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, 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 connect IP cameras and VMS systems. However, new users may find it...
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...
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 releases for Spring 2018 to track different areas of potential...
Milestone XProtect Essential+ Free VMS Tested on Nov 09, 2017
Milestone continues to expand its aggressive free and low-cost offerings, with this year, Milestone releasing XProtect Essential+, part of their...
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 but now they are getting bullish, embracing H.265+. In this report,...
Surveillance Cameras 2017 Overview on Jan 02, 2017
This report concisely explains the developments and most common options for surveillance cameras offered in 2017, including resolution, H.265, HD...
Milestone: H.265 Not Ready For Prime Time on Dec 14, 2016
Hype for H.265 has been growing, but Milestone is recommending restraint, despite supporting H.265. In this note, we examine Milestone's position...
Hanwha / Samsung Wisestream H.265 Test on Oct 26, 2016
In our first test of H.265 cameras (including Samsung and Vivotek), H.265 benefits were essentially nil, both versus leading H.264 cameras and,...
Comments (10) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Panasonic 4K Camera Tested (WV-S2570L) on Sep 13, 2019
Panasonic has released their latest generation 4K dome, the WV-S2570L, claiming "Extreme image quality allows evidence to be captured even under...
Commend ID5 Intercom Tested on Sep 12, 2019
Commend touts the new ID5 intercom as 'timelessly elegant' and the slim body, glass front touchscreen indeed looks better than common, but ugly,...
ONVIF Exposure To "Devastating DDoS Attacks" Examined on Sep 06, 2019
ZDnet reported "Protocol used by 630,000 devices can be abused for devastating DDoS attacks", citing exposure of ONVIF devices. And after an...
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...
Scylla AI Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 29, 2019
Scylla, an AI analytics startup, says they are targeting 1 Billion dollar valuation in 5 years and it "is not rocket science" to detect weapons and...
Uniview 4K Camera Tested on Aug 29, 2019
In our 8MP / 4K Fixed Lens Camera Shootout, Uniview's low end 8MP was firmly in the middle of the pack. Does their higher end Pro Series 4K camera...
Warning: Windows 7 Update Crashing NVRs on Aug 26, 2019
Windows 7 updates are causing VMS servers to fail to boot. After running the update, impacted systems do not boot as normal, instead display this...
Anyvision Facial Recognition Tested on Aug 21, 2019
Anyvision is aiming for $1 billion in revenue by 2022, backed by $74 million in funding. But does their performance live up to the hype they have...
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...
Proactive CCTV "Only Affordable Video Archiving Solution" Profile on Aug 12, 2019
Proactive CCTV is claiming to offer "the only affordable video archiving solution on the market", reducing the storage typically required for H.265...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Schmode is Back, Aims To Turn Boulder AI Into Giant on Sep 16, 2019
One of the most influential and controversial executives in the past decade is back. Bryan Schmode ascended and drove the hypergrowth of Avigilon...
Manufacturers Unhappy With Weak ASIS GSX 2019 And 2020 Shift on Sep 16, 2019
Manufacturers were generally unhappy with ASIS GSX, both for weak 2019 booth traffic and a scheduling shift for the 2020 show, according to a new...
How Cobalt Robotics May Disrupt Security on Sep 13, 2019
While security robots have largely become a joke over the last few years, one organization, Cobalt Robotics, has raised $50+ million from top US...
Panasonic 4K Camera Tested (WV-S2570L) on Sep 13, 2019
Panasonic has released their latest generation 4K dome, the WV-S2570L, claiming "Extreme image quality allows evidence to be captured even under...
ASIS GSX 2019 Final Show Report on Sep 12, 2019
IPVM went to Chicago for ASIS GSX 2019, with many exhibitors disappointed about traffic and the exhibitor schedule changing next year. However,...
Installation Course - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 12, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. Thursday, September 12th is your last chance to register for the...
Commend ID5 Intercom Tested on Sep 12, 2019
Commend touts the new ID5 intercom as 'timelessly elegant' and the slim body, glass front touchscreen indeed looks better than common, but ugly,...
US State Department: "Chinese Tech Giants" "Tools of the Chinese Communist Party" on Sep 12, 2019
The US State Department has called out "Chinese tech giants" for being "tools of the Chinese Communist Party" in a blunt new speech that makes...
Uniview OEM Directory on Sep 11, 2019
This directory lists 20+ companies that OEM products from Uniview, with a graphic and links to company websites below. It does not cover all...
Yi Home Camera 3 AI Analytics Tested on Sep 10, 2019
Yi Technology is claiming "new AI features" in its $50 Home Camera 3 "eliminates 'false positives' caused by flying insects, small pets, or light...

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