **** the ********** ******* *****. For **********, ***: *******: **** / *** Impact ** ************ ***** *** ****** *** (******* ***** Reduction) *****.

    Recommendation: *** ***

    ***** **** ******** ********** our ************** ** *** as **** ******** *** CODEC *************, ********** ********* ** our *** ** *** ** MBR ******. ******* ********** ******** by **** ********* ****** while *********** ******* ***** quality ******* *** **** balance ** ***********. *** light ***** ******* ****** such ** ********* ******* noise *** *********** ****** image ******* *** **** than *** ******** ** quantization **** **** ******* near ***** *** ***.

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

    *** ********** ** *** compression ** *** *** measured, see *** ** ****** ************ *********** Comparison *** *** ** ******* ***** Quality / *********** ****** *******.

    Image ***********

    *** *********** ***** ***** each ****** ** ******* compression ****** (* **) and ** **** **** (Q **) **** ****** bandwidth *********** ** **-**%.

    ****** ******* *** ***** legibility *** ******* ** both ************ ******, **** no ***** ***********. **** in *** ****** (*, below) *** ****** ******* moderately ***** ** *** compared ** *** *** that ** ******* ** an ********* **** ****** scene / ***.

    Bandwidth **********

    ********** ************ **** ** to ** ******** ** significant ******* **********, **% on *******, **** ** the ***** *****. ****** compression reduces ******* ********* **** digital ***** ******* ** low ***** ******, ** noise "***********" ****** ****** and **** *******, ********* less *********.

    Greater ****** ** ******* *****

    ******* ** ***** ******* bandwidth *********, ** *** be ******** ** ******** compression ** *** ****** full ****, **** ****** the ***. *******, **** quantization *** **** ******* impact ** ******* ***** than *** ***** ******** seen *****, ** **** is *** ***********.

    *** *******, *** ***** below ***** *** ******* of ********* ************ ** full ***** (~*** ***). Facial ******* ****** **** difficult ** *******, **** macroblocking ****** *** *******'* face **** ********* *** blurred/smeared. *** **** ***** becomes **** ********* ** make *** ** ***** 4/5 *** ******, ** well.

    ***********

    ******** ******* / ********* ** compression ******** ** *******, as ***** *** ********** worsen ******* *****. *******, check ** **** ******'* bandwidth *********** ****** ** night (**** **, **** with **). *** ***** cameras, ********* * *** 'cap' **** ** ******* than **** *** **** average *********** *** * fraction ** **** *** uncapped ****** ** ********* at *****.

    ** ***** **, *** can **** **% ** more ********* ** ***** while ****** ********** ****** on ***** *******.

Comments (4)

Awesome report Ethan, I had started doing this in the last 6 months with no complaints, but not a lot of feedback either.

Thanks! No more complaints from the family at night when my home-office exacqVision system would slow down the network.

In those cases when available, would it be correct to set the compression levels directly thru the use of distinct day/night profiles, in addition to the VBR setting?

Yes, good point, for those manufacturers who support it.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Glossary / Acronyms for Video Surveillance on Feb 10, 2020
This directory provides definitions and explanations for over 70 common video surveillance industry terms, including links to related IPVM...
IR Surveillance Camera Guide on Feb 06, 2020
Integrated infrared (IR) cameras are everywhere in 2020, but not all IR is created equal, with many differences in coverage, overexposure,...
Bandwidth Fundamentals For Video Surveillance on Jan 13, 2020
Bandwidth is the most fundamental element of computer networking for video surveillance systems. Because video surveillance can consume an immense...
Biggest Low Light Problems 2019 on Nov 08, 2019
Over 150 integrators responded to our survey question: "What are the biggest problems you face getting good low-light images?" Inside, we share...
Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) Guide on Oct 01, 2019
Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any...
Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 03, 2019
Smart codecs are now nearly a standard feature in IP cameras, but our statistics show integrator adoption has not increased at the same rate. In...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Pivot3 Mass Layoffs on Mar 27, 2020
Pivot3 has conducted mass layoffs, the culmination of grand hopes, a quarter of a billion dollars in VC funding, and multiple failures to gain...
Athena CEO Criticizes 'Deplorable' 'Nitpicking', IPVM Refutes on Mar 27, 2020
Athena Security's CEO Lisa Falzone has strongly objected to IPVM's reporting on Athena, calling it 'deplorable' and repeatedly criticizing IPVM's...
Hikvision Admits Sanctions Harming Its Financial Performance on Mar 27, 2020
While Hikvision initially downplayed being sanctioned for human rights abuses, the company is now admitting a significant impact in a new PRC...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30 series cameras, claiming to deliver "sharp video quality even in poor...
Coronavirus Shuts Down ADT Door Knockers on Mar 26, 2020
Coronavirus has another victim - this time, alarm giant ADT has stopped all door to door sales. Door knockers are a critical but controversial...
Access Control Course Spring 2020 - Save $50 Last Day on Mar 26, 2020
Register Now - Spring 2020 Access Control Course. Today, March 26th is the last day to save $50. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...
Convergint Coronavirus Cuts on Mar 25, 2020
One of the world's largest security integrators, Convergint, has made a major move to handle the impact of coronavirus, with cuts across the...
VSaaS 101 on Mar 25, 2020
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is the common industry term for cloud video. But what does it mean? How does it all work? Inside this...
TVT / InVid Facial Recognition Tested on Mar 25, 2020
Facial recognition is frequently sold for thousands of dollars per channel but some China manufacturers are offering full facial recognition...
IPVM Launches On-Demand Courses on Mar 24, 2020
For nearly a decade, IPVM has been a leader in online live courses. Now, we have added on-demand versions for all courses. The same course...