Training: Megapixel / HD Basics

Author: 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:

Advanced readers should skip to sections 5-8 on storage, networks, cost and selection justification. All others may review in chronological order.

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

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

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.

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

Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...
Kogniz Silicon Valley AI Startup Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Kogniz is a Silicon Valley company that aims to bring AI analytics to security and surveillance, centering on their own smart cameras: We spoke...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Manufacturer 2018 on Nov 06, 2018
Who is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance use? 150+ integrators answered: What is your preferred brand/model of hard drive for...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Nov 05, 2018
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals.  Lots of network training exists but none of it...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2018 on Nov 02, 2018
Hard drive failures can be significant service problems but how common of an issue are they in video surveillance? How long do drives last when...
Building Occupancy Codes and Access Control Tutorial on Nov 01, 2018
A building or room's classification can greatly impact which building codes must be followed. In terms of access control, these 'occupancy codes'...
Cloud Video Storage Usage 2018 on Oct 31, 2018
Storing email and documents in the cloud have long been common, with on-site email or file servers increasingly eliminated. However, what about...
Video Quality / Compression Tutorial on Oct 17, 2018
While CODECs, like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG, get a lot of attention, a camera's 'quality' or compression setting has a big impact on overall...
IACP 2018 Police Show Final Report on Oct 08, 2018
IPVM went to Orlando to cover the 2018 IACP conference, the country's largest police show (about as big as ASIS), examining the 700+...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact