Motion Boost Recording Test

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Oct 11, 2011

Both motion and continuous based recording have downsides. In this test, we look at a feature that aims to rectify both of them simultaneously.

With motion based recording, you can miss relevant events that the camera or VMS does not detect. This exposes user to liability risks and is the most common reason why users object to motion based recording.

However, with continous recording, you almost certainly will be recording for significant periods where nothing is happening - a significant waste of bandwidth, and more importantly, storage. Users can often save 60 - 90% of storage costs by using motion based instead of continuous recording.

On the one side you save storage and money, on the other you risk liability issues.

Boosting Recording

The best solution to this issue is to use a feature often called 'boosting' or 'speedup' recording. This allows recording lower quality video when no motion is detected while increasing the quality when motion is detected. This ensures that video is always recorded, minimizing liability risk but with lower storage consumption when no activity is happening, saving storage.

The Concern

The main concern is how well boost up recording works. With analog DVRs, this was not a risk nor concern as the encoder inside the DVR handled this completely. However, with IP cameras and VMS software, most systems require the VMS software to request the IP camera to adjust its quality settings when motion is detected. Because of this, risks exist in whether it works, how well it works and what length of delay is incurred in cutting over. In a recent 89 comment discusion with our Pro Members, this was frequently cited as a concern.

The Test

We devised a series of tests with 3 VMSes and 3 cameras with 2 different boost up approaches.

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

  • The 3 VMSes were ExacqVision, Genetec and Milestone Corporate
  • The 3 cameras were from Axis, Panasonic and Sony
  • The 2 approaches were boosting up just frame rate (resolution remained the same) and boosting up both frame rate and resolution)

Key Findings and Recommendations

Here are the key findings:

  • Exacq, Genetec, and Milestone transitioned to the higher quality stream on motion in fairly quick and timely fashion when only the frame-rate was changed (as opposed to changing both fps and resolution)
  • Changing both fps and resolution was generally less efficient than changing of only frame-rate
  • Efficiency or speed of transition to higher resolution/fps stream during motion tended to vary based on the particular camera/VMS combination
  • Timelapse, Boost, and Speed-Up features, while not as storage efficient as recording only on motion, provide material benefits to investigations.
  • Timelapse, Boost, and Speed-Up performance/benefits are highly dependent on optimized motion detection. However, a motion false negative in a Timelapse, Boost, and Speed-Up environment is less detrimental than if in a motion only record scenario
  • VMSes tend to vary in terms of complexity in optimizing motion detection
  • Genetec very simple to configure 'Boost' feature, but difficult optimizing motion detection
  • Milestone somewhat complicated to configure 'Speed-Up' feature, but motion detection worked acceptably for the simple indoor scene tested

In light of these findings the following are recommended:

  • Using any of the vendor specific stream promotion features (Boost, Speed-Up, and Time-lapse) on motion can provide meaningful gains in storage efficiency and mitigate drawbacks of false negatives. We recommend promotion of only the frame-rate as this tended produce better and less problematic results
  • Consider recording continously at a normal or maximum (e.g. 720p) resolution with a nominal frame-rate (e.g. 1 to 5 fps) and on motion record increase only frame-rate (e.g. to 15 - 30 fps). This will assure better odds of a quick and timely transition of the video stream as changing both resolution and fps tends to increase complexity and reliability risks
  • If you are interested in doing a boost of both the frame-rate and resolution test the specific camera model and VMS combination as performance tends to vary on this basis
  • If your nominal frame-rate requirements are higher than 1fps (e.g. 5fps) consider Genetec/Milestone VMSes as these allow a greater breadth of frame-rates to choose for the continuous record mode

Exacqvision VMS (Timelapse)

Exacqvision's Timelapse feature provides continuous recording at a maximum frame rate of 1fps. Upon motion detection it will increase the frame-rate to an administratively defined value (e.g. 30fps). A key difference separating Exacq from the other two VMSes tested is that there is no ability to change the resolution setting (e.g. from VGA to 720p) upon a motion event. Another key difference, of course, is that Timelapse allows a maximum of only 1fps for the continuous record mode - Genetec and Milestone generally allow many fps profiles (e.g. 5, 10, 15, 30 etc.).

Exacq's Timelaspe feature is very simple and straightforward to configure.

Below is a screenshot of 'Timelapse' configuration:

In Exacqvision's implementation, there is no VMS side or software based motion detection, and cameras must support their own motion detection in order for Exacq to record on motion events. For our simple scene, the default motion detection zone that the Exacq VMS sets up in each of the three cameras performs moderately well.

In this video we examine the playback of the motion event to note the changes made to the video stream and to better understand in practical terms what impact Timelapse recording may have on investigations. Each of the three cameras are configured to record continuously at 720p/1fps, using the Timelapse feature, and to change to 30fps upon motion (720p resolution does not change).

The subject's motion is detected in a timely manner across all three cameras and the switch from 1 to 30fps occurs with near seamlessness. The motion detection required little to no optimizations to work acceptably in this simple indoor scene.

Genetec Security Center (Boost)

Security Center's Boost feature provides continuous recording at various supported lower resolutions and frame rates (e.g. QVGA at 5fps), and upon motion detection it can increase both/either resolution and/or frame rate (e.g. 720p at 30fps).

Configuring 'Boost' functionality was simple and straight-forward to do. We discovered that when configuring motion detection for a 'Boost' scenario it is advisable to optimize motion detection at the lower (pre-boost or continuous record) resolution prior to turning on the 'boost' feature.

Below is a screenshot of the 'boost' configuration:

In Genetec's Security Center motion detection events are generally handled either on-board the camera or centrally via the VMS/Archiver. Obviously, optimizing motion detection is key to successful use of the 'Boost' feature. We found doing so quite challenging and were not able to get motion detection working effectively on all three cameras.

In this video we examine the playback of the motion event to note the changes made to the video stream and to better understand in practical terms what impact Genetec's 'Boost' recording may have on investigations. All cameras are configured to continuously record at QVGA and 5-7 fps. Upon motion detection the 'boost' feature increases both frame rate and resolution to 30fps and 720p, respectively.

The video highlights some of the negative consequences of not having well optimized motion detection. For example, the Sony CH140 did not pick up the subject until very late in the event/activity. When the 'boost' to 30fps/720p did finally occur, our subject was already out of view. Note that because of the continuous record component of the 'boost' feature, the downside (complete loss of video in a record on motion only approach) of a false negative is mitigated, as the system is still able to provide video - albeit with no increase in resolution/frame-rate nor indexing/flagging of the event in the video database.

It's important to note that the test demonstrated in the video involves the promotion of both frame-rate and resolution. In further testing, changing of just the frame-rate (no resolution change) from ~5fps to 30fps resulted in a near seamless and very quick transition to the promoted stream.

Milestone Corporate (Speed-Up)

Milestone Corporate's Speed-Up feature provides continuous recording at various supported lower resolutions and frame rates (e.g. QVGA at 5fps), and upon motion detection it can increase both/either resolution and/or frame rate (e.g. 720p at 30fps).

The configuration of 'Speed-Up' is rather involved as it uses 'Rules'. 'Rules' provide some interesting control and flexibility of the system, but may take some time and effort to learn. A key point to note is that a separate rule must be configured for continuous recording. Also a 'Speed-Up' rule is configured for each camera that will needs to be 'sped-up' upon a motion event.

Below is a screenshot of the 'Speed-Up' configuration using 'Rules':

In this video we examine the playback of the motion event to note the changes made to the video stream and to better understand in practical terms what impact Milestone's 'Speed-Up' recording may have on investigations. All cameras are configured to continuously record at QVGA and 5fps. Upon motion detection the 'Speed-Up' feature increases both frame rate and resolution to 30fps and 720p, respectively.

In the Axis Q1755 playback the switch to higher frame rate and resolution occurs at roughly midway through the subjects walk. The switch occurs slightly earlier in the Sony CH140. For the Panasonic SP-306, the switch takes place very late in the course of the incident and also appears to have lost some continuity of video.

It's important to note that the test demonstrated in the video involves the promotion of both frame-rate and resolution. In further testing, changing of just the frame-rate (no resolution change) from 5fps to 30fps resulted in a near seamless and very quick transition to the promoted stream.

Methodology

Here are the three (3) VMSes used in 'Motion Recording Boost':

  • Exacqvision VMS 4.6
  • Genetec Security Center 5.0 SR1
  • Milestone Corporate 4.0

Here are the three (3) cameras used in our test:

  • Axis Q1755 (online $1400) - 720p/1080i D/N; 1/3" CMOS; integrated zoom lens; 2/0.2 lux (Color/BW)
  • Panasonic WV-SP306 (online $550) - 1.3MP D/N; 1/3" MOS; WV-LZA62/2 lens; 0.3/0.05 lux (Color/BW)
  • Sony CH140 (online $800) - 720p D/N; 1/3" CMOS; F1.2 Fujinon; 0.1 Lux (BW)

2 reports cite this report:

Smart Codec Guide on Feb 01, 2018
In 2018, smart codecs are now mainstream. Once seemingly a marketing buzzword, now the majority of manufacturers offer smart codecs on at least...
New Cisco Video Surveillance - Still Going Nowhere on Jul 14, 2015
'Everyone' knew Cisco would dominate video surveillance back in 2008. They failed. But, they have not given up.  Recently the company touted a...

Related Reports

Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
Pelco Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 11, 2019
Pelco had a significant favorability problem amongst integrators in our previous study (see 2016 Pelco results). Now, in the first edition of our...
NTP / Network Time Guide For Video Surveillance on Jan 10, 2019
Inaccurate time can lead to missing or inadmissible video, yet this topic is often overlooked, with cameras and servers left defaulted,...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and most manufacturers...
IPVM Best New Products 2019 Opened - 70+ Entrants on Jan 07, 2019
The inaugural IPVM Best New Product Awards has been opened - the industry's first and only program where the awards are not pay-to-play and the...
CyberExtruder Face Recognition Profile on Jan 04, 2019
CyberExtruder offers 3D modeling face recognition software that they say provides quicker and more accurate matches than other 2D face recognition...
Axis Tailgate Detection Tested on Jan 04, 2019
Axis is aiming to tackle tailgating, one of access control's biggest issues, with the Tailgating Detector ACAP application. This camera app claims...
Surveillance Codec Guide on Jan 03, 2019
Codecs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...
The Battle For The VSaaS Market Begins 2019 - Alarm.com, Arcules, Eagle Eye, OpenEye, Qumulex, Verkada, More on Jan 02, 2019
2019 will be the year that VSaaS finally becomes a real factor for professional video surveillance. While Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS)...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
2019 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 14, 2019
The new IP Networking Book 2019 is a 285 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security...
Arecont Costar Layoffs on Jan 14, 2019
Arecont Vision, a Costar Company, has laid off more than 10% of their workforce in a move the company described to IPVM as a result of "important...
The False SCMP Story on Hikvision NYC AI on Jan 14, 2019
In the past week, one of Asia's largest publications, the South China Morning Post (SCMP), posted an article about "Chinese [facial recognition]...
WDR Tutorial on Jan 11, 2019
Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any...
Pelco Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 11, 2019
Pelco had a significant favorability problem amongst integrators in our previous study (see 2016 Pelco results). Now, in the first edition of our...
Bad: Dahua Villa Video Doorbell Tested on Jan 11, 2019
Doorbells are one of the hottest segments in the residential market but Dahua's Villa Video Doorbell is the worst we have tested.   We bought and...
Last Chance - Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Jan 10, 2019
Today is the last day to register for the Winter 2019 IP Networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...

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