Panasonic is now announcing 'smart coding technology'. Here is how they describe it:
"Smart Coding Technology that modifies the encoding compression algorithm in standard H.264 video streams, yielding up to 70 percent improvement in bandwidth reduction to reduce bandwidth has been released. Available as a free firmware upgrade to all new Panasonic 3, 5 and 6 Series Models, the technology offers significant decreased overall bandwidth usage to effectively lessen the amount of storage needed for recorded images. Smart Coding technology encoding deploys Group of Picture (GOP) Control; Frequency Divided Filter (FDF); and 3-D Multi-Process Noise Reduction (3D-MNR) to achieve a lower bit rate for recorded images without degrading the captured and transmitted video stream. Combined, these features can effectively provide a substantial bit rate reduction (the number of bits per second that can be transmitted along a digital network) in the recorded video."
We expect to see more and more manufacturers to do similar as the bandwidth benefits are obvious and significant.
Undiclosed Manufactuter brings up an interesting point here about switching between streams with a high GOP ratio:
To decode the current frame, the Client UI would have to decode the previous I-frame and all the subsequent p/b frames, and if the gap between I-frames is 5 to 8 seconds, this could be between 50 to 200 frames depending on the frame rate. I doubt the VMS would send these previous frames to reduce the delay, and will just expect the client to wait. Keep in mind that traditionally, I-frames are every second or two so the wait is not normally that long. Again, smart codecs can cause the delay to be much longer in some cases - it is the price you pay for increased storage...
When using a VMS to switch between streams have you noticed any unusually long delays? If UM is right, one might be waiting 20 seconds before seeing a live picture, which might be considered unacceptable by many.
We had a site where we installed a brand new Q6000 + Q60 PTZ and decided to try Dynamic GOP on the VMS. We leaned the hard way that VMD does not work when your I-frame interval is too high, we had an incident and no video because there where not enough frames to compare for VMD to kick off recording.
Dynamic GOP is great for continuous recording but be very careful on motion based recording.
Just like proper gain control smart codecs is another 'smart' initiative meant to reduce network traffic while optimizing video streaming. Hopefully, as the technology matures cameras will be able to decipher noise from movement to reduce unneeded bandwidth consumption.