How And When ONVIF Will Support H.265

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Oct 07, 2016

ONVIF Profile S does not support H.265.

And Profile S is what literally every ONVIF device supports today for video.

So what happens to H.265 cameras?

In this note, we explain ONVIF Media2 service and ONVIF Profile T, how they impact H.265, the tradeoffs of them, and the timetable for support.

Profile S = No H.265

Profile S uses the original ONVIF Media Service Specification, which allows only MJPEG, H.264, and MPEG-4, shown below.

No other codecs are optionally allowed, meaning that VMSes must invest in development of direct camera drivers in order to support H.265 models.

This essentially results in a catch-22 where H.265 cameras are not in high demand because VMSes do not support them, but VMSes do not support them because they are not in high demand. Some manufacturers have begun releasing H.265 cameras in the west, such as Hanwha and Vivotek, but the codec's largest market by far is China, where end to end systems are more common.

According to ONVIF, adding H.265 to Profile S would break backwards compatibility and as such, they are creating a new profile (discussed below) based on a new Media Service Specification, aptly named Media2.

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

Media2 Service Supports H.265

The newer Media2 Service does not limit which video formats may be used. Instead, codecs are identified using IANA Media Types, standards which include surveillance formats such as H.264, H.265, and MJPEG, as well as less common codecs such as JPEG2000, VP8, and more. Future codecs which may be used in surveillance may be easily added, making the Media2 service more flexible than its older counterpart.

Since its release in June 2016, manufacturers may use the Media2 service to add H.265 support to their cameras/recorders. However, this support is outside the profile system, and as such there will be no official conformance listing for Media2 and/or H.265 support until a new profile is created.

The upside is that some VMSe are starting to implement / add Media2 support. It is worth checking with your preferred VMS when they will do so if you want to use H.265 cameras. However, because of this add-on approach, verifying that it works is especially important.

New Profile T Coming

ONVIF is working on a new profile, Profile T, which will use the Media2 service and expand some features not found in Profile S. However, this profile is in early stages and not expected for final release until 2018. Building a critical mass of Profile T support will take even longer as most manufacturers will take some time adding support for a new Profile.

Impact On H.265 Adoption

Since ONVIF lists conformance only by profile and Media2 support is not included in any profile, users essentially have no way of knowing whether a specific H.265 camera will be supported by a VMS via ONVIF. This means that in order to ensure support, users must use only H.265 cameras listed as supported by their VMS or test the camera/recorder combination.

Additionally, the increasing use of of H.264 smart codecs reduces the pressure to adopt H.265, which might otherwise be higher. These codecs have been highly effective in reducing bitrate (moreso than early H.265 models), are widely supported by VMSes, and now available from a number of manufacturers (Axis, Dahua, Hikvision, Samsung, Vivotek, etc.).

This combination of factors makes H.265 adoption likely to remain low until Profile T's release.

End to End More Likely

While H.265's prospects in open platforms systems are lower, manufacturers releasing both their own H.265 recorders as well as cameras are more likely to see greater adoption. Because they avoid compatibility issues seen in open VMSes/third party cameras, users are likely to be more confident in end to end H.265 systems. Several manufacturers have begun shipping or announced H.265 cameras and recorders in North America, including Hanwha Techwin [link no longer available], Panasonic, and Vivotek.

8 reports cite this report:

ONVIF Video Surveillance Tutorial on Jan 29, 2019
ONVIF is well known within the surveillance industry as an interface to...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support has improved significantly since its introduction, with H.265...
VMS New Developments Spring 2018 (Avigilon, Exacqvision, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix) on Apr 04, 2018
What's new with VMS software? In this report, we examine new features and...
Milestone XProtect Essential+ Free VMS Tested on Nov 09, 2017
Milestone continues to expand its aggressive free and low-cost offerings,...
Hikvision No on H.265 But Pro On H.265+ on Jan 02, 2017
Hikvision said H.265 was a 'solution in search of a problem' a half year ago...
Surveillance Cameras 2017 Overview on Jan 02, 2017
This report concisely explains the developments and most common options for...
Milestone: H.265 Not Ready For Prime Time on Dec 14, 2016
Hype for H.265 has been growing, but Milestone is recommending restraint,...
Hanwha / Samsung Wisestream H.265 Test on Oct 26, 2016
In our first test of H.265 cameras (including Samsung and Vivotek), H.265...
Comments (10) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Meditherm Medical Thermal Cameras Examined on May 07, 2020
US-based Meditherm emphasized to IPVM its 20+ year development history and...
Vivotek LPR Camera Tested on Apr 15, 2020
Vivotek has historically sold license plate capture cameras but not LPR. Now,...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
"Fever Camera" Online Show June 2020 - On-Demand Recordings on Jun 03, 2020
IPVM has successfully completed the world's first "Fever Camera" show....
Favorite VSaaS Providers 2020 on Apr 17, 2020
VSaaS is starting to become mainstream but who are integrator's...
Leica Presents AI LIDAR / Thermal / Visible Camera (BLK247) on May 06, 2020
Leica presented its AI multispectral BLK247 camera at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Every VMS Will Become a VSaaS on Feb 21, 2020
VMS is ending. Soon every VMS will be a VSaaS. Competitive dynamics will be...
Anyvision Presents AI Facial Recognition and Mask Detection on Jun 08, 2020
AnyVision presented its AI facial recognition and mask detection at the May...
US DoD Declares "Can No Longer Do Business" With Contractors Using Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei on Apr 08, 2020
The US Department of Defense has confirmed to IPVM that they fully support...
Cisco Acquiring Fluidmesh on Apr 09, 2020
Cisco announced it is acquiring niche wireless manufacturer...
Sony Launches AI Camera Sensors on May 18, 2020
Weeks after exiting the branded video surveillance business, Sony is making a...
Hikvision Temperature Screening Tested on May 20, 2020
Hikvision has ramped up the promotion of its 'temperature screening' system,...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
UK Firm Markets False Fever Screening, Hikvision Disavows on Jun 30, 2020
A UK security firm falsely claimed its Hikvision-based thermal solution could...
Huawei Releases a 'Fever' Smartphone on Jun 16, 2020
Fever cameras, fever tablets, fever helmets, fever sunglasses, fever guns,...

Recent Reports

Google Invests in ADT, ADT Stock Soars on Aug 03, 2020
Google has announced a $450 million investment in the Florida-based security...
US Startup Fever Inspect Examined on Aug 03, 2020
Undoubtedly late to fever cameras, this US company, Fever Inspect, led by a...
Motorola Solutions Acquires Pelco on Aug 03, 2020
Motorola Solutions has acquired Pelco, pledging to bring blue back and make...
False: Verkada: "If You Want To Remote View Your Cameras You Need To Punch Holes In Your Firewall" on Jul 31, 2020
Verkada falsely declared to “3,000+ customers”, “300 school districts”, and...
US GSA Explains NDAA 889 Part B Blacklisting on Jul 31, 2020
With the 'Blacklist Clause' going into effect August 13 that bans the US...
Access Control Online Show July 2020 - On-Demand Recording of 45+ Manufacturers Presentations on Jul 30, 2020
The show featured 48 Access Control presentations, all now recorded and...
Face Detection Shootout - Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jul 30, 2020
Face detection analytics are available from a number of manufactures...
Sunell is The First China Manufacturer to Market NDAA Compliance on Jul 30, 2020
Most China manufacturers are going to be impacted by the NDAA 'Blacklist...
Ink Labs Relabels China YCX Fever Camera And Steals Dahua's Marketing on Jul 30, 2020
A US company marketed a 'thermal temperature scanner' as its own, selling...
Genetec and Dahua-Backed Intelbras Split Examined on Jul 29, 2020
China is the cause of the breakup between Canada's and Brazil's largest video...
This YouTuber is Now Selling ThermoHealth Temperature Screening on Jul 29, 2020
An enterprising 20-year old is mass marketing medical devices on Facebook and...
Hikvision Returns To Growth Driven By Overseas Fever Cameras on Jul 29, 2020
While Hikvision's revenue fell in Q1 2020, it rebounded in Q2 attributed to...
Brazil's Biggest Domestic Surveillance Company Intelbras Profile on Jul 29, 2020
While Intelbras is not widely known outside of Latin America, Intelbras is a...
The Kiosk Market Pivots To Temperature Screening (Interviewed) on Jul 28, 2020
Video surveillance is not the only market that has pivoted to medical device...
Integrator Acquisitions 'A Good Market' During COVID-19, Says Greybeards on Jul 28, 2020
Industry broker Ron Davis of the "Greybeards" says that the integrator and...