Camera Multi-Streaming Usage

By IPVM Team, Published on Nov 22, 2017

IP cameras typically support multiple streams, allowing a single camera to transmit multiple streams at different resolutions, frame rates and even codecs.

The most common use case for multi-streaming is for display purposes. For example, a client may display the maximum resolution stream when a single camera is shown by itself but only a lower resolution stream when cameras are displayed in a 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 matrix.

The benefit of this multi-streaming is that it saves significant client-side bandwidth and processing power. At the same time, there would typically be no visible quality loss since monitors generally do not have high enough resolution to display 9 or 16 1080p (or 3MP, 4MP, 4K, etc.) cameras side by side.

But how often do integrators take advantage of multi-stream support? 100+ integrators told us how and why they use multi-streaming.

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Comments (6)

The benefit of this multi-streaming is that it saves significant bandwidth and client processing power.

IMHO, there is no guarantee of significant bandwidth savings.

If the camera and corporate networks are separate, then the camera-side network usage will always increase with multi-streaming, and the corporate side usage will typically decrease.

If they are converged, net traffic could be significantly reduced, but also could increase depending on the usage patterns.

For instance, taking a 16-camera system and enabling all secondary streams when only a few of the cameras are actually being viewed for a limited number of hours a day, might increase bandwidth overall.

It would depend on the viewing usage and the size of the secondary streams.

 

there is no guarantee of significant bandwidth savings

I changed it to:

it saves significant client-side bandwidth and processing power

On the camera to recorder side, multi-streaming increases bandwidth consumption since multi-streaming sends at least 2 streams rather than 1 (there is a theoretical edge case where the 2 streams combined consume less bandwidth than a single low to moderate quality stream but that's not practically common).

The benefit is on the client side where bandwidth availability can often be much lower than on the server side.

2 streams are helpful for DW Spectrum viewing. The live view will switch to the 2nd stream automatically when CPU usage is almost maxed which keeps the system from crashing. This only becomes apparent when you have many screens running or if you are viewing a lot of 4K streams.

one feature that seems to be missing from Spectrum is GPU acceleration.

i like Avigilon’s HDSM but I found that it would show me a lower resolution view when I could easily see that it was a low resolution stream. The resolution I was being shown wouldn’t have been as noticble if there were 16 cams on a view. This was only 4. The threshold at which it displayed a higher resolution stream seemed off. This was something I noticed in V5 so I’m not sure if that would be the case in V6.

one feature that seems to be missing from Spectrum is GPU acceleration.

I thought Spectrum was one of the earliest VMSes to employ GPU acceleration.... What made you believe it was not exercising GPU acceleration? (Keeping in mind it probably has to be a compatible GPU brand.)

From Sergey on March 13, 2017 in a support ticket:

FYI, Nx Client uses GPU only to display GUI elements. Stream encoding/decoding is processed solely by CPU.

We found this out when we were using a bunch of 4K cameras on a layout and the CPU was steady at 100%. We then needed to run 8 displays off of one PC, so we used an Intel Xeon 10 core processor. At that point, 4K cameras weren't a big deal. Spectrum will automatically switch between full stream to substeam on some cameras when the CPU gets close to max. I think Spectrum could improve how that is handled a little better as sometimes it seems to waste network bandwidth. There is an option though to automatically pause streams after a certain time period without use. This will save on bandwidth but it's not always possible to use this feature depending on the use case.

Hi there,

We have client who requires 8 streams per camera. Besides Arecont are there any other cameras who supports atleast 8 streams? Appreciate your help!

 

 

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: What Cameras Support At Least 8 Streams?

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