Training: Megapixel / HD Basics

By: John Honovich, Published on Aug 17, 2010

This report provides a 95 minute video series that teaches the fundamentals of using, selecting and applying megapixel video surveillance in real world deployments. We cover 9 fundamental aspects:

  1. Megapixel terminology for the absolute beginner
  2. Demonstrating benefits of megapixel cameras for different applications
  3. Demonstrating video quality limitations of megapixel cameras
  4. Examining types of products currently available
  5. Explaining storage needs for various megapixel options
  6. Explaining bandwidth and network impacts
  7. Estimating cost increases for megapixel vs SD video
  8. Detailing 4 methods of justifying megapixel selection
  9. Examining the future of megapixel cameras

Megapixel simultaneously suffers from over-hype (replacing dozens of cameras) and fear mongering (breaking networks and storage costs). Our training report aims to provide an in-depth, balanced view of the key considerations behind using, selecting and applying megapixel.

This training provides an introduction to help our members better appreciate our advanced megapixel coverage including:

Pre-requisites for this training are:

  • Bandwidth Basics
  • Resolution Fundamentals
  • 1. Megapixel Terminology

    [Note: This intro section is recommended only for those with no megapixel camera experience.]

    In this video, we explain basic megapixel camera terms such as: SD, HD, 720p, 1080p, 1.3MP, 2MP, 3MP and 5MP. HD is a standard that provides megapixel resolutions including 720p and 1080p at a 16:9 aspect ratio. Surveillance MP cameras don't adhere to this standard and offers even higher megapixel densities at various aspect ratios, such as , 4:3 and 16:9.

    2. Benefits of Megapixel Cameras

    In this video, we examine the key visual/resolution benefits that megapixel cameras provide. We start by examining megapixel camera's horizontal and vertical resolution increases. We then examine and demonstrate the most common benefits for two common applications - a straight ahead camera shot and a downtilt/'birds eye view'. For background to this video, review our Resolution Fundamentals video. For more in-depth coverage on benefits, review our Megapixel Quality analysis.

    Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
    Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

    3. Limits / Problems of Megapixel

    In this video, we examine limitations in megapixel camera video quality. For other limitations or concerns, review sections 5 and 6 below on storage and networks.

    The key limitations we examine are (1) shadow/glare and (2) low light conditions. We demontrate both issues so viewers can understand better potential quality degradations.

    4. Types of Megapixel Products Available

    In this video, we review common criteria classifying megapixel cameras: codec, resolution, form-factor and frame-rate. We examine the migration from MJPEG megapixel cameras towards H.264.  Also, we provide a visual highlight of the various form factors of the most widely available megapixel camera types, such as the box, bullet, dome, and panoramic/fish-eye form factors.  For more advanced information on codecs, review our H.264 vs. MJPEG report.

    5. Storage for Megapixel

    In this video, we compare SD and MP storage requirements.  Using an on-line storage calculator, we estimate a 16 camera continous recording scenario at SD, HD and higher MP resolutions.  We then use these results to determine real world cost implications.

    6. Bandwidth / Networks for Megapixel

    In this video, we explain bandwidth utilization of HD/MP cameras at a variety of settings.  We discuss design options to minimize impact on networks.  For background, view our bandwidth training report.

    7. Costs for Megapixel

    In this video, we compare the cost of SD versus MP cameras. We examine differentials for product pricing, storage and network costs, VMS licensing and installation. For the cameras themeselves, we examine the incremental price difference between standard, HD, 3MP and 5MP cameras. We show that upgraing from an SD IP camera to an HD megapixel camera generally costs about $100 more. Upgrading from SD to 3MP or 5MP can cost $300 - $500 more. We then estimate storage cost increases based on a variety of common use cases.

    The longest video of the series, we highly recommend viewing to understand the business drivers behind selecting megapixel cameras.

    8. Justifying the Use of Megapixel

    In this video, we examine 4 fundamental justifications for migrating to megapixel cameras. We examine the incremental cost of using megapixel and evaluate the applications and rationale possible for justifying the investment into megapixel. The 4 justifications we examine include: (1) eliminating coverage dead spots, (2) increasing details in current FoV, (3) eliminating PTZs and (4) eliminating multiple fixed cameras.

    9. Future of Megapixel

    In this video, we explore 3 future aspects of megapixel camera technology: (1) resolution increases, (2) CODEC changes and (3) HDcctv.

Related Reports

Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
Last Chance - Register Now - October 2019 IP Networking Course on Oct 10, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - Fall 2019 IP Networking Course. The course starts next week. This is the only networking course designed...
Network Optix NxWitness 4.0 Tested on Oct 10, 2019
Network Optix released Nx Witness 4.0, proclaiming new features like a deep learning analytics metadata SDK, increased H.265 support, and UX...
'Bunker Busting' Wireless Access Startup: Sure-Fi Profile on Oct 03, 2019
An access startup is claiming its 'bunker busting' wireless Wiegand radios can punch through 'any obstruction'. We examine their offering,...
Vivotek 4K S-Series Camera Tested on Sep 30, 2019
Vivotek's highest-end S-series camera claims "Supreme Night Visibility", "Smart IR II", "Smart Stream II", "WDR Pro for unparalleled visibility in...
Consumer IP Camera Analytics Shootout - Arlo, Google / Nest, Amazon / Ring, Hikvision / Ezviz, Wyze Cam, Yi Home on Sep 26, 2019
AI analytics are hitting the mainstream in the consumer camera market, with entrants Wyze and Yi Home releasing free people detection on their...
Directory of 70 Video Surveillance Startups on Sep 18, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
Genetec Stratocast VSaaS Tested on Sep 05, 2019
The VSaaS market is rapidly expanding in 2019, with Verkada, Meraki, Eagle Eye, Avigilon and numerous startups growing their market share. When we...
UK Facewatch GDPR Compliance Questioned on Aug 27, 2019
Even as the GDPR strictly regulates biometrics, a UK company called Facewatch is selling anti-shoplifter facial recognition systems to hundreds of...
Dahua 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 20, 2019
Dahua's new Pro Series 4K N85CL5Z claims to "deliver superior images in all lighting and environmental conditions", but how does this compare to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

US DoD Comments on Huawei, Hikvision, Dahua Cyber Security Concerns on Oct 16, 2019
A senior DoD official said the US is "concerned" with the cybersecurity of Hikvision, Dahua, and Huawei due to "CCP" (China Communist Party)...
Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Oct 16, 2019
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator. The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos demonstrating and explaining the...
Altronix Claims Tango 'Eliminates Electricians' on Oct 15, 2019
Power supply provider Altronix claims its new Tango power supply 'eliminates the need for an electrician, dedicated conduit and wire runs'. In...
Pelco CEO Out, Seeking New Industry CEO, New CEO Found on Oct 15, 2019
Just 2 months after Pelco was sold, Pelco's CEO is out, with Pelco bringing in an outside President and searching for a new CEO from the industry,...
Hikvision Dissolves North American Business Unit, Splits Canada and USA on Oct 15, 2019
Hikvision has dissolved its North American Business Unit, splitting up US and Canada operations as the PRC-government owned manufacturer faces...
Camera Focusing Tutorial on Oct 14, 2019
Camera focus is fundamental to quality imaging. Mistakes can significantly reduce details, making cameras less effective. In this guide, we...
"UL Has Blood On Their Hands" Alleges The Interceptor / Keith Jentoft on Oct 14, 2019
"UL has blood on their hands" alleges Keith Jentoft of "The Interceptor Project". We examined The Interceptor in-depth last year, see: The...
Access Control Course Fall 2019 - Last Chance on Oct 14, 2019
Register Now - Fall 2019 Access Control Course. Thursday, October 17th is the last day to register. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...
Axis HD Analog Encoder Tested on Oct 11, 2019
Two years after declaring "Everything is IP", Axis has released their first HD analog encoder, the P7304, with support for AHD, CVI, TVI, and SD...