Resolution vs Compression Tested

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 24, 2014

They are not the same thing.

Unfortunately, too many industry people conflate them.

Worse, resolution and compression can silently undermine each other.

The Impact

Compare the two images below. The resolution (aka pixel count) is exactly the same but the compression levels (and bandwidth) are much different:

 

Because of the compression difference, even though everything else is the same, the visual quality is much different.

Resolution vs Compression

Resolution, in surveillance, means the number of pixels (1MP, 2MP, 5MP, etc.) See: IPVM's Resolution Tutorial

Compression, in surveillance, means how much the pixels / video is compressed. There is a scale from minimum to maximum. In H.264, it is called quantization, ranging from 0 (least) to 51 (most). See: IPVM's Video Quality / Compression Tutorial

Compression Defaults

All IP cameras compress video, typically in the middle of that scale. IPVM testing shows 28 is average though manufacturers vary somewhat. Moreover, manufacturers generally do not reveal the actual quantization level, displaying their own scale. To learn more, see: IP Camera Manufacturer Compression Comparison

Making Lower Resolution Look Like Higher Resolution

In this test, we took a series of 720p IP cameras, decreased the compression levels to see how far we had to go to make it 'look' like a 1080p camera with default compression levels. We then compared bandwidth consumption of each camera.

Making Higher Resolution Looks Like Lower Resolution

Also, in this test, we took a series of 5MP and 1080p cameras, increased their compression levels to see how far we had to go to make it 'look' like lower resolution cameras (1080p / 720p respectively) with default compression levels.

Why

Our goal is to understand and show you:

  • How much compression can impact visual quality?
  • What benefits are there to reducing compression levels?
  • What benefits are there to increasing compression levels?
  • Can you get better quality or bandwidth consumption from such changes?

**** *** *** *** **** *****.

*************, *** **** ******** ****** ******** ****.

*****, ********** *** *********** *** ******** ********* **** *****.

The ******

******* *** *** ****** *****. *** ********** (*** ***** *****) is ******* *** **** *** *** *********** ****** (*** *********) are **** *********:

 

******* ** *** *********** **********, **** ****** ********** **** ** the ****, *** ****** ******* ** **** *********.

Resolution ** ***********

**********, ** ************, ***** *** ****** ** ****** (***, ***, 5MP, ***.) ***: ****'* ********** ********

***********, ** ************, ***** *** **** *** ****** / ***** is **********. ***** ** * ***** **** ******* ** *******. In *.***, ** ** ****** ************, ******* **** * (*****) to ** (****). ***: ****'* ***** ******* / *********** ********

*********** ********

*** ** ******* ******** *****, ********* ** *** ****** ** that *****. **** ******* ***** ** ** ******* ****** ************* vary ********. ********, ************* ********* ** *** ****** *** ****** ************ level, ********** ***** *** *****. ** ***** ****, ***: ** ****** ************ *********** **********

Making ***** ********** **** **** ****** **********

** **** ****, ** **** * ****** ** **** ** cameras, ********* *** *********** ****** ** *** *** *** ** had ** ** ** **** ** '****' **** * ***** camera **** ******* *********** ******. ** **** ******** ********* *********** of **** ******.

Making ****** ********** ***** **** ***** **********

****, ** **** ****, ** **** * ****** ** *** and ***** *******, ********* ***** *********** ****** ** *** *** far ** *** ** ** ** **** ** '****' **** lower ********** ******* (***** / **** ************) **** ******* *********** levels.

***

*** **** ** ** ********** *** **** ***:

  • *** **** *********** *** ****** ****** *******?
  • **** ******** *** ***** ** ******** *********** ******?
  • **** ******** *** ***** ** ********** *********** ******?
  • *** *** *** ****** ******* ** ********* *********** **** **** changes?

[***************]

Lesson * - ************* ******** *********** ******

****** *.*** ****** *********** / ************ ****** ** * ** 51, **** ************* ******** *** ****** ** **** *** **** can ********.

** ****** * ************* ***** ****** ******** ****, **** ***** *** *** **** *********** ******** ** ********* what ***** *********** ****:

  • ******* ** - **
  • ********: **-**
  • ****: **-**
  • *****: *-**
  • *********: **-**
  • *******: **-**
  • ****: **-**

******, **** *** ******* *** **** *****.

**** ***********, ******** *** *** **** ***********, ******** *** ********* range ** *********** ******, ********** ******** **** *********** ******.

********: *** **** *** *** ************** (** *********************) ** ******** ********* (** ********** ***********) **** ** ******** by **** **** ****** ** ****** ******. ***** ****.

Lesson * - ****** ********** ******* *** **** **** ***** ********** **** *** **** *********

**** ***** ** * '****' ***** ***********. ** *** **** a ****** ********** ****** (*** *****), ******** *** *********** ***** (say ** ~**), ** **** **** ******* ** * **** camera ** ******* *********** ******, **** **:

*** *** ******* ** ***** *** **** *** ***** / high *********** ***** ***, ** *******, ** ** **% ***** bandwidth **** *** **** / ******* *********** ***.

** ***** **** ** ** *** **** **** ** **** scenes **** ********** *** ***, **** **:

*****, ********* *** *** ***** / **** *********** ******* *** 50 ** **% **** **** *** **** / ******* *********** one.

******* * *** / **** ****** ** * ***** ******* camera, *** **** ******* *******.

Lesson * - ****** *** / ****** *********** ****

** *** ******** ***** *** ***** ** ******* * ****** resolution ****** *** ******* ** ** * ****** *********** ** get *** ********* ******* ** * ***** ********** ****** ** a ***** *** ****, **** **** *** ****** ********** ****** still *** *** **** ******* **** ** *** ***** ********** ones.

** **********, ****** **** ** *** *** *** *****, *** and ***** ***** *** ******* ** **** ****** ********** ******* have *********** ************ *****.

Lesson * - ***** *** / ***** *********** *** ****

**** ****** **** *** **** ** ******** *** *********** ***** of * ****** ** *** ****** *******. *** ******* ***** this ** * *** ****, ******* ** ********* ****** *** difficulty ** ********** *******.

** * **** *** / ****** ***, *** ******* *** able ** *** * **** / *** *********** ****** ** 'look' **** * ***** ******* *********** ******, **** **:

*******, ** *** *****, *** ********* *********** ** *** **** / *** *********** *** ***% ** ***% ******* **** *** 1080p / ******* *********** *******. ** ****, *** ******* ** trying ** **** ** **** ******, **** ** ******* *** storage *****, *** ***********.

** **** *****.

** * ******** *** / **** ***, *** ******* *********** *** * **** / *** *********** ****** ** '****' like * ***** ******* *********** ******, **** **:

******* ***** ** ********** **** ******** *********** ** *** **** camera, ** *** ***** ******* ******** ******** ** *** ***** one.

***, **** ****** ***** ******* *** ***** ********, ********* ****** from **% ** ***% ******* *** *** **** / *** compression ****** ******** ** *** ***** / ******* ***.

*****

**** ** ****:

  • ** *** *** ***** ** **** *********** ** **** ******'* compression ******, ********** **** *** ***** **** ***** ** ***, because ************* ***** ***** ****. ********** * ***** ******** ****** *** ******* *****.
  • ** *** ****** ** ** **, *** * ****** ********** camera **** ****** *********** ******** ** **** ********* **** ********* quality *********.
  • ***** ****** * ***** ********** ****** *** ****** ** ******** its *********** *****. ******** ****** * ****** ********** ****** ***** may ** ****** **** ** ******* **** ******* ** *********** lower ******* / ******* **** **** ********** *********** ******.

Comments (19)

...*** ***************** ****** **** ****** *********** ******** ** **** ********* **** minimized ******* *********. ***** ****** **************** ****** *** ****** ** ******** *** *********** *****. ******** buying ***************** ****** ***** *** ** ****** **** ** ******* **** quality ** *********** ***** ******* / ******* **** **** ********** compression ******.

********** ****? **** ***** ******* * ****? ***** ******* * could ***?

********* ****?

*****, ** ********* ** *** ******** ********** *** **** ******.

****, **** ****** ** **** ********** ** ****** ********** *** relationship ******* ********** *** *********** ******** *** *** ****** **** a ***** ********* ********** ** ******* ******* *** *********. *******, the ***** ******* ********* ****** ** ****** *******. ** *** have * ****** ****** *** ************ ***** ****** ***** ***** not ** ** ********* **** ** **** *********** ********* ** higher ********** **** ****** ***********? ***** ***** *** ****** ** look ****** *** **** ******* ******, * * *** ********* at **** ********** ** ***** *** ** * * *** recording ** ***** ********** ** ***** *** ******** ** *** a ********* ** ***** ****** ** *** ******* ******* *******?

"***** ***** *** ****** ** **** ****** *** **** ******* stills, * * *** ********* ** **** ********** ** ***** CBR ** * * *** ********* ** ***** ********** ** 2Mbps *** ******** ** *** * ********* ** ***** ****** at *** ******* ******* *******?"

** *** *** ***** ***, *** *** *** ******* *** quality ********, ** **********. *** ****** **** ** **** ************* (i.e, ** ** **** / ******* *** ********* *******, ** will ******** *** *********** ***** ** ******** *** *** **** requirement).

** *** **** ** *****, * ***** ****** *** ***** to ******* **** ******* **** *** ****, **** ** ** had ********** **** *********** **** *** **** ** **** ***/* fixed ******* ******** (*.*., *** ********* ****** ***** **** **** offset *** ********** ****** ***********).

**** ******** ***** **** ** ****, **** *** ***** ** be **** ****. ** *** *** *****, * ******* ***** or ********* ****** **** **** ******* *** ***** **** ******** and ***** **** ****** ******* **********. **** *** ******* *****, it ***** **** *** **** ***** ****** *** **** **** the *****.

** * ***** *** **** ******** ****** ***** ** *** trade *** **** ****** ***/****** **** ** ***** ***/***** **** a *** **** ** * **** *** *** ** *** other. * ***** ****** **** ** * **** ********** **** and **** *****/******** ********.

**'** *** * **** ** **** ** ***** ** *** light **** *******.

****** ***'* *********. ** *** ***** ********* ****** ** ******, either *** ** ** **** ** ** ****** **** *** test *******.

***, ** ****** * ****** *** *** ******** **** ***** across *** ******, ** **** ********** **** **** ** '**** subjective' *** '*****/******** ********' **** **** **** ******** ** **** it **.

****,

** **** **** ********** **** ** * ******. ** ***** of ***** *** *** **** **** ***** ** ****, ********* speaking, ** ** **** ** **** **** ******** **** ***** in ****** ******, ** ** ***. **'* *** ** *** it ***'* ******** ** **** **** ********* *** ****** ***** settings ** **** *** ******* ** *** ** *** ***, but ***** ***** ** * *******. **, ** *** **** testing *** ***** *****, ** *** **** * ***** ********** 720p ***** ** * ****** ********** ***** *****, *** **** may *** ***. *******, *** ********* *** ***** ****** ***** provide **** ****** ** **** ***** ** ****** *****, ***** seems ** *** ******* **** *** ********. ** *** *** see *** ****** ** ** *********.

** *** ** *** ********** *******, * *** ********* ** the ********* ** *** **** ** **** ***** ***** ***** looks ******. ** *** ******* **** ******, **** ** **********, compression, ***., *** * ***'* **** ** * ************ ****** for ***** *******. * ***** ** ***** *** **** ****** agree ** *** ***** ** ******* ******, *** **** **** means ** *** ***** ******* **********.

"**, ** *** **** ******* *** ***** *****, ** *** have * ***** ********** **** ***** ** * ****** ********** 1080p *****, *** ****may *** ***."

****** **** ***********. ** *** ********* ******* **** ***** ***. We'll **** *** ******* **** ********.

"** *** *** *****, * ******* ***** ** ********* ****** will **** ******* *** ***** **** ********"

** * ***** ** *********, *** ******* ***** ** ********* camera *** ********** **. **** **** **% ** **** ***** and ********* ****** **** ********** **, ******** ** *** ***+ models ** ***** ** *** ** ****** ******.

** ** **** **** * ***** *** ********* ** ****** here.

******* ******* ** *** ******* ** *** *****. ******* ***** appreciate ***** ***** **** ********* **** **** ******** ********** *** with **** ***** ******. ****** ********* *** ****** ****** ** what *** **** **** ****** *** * ****** ** ******** to ********** *** ********* ***** **** ** ******* **** ******* play **** ******* *********** *********. ** ***** ** ***** ** establish **** ********** ** ****** *** ******* ******* **** ** Dahua *** *********.

"****** ********* *** ****** ****** ** **** *** **** **** should *** * ****** ** ******** ** ********** *** ********* frame **** ** ******* **** ******* **** **** ******* *********** artefacts."

**** ****** *** *** ******** (*.*. ***). *** *** ** ensure **** *** ** *** *** *********** *********.

** **** **** **** ********* ***** (**** ****** ***** ***** with ********* ***** ** *** ******). *** ***** ** ********* depends ** *** ****** ***** *** *** *****.

*** ******** ** **** **** ** ***** ********, *** ******** bandwidth ****** *** ********** ******. *** **** ***** *** * test *********** ********* ** *** *****(*.*., **** ***** **** **** ****** ** ****, ********* **** up *************, *** *** ******** ******* **** ****).

****, **** ** *** ******** ** *** ******** **** *** end ***** *** *********** ******* ********** ********* **** * ********** recording ********. ***** ******** ** ********* ******** ** *** **** a ****** *** **** ******* *** *** ******* ******* ******* (= *), ********* ** **-******** ****** *** ** ********** ** 6 ***, **** **********, *** ****** ** *,******* ******* ******* setting (= *) ** ** * ***, ***** **********, *** capped ** ******** ******* ******* ******* (= *). **** ****** allows ** ** ********* * ******* ********* ****** ** ** can ********* *** ***** **** ******* ************ *** *** ***** testing ******** ** ***** ******** ** **** ******* ******* *** don't *** *********** *********. *******, ******* *** "***** ****" *** camera ***** *** ******** ******** *** ******* ******* ******* **** complex ******** ****** *** ************ ********* ******** *** ********* ***** is **** ******** *** *** ******* ****** ** **** ***********. Dahua ***** ***** ***** *** **** ****** **** ** *** IPC-HDBW5202 ** **** ********* **** *********** *** *** ******* ******* with ********* *** *******. **** *** ** *** *** ** comparisons ******* ***** ********* ****** ******* ** ******* ** ***** claims *** ******* ** *** ******* *********** ******* *******?

** *** **** ********** ******* **** ********** ** ******* **** morning, ** **** *****, *** ** **** ** ************ **. *** ***** ********* **'** ******* *** ***** ** ************ *****.

** ****** ** ********* ********* ***** *** ********* ****/***** ** low *****:

  • ***** **** *** **** * ***** ********* **** **** ** low *****, **** ********. *** **** ******* *****. ******* *** only **** **** ******** ******** ** *** ***** ******. ************ on **** ** ***** ******* *** ~** ** ********* *** ~24 ** ***** (*** **** ****** ***** ******* "*" ****'* result ** *** ** ** ******** *** ** ***** ******, so ** *** * *** ***** **** *********).

  • **** * ***/* *** ***, *** **** ** ****. ************ is ****** ** *** ***** ****** **** **** (*** **. Q33 ** *********, *** **. *** ** *****), ******* ********* are ***** **** ********** *********.

*****,

****** *** ****** **** ** **** **** ***. **** ****, I ** **** * *** ********* ** *** ***'* **** me ******.

*) *** ******** ******* *** **** **** ***** ******?

*) *** *** ****** ** **** *** ********* ***** *** the ******** *****?

*) **** *** **** *** ************ ********* **** ** ** 30 *** *** ***** ****, *** **** **** *** **** 720p *** *****? **** **** *** *** **** ************ **** the ***** ***?

*****, ***** ****. **'* **** *********** ** ******* **** ** myself.

***** ** *** **** **** *** *****, *** * *** still ****** *** * ******** **** ***** *****.

****,

* ***'* ***** ****** *** ****** ****** ******* *** **** there, * ***** *** ** ***** ** *** ** * did *** **** *** :)

**** *******?

** ****,

** *** **** * ****** **** ************ ************ (***** ********* step)? **, ** ** ******** ** **** *****-*** ******* *********** and ***** *********, ******* *** **** ****** ******* ** **** bitate *** ********** ******* ** ******* ******?

** ************* ** **** ******* **** ********** / *********** / bitrate ** **** *** ********** **** *** *********** ***** ***'* provide ****** ****** ******* ** ** *********** ******* ******* ** encode *****. *** **-***/**-*********** *** * **** ****** ** ********** noise *********.

** ** *** **** **** ****** *** - ******* ** reducing ***** *************** ** ** ******** ** ****** (***-****, *** in **** ****) ***** **********, ** ********* **** *****. ** it ******** ** ****, *** **** **-***/**-*********** ** **-***/**-*********** **** behave ** *** ******** ************ * ** * *****?

*** *** **** * *** **** ****?

"** *** **** * ****** **** ************ ************ (***** ********* step)?"

** *** **** * ****** **** ****** ** ** ****** the *** *******? *.*., ***:****** *** (******* ***** *********) *****

***, ******* ****. ***** *** *** **** **** - **** is **** * *** ****** ***!

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

September IP Networking Course on Sep 14, 2017
LAST Chance - Registration is ending. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals...
Axis: Use QR Codes Instead of Access Cards on Sep 12, 2017
Innovation in access may be hard to find, but Axis recently suggested an idea for credentials few have considered. Rather than using plastic cards,...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics on Sep 12, 2017
'Convergence' has been a major industry theme for many years. All organizations have IP networks today with laptops, tablets, phones and more...
October Camera Course on Sep 07, 2017
Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded videos, personal help, cutting edge education and...
Camera Application Selection Guide 2017 on Aug 23, 2017
Entrances, hallways, rooms and parking lots are perhaps the 4 most common areas where surveillance is deployed. But what is the best type of camera...
Dahua 4K IR PTZ Tested on Aug 21, 2017
4K has made its way to IR PTZs. In this report, we examine the Dahua 6AE830VNI, a 4K PTZ with 30x optical zoom, 200m (~650') integrated IR, and...
Sony Next Gen HD Dome Camera Tested (SNC-EM642R) on Aug 18, 2017
Sony has released their latest generation, claiming improved WDR and low light, increased IR range, and more. We tested the SNC-EM642R outdoor IR...
Cat 5e vs Cat 6 vs Cat 6a Network Cable Usage Statistics on Aug 16, 2017
Cat 5e? Cat 6? Cat 6a? What do integrators use in practice, today? 140+ integrators told IPVM. Here are the results: For those who want to...
Axis Laser Focus PTZ Tested on Aug 14, 2017
Axis has been touting its new Q6155-E laser focus PTZ as 'always in focus' and 'always in color'. Does it really deliver? We bought and tested...
IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Touting 'Made In America' on Sep 18, 2017
Canadian manufacturer Avigilon, who completed a US manufacturing facility in 2015, is now running a marketing campaign touting 'Made In America',...
Cloud Guy Prints Book, Misses Irony on Sep 15, 2017
On-premise security systems are dead. But $75 print books are alive and well. Such are the lessons from Brivo's CEO new book "The Five...
Forgotten Password Problem Importance on Sep 15, 2017
Forgotten passwords has become a major industry topic. For example, Hikvision has been emailing admin passwords in plain text until IPVM's...
September IP Networking Course on Sep 14, 2017
LAST Chance - Registration is ending. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals...
Hikvision Launching Ezviz Pro on Sep 14, 2017
Hikvision is launching Ezviz Pro. In 2015, Hikvision expanded Ezviz, a direct to consumer offering, to North America. Now, Ezviz 'Pro' is...
Genetec Launches Community Connect Examined on Sep 14, 2017
Genetec has done best in large-scale, enterprise systems and relatively worse in smaller systems such as SMB. Now, Genetec is launching...
Master Keying Tutorial on Sep 14, 2017
Mechanical keys are the most fundamental, albeit unsophisticated, form of access control. Like access control, Master Keying allows large scale use...
Startup Turing Video Segway-Based Security Robot Profile on Sep 13, 2017
If security robots can not replace guards, perhaps the next best thing is a robot the guard can actually ride.  Turing Video has raised $5...
Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure Tutorial on Sep 13, 2017
Few terms carry greater importance in access control than 'fail safe' and 'fail secure'. Access control professionals must know how these concepts...

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