Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2011

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 03, 2011

People are used to watching TV at about 30 frames per second, often called 'full' frame rate. In the video surveillance world, full frame rate IP cameras are becoming more and more common. Indeed, today, most professional IP cameras are designed to stream up to 30 frames per second.

However, what frame rate is actually being used in the field today? In this note, we share the responses from over 80 integrators who deploy 1000s of systems around the world. This shows what really is chosen and why it is.

Let's start with a table that breaks down integrator responses:

What stands out right away is how low the average frame rate used for video surveillance recording is. Nearly 70% record at 10fps or less, a level that is about 70% less than 'full' frame rate.

To better understand why integrators choose what they did, we asked them to explain their choices.

Integrators using an average of less than 5fps cited:

  • "storage and network requirements"
  • "enhance the time stored on hard drives"
  • "cost of storage"
  • "Most clients want to record at higher frame rate until you tell them how much storage they will need. At that point, we tell them how much storage their budget will allow and then we back into the frame rate."
  • "Storage may be cheaper but not so cheap to justify more than 5FPS that often"

Not surprisingly, this group is motivated mostly by the cost of storage.

Let's compare to integrators using an average of 6 - 10 fps who represented the majority of respondents:

  • "Quality pics and small storage requirements -- a happy medium."
  • "I don't find any need to go higher than 10 FPS unless they have a LOT of additional storage that they don't require."
  • "A balance between storage and seeing all the event"
  • "This is all the operator needs to get a very good image"
  • "We keep it at 8fps to get fluid video on playback"
  • " 6 to 10 fps is fast enough to provide adequate detail in a fast action event (e.g. a running suspect, or an assault/battery type of incident) and this is even more true if the LIGHTING IS ADEQUATE AND PROPER. I'd rather have the customer spend money on good lighting and have medium frame rate video rather than a faster frame rate with crappy lighting."

The 6 - 10fps respondents are the 'balanced' group - use a high enough frame rate for an acceptablely smooth video display but save on storage costs.

Now let's compare to the 11 - 19 fps respondents:

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

  • "Customer requirement"
  • "Detail and clear info required"
  • "Getting play video close to real time is a big key. Sometimes you might miss an event if you are doing anything less than 10 fps. (i.e. someone stealing a can of beans)"
  • "Less than 11 FPS might yield erratic motion, but more than 15 FPS consumes too much bandwidth/storage."
  • "Depending on the cameras location for more important areas or tight shots we run at 15fps. PTZs 15FPS. Large areas or less important areas 5FPS or less"

The 11 - 19 fps group is more demanding and often drive by customer requirements. Equally important, this group is strongly correlated with larger camera count deployments (we cross referenced this to average camera count deployed per integrator).

Finally, let's look at the smallest group - those choosing 20fps or greater on average:

  • "Casino and cash counting require"
  • "Unfortunately, although much less fps are enough to capture all required information, it doesn't look "sexy" for most of our customers. They want to be able to retrieve full motion video."
  • "Client defined"

The few votes and comments we received are consistent with niche demands of specific applications or customers.

Is Megapixel Impacting Frame Rates?

Integrators who use more SD cameras than MP use a modestly higher average frame rate than integrators overall. For instance, while 70% of all integrators use less than 10fps, only 50% of integrators using primarily SD cameras record an average of 10fps or less. Definitely, using MP cameras plays a role in limiting frame rate but it is partial role. While the mid point for all integrators for frame rate selection looks to be about 7-8fps, even for those who use mostly SD, the midpoint is only modestly higher at 10fps.

Conclusion

6 - 10 fps is the average frame rate used for surveillance recording. It makes a lot of sense because it provides a fairly smooth playback while minimizing storage costs which are still a real factor for the overwhelming number of deployments.

To learn more and see examples of different frame rates in action, see our Frame Rate Training report and the 30 vs 60 FPS shootout.

7 reports cite this report:

Selling 4K Cameras on Jun 21, 2016
This is a first in a new series to help integrators and manufacturers do a better job of accurately and fairly selling for and against various...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2016 on Feb 11, 2016
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? Historically, 30fps has been considered 'full' frame rate and, in the past few...
Megapixel Solar Wireless (Micropower) Examined on May 12, 2015
A fully wireless professional surveillance offering, no networking cables, no power lines. That has been the goal of Micropower for 5 years....
Secret Service Video Surveillance Scandal on Mar 27, 2015
The US Secret Service has taken a beating over the last few years. Hookers, public drunkenness and now, the newest Secret Service scandal, is...
Frame Rate Guide for Video Surveillance on Aug 07, 2014
This is the industry's most in depth guide to frame rates in video surveillance. As a precursor, you need to know the speed of objects, most...
Surveillance Statistics Survey Directory Vol 1 on Jan 03, 2012
In this report, we aggregate and present dozens of statistics about how surveillance is being used in the real world. Recently, we conducted an in...
Training: Frame Rates for IP Cameras on Apr 18, 2010
This is the industry's most in depth guide to frame rates in video surveillance. As a precursor, you need to know the speed of objects, most...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

'Solution' Manufacturers Threaten Integrators on Dec 09, 2016
The race to the bottom has driven manufacturers to become 'solution' providers, threatening integrators. Axis shift to 'solution' sales might be...
Power Drill Selection Guide on Dec 06, 2016
Boring holes is a basic part of running cables for most security system projects. To do so, you will need to choose the right drills for various...
Milestone Favorability Results on Dec 06, 2016
In our second installment of manufacturer favorability results (first was Pelco), we turn to Milestone. 100+ integrators rated and explained what...
Pelco Favorability Results on Dec 02, 2016
This is the first in a series of studies of manufacturer favorability. 100+ integrators rated and explained their views of each manufacturer. We...
Distributor Offers Local Job Site Delivery on Nov 30, 2016
Local distribution branches are a big differentiator for many integrators, as they facilitate quickly picking up supplies locally without having to...
CODEC Guide 2016 on Nov 30, 2016
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...
Top Surprises in the Video Surveillance Industry 2016 on Nov 29, 2016
  The top 3 surprises of 2016 for integrators surveyed by IPVM were: The race to bottom, repeating 2015's Top Surprise Result New -...
Solutions to 5 Common Access Control Problems on Nov 21, 2016
Effective security is more than just good equipment. In fact, thousands of dollars in electronic access control can be wasted if they are not used...
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2016 on Nov 21, 2016
Hikvision has been the top gaining manufacturer in IPVM's annual integrator survey the past 2 years (see 2015 results and 2014 results). Can they...
Access Control Markups 2016 on Nov 09, 2016
  Access control markups have remained solid, according to new IPVM integrator survey results. Response Breakdowns We asked...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Knightscope - $122,509 Revenue, $2.5 Million Loss Seeks $20 Million Investment on Dec 09, 2016
The robot that ran over a child, Knightscope, wants money and they need it. Investors can invest as little as $1,000 to participate and...
The Russian SMP Security Robot on Dec 08, 2016
A Russian manufacturer, SMP, has a commercially available outdoor security robot, at a lower price and with much less marketing than their main...
How Hikvision Beats Its OEMs on Dec 08, 2016
Hikvision GM declared that they are not aggressive with their competitors. But some of their own OEM partners disagree. Inside, we reveal a key...
Dahua Discontinuing H.264 Only Products on Dec 08, 2016
Dahua has taken a stand for H.265 and is discontinuing its H.264 only products. We examine the shakeup inside this...
IP Networking Course January 2017 on Dec 08, 2016
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals plus it includes live training, personal help and...
Hikvision vs Dahua Mobile Apps Tested on Dec 07, 2016
With smartphone use and low-cost video recorders surging, many user's main interface to their surveillance system is their phone. With mobile video...
Paxton Drops US Reps, Plans Major Expansion on Dec 07, 2016
Paxton is gearing up to make a big run at  US access control success. The first step they have made is to cut all US Rep Firms, in anticipation of...
Axis Partner Elder Care Video Analytics (Smartervision) on Dec 07, 2016
Can video analytics be used to improve the care of the elderly? Axis and a video analytics startup, Smartervision, are working together to do so....
Sony IP Camera Backdoor Uncovered on Dec 06, 2016
A backdoor has been uncovered in ~80 Sony IP camera models, attackers can remotely enable telnet on the camera, and then potentially login as root,...

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