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?
  • ***** *** *** *** 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.

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