Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2019

By IPVM Team, Published Jun 03, 2019, 11:21am EDT

Smart codecs are now nearly a standard feature in IP cameras, but our statistics show integrator adoption has not increased at the same rate.

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In this note, we examine adoption rates of smart codecs, and share integrators' feedback on why they do or do not use smart codecs in their deployments.

For technical background, see IPVM's Smart Codec Guide. This report is a successor to our 2017 Statistics.

Smart ***** ***** **********

* ***** ******** ** new ******* ******** ** integrators *** ***** ***** codecs.

Piechart 2019

***** ***** ***** ****** cited *********/******* ******* **** commonly, ****** **** **** said **** **** **** simply ******* ******* *** include *** *******.

*** ********* ***** ***** that * ***** ******** of *********** *** ***** codecs **% ** **** of *** ****.

2019

H.265/Smart ***** ********* *** ************* ********

**** **** *** ** 184 *********, ***** ** misunderstood *** ******** ** conflated ******** *.*** **** smart ******, ****** ** many ** **** **** never *** ***** ******. We **** ******** ***** responses **** **********, ****** numbers ***** ** *** responses.

******.******* ******* **** ******* savings ** *** *****, it ** ********* **** smaller **** ******* ******** using ***** ******. *** our*.*** / **** ***** Tutorial*** ********* *******.

Similar ******* ** ****

********** **** *** ******* drastically ***** ****, **** both ***** *** ******/***** use ***** ****** *** those *** ******/****** ****** use **** **** ******** by * *** ********** points.

**** ** *** ***** percentages (**-**%, **-**%) **** shifted ******** ********, ***** 50-59% *** ******* **.

smart-codec-comp-2017-2019

Bandwidth/Storage *******

** ** ****, *** most ****** ****** *** using ***** ****** *** bandwidth *** ******* *******:

  • "***% ** *** ******* use ****** *.***+ *.***+ and *********. ***? ** use ***** ****** ** help **** *** ******* market ** ***** ******* and *****. **** ** also * ***** ****** upgrade **** ***** ** use *** *** ******** systems *** ***** *.***+."
  • "***% ***** ******* *** bandwidth *****. ******* ********** (not ******** **** ******) so ***’* **** ********* investing ** **** ****’* not *******."
  • "**%. ******* ** ********* and *******. ***** *** some *********** *** ** have ********* **** ****** when ******* ** ******* speedup ** ******, ***. But *******, *** **** installations **** ****** ****** settings, **** ** ** easy *** ** **** on ******* *** ***** the ****** ** ************* that ** **** ** the ********."
  • "***% **** ** * great *** ** ******** storage ******* *** ********** cost ******* **** *** client."
  • "**% ******* ** *** axis *** ********* ****** exclusively *** *** *** take ********* ** **"
  • "* **** **** *******, likely ******* **%. *** time ** *** ****** storage *** ********* ************ we'll **** *********."
  • "**% ** *** *** and ****** ******* ** its ****** *** *** network ********* *** *******."
  • "***% *** ******* ********* and *******."
  • "***%, ****** ***********, ****** retention."

Smart ****** ************ ******

******, *********** ********* ***** smart ****** ******* **** are *** ******** ** cameras **** ****. ** 2019, ** ** **** likely * ************ **** offer ***** ****** **** not, **** **** ******** the ******* ****** ****** their ****** ****, ********* low ****, **** ***, fixed, ***, ***** ******, fisheye, ***.

  • "***% *** *** *** to ** ******* **. It’s **** * ** facto ******** ***** ****."
  • "***%. ** ************* *** Axis ******* *** ***** tools *** ***** **."
  • "***% * **** ** only **** **** '******' installations. ** ********* ********** the **** *** *******, so * ***** **** reputable ************* *** **** all *** ***** ****** to **** ******."
  • "**%. *** ******* ************ we *** **** ****."
  • "**+% ** *** ****** installations *** **** *** Zipstream ** **** ** help ****** *** ******** storage ************ *** *** surveillance ********."
  • "* ***** *** **% of *** ******* ** install *** ***** ******. Most ** *** ******* we ******* **** ***** codecs ***** **. *** bad **** ** **** the *********** ***’* ****** adjust ** **** ** the ***** ******."
  • "**%+ ******* *** ****** we *** **** **** them *********."
  • "* ******* ****** ***. Majority ** ****** ****** we ******** **** ***** included."

Less ********* ** ****** ********

******** ***** ************ ********* shared ******* ******** ** one ** ***** ******* for ***** ***** ******:

  • "** **** **** ****/********* because ** ******* ** give *** ** ********** confidence **** ** ******* won't ***** ***** ******* which ***** * **** for **."
  • "******** *** ******* ********* eases ** ******** ** cameras ** ********"
  • "**% ** *** ******* use ***** ******. *** reason ***** **** ******* through ******* ********. ** strive ** ****** **** our *** ******* ********* at **** ****, ******* that ** *** ****** a ***********."
  • "**** **** ***% ** our ******* ********* *** Smart ******. ** **** stuck ******** ** *** Axis * ****** ******* and ******* * ******* so *** **** ****. The ******* ****** *** this ** **** *** work *** **** ********* with * ***** ****** of ********** ******* **** have **** ** *** bandwidth/server ******* ********* ** we **** ** *** production ******* **** ** the ****."
  • "**% ** ********* ******* we *** *** ***** codec *.*** *** ******** wise ****** ** *** Hanwha ******* *******. ***** on *** ********* *** less ********** ** ******* network"

Compatibility ******

*** **** ****** ******** from *********** *** **** they ****** ** ***** use ***** ****** *** lack ** *******, ****** on *** ****** ** VMS ****.

  • "****, ***** **** *** VMS **** *** ********* use ***** ** *** support ***** ******"
  • "*% - ** *** H.264 *** ********** - compatibility ****** *** ****."
  • "with ***** ******, *** networks (**** ** ****) so ** ********* ******."
  • "*** ******* **** ** utilize **** **** *.***+. Not **** ** * benefit ** ** ****** given **** *** *** does *** ******* ** (Luxriot)."
  • "**** ** *** **** new ****** ************* ** old *** **** **** not ******* **** ******* or *** ****** **** does *** ******* **** vendor's *************** (******** **** not ******* *********, ********* does *** ******* ******** Smart *****)."
  • "*% ** *** ************* as *** ******* ******* base ** ***** ******* which ** *** ******* them. ** *** ****** to ******* ** **** and ***** ***** **** codecs."
  • "**%. **** ** *** support."

**** **** ** ******* is ***********, ** *** vast ******** ** ******* produced ** **** ******* smart ******, *** *** compatibility *** **** ***** in *** *******. ****** such ** ***** ******** or **** ******* ******** are ***** ********, ****** uncommon.

Storage ********

******* *********** **** **** they *** *** *** smart ****** ******* ******* was "*****" ** *** much ** * *******. This *** ******** ***** in ********** ***** **** ***** Surveillance *********, ** ****.

  • "****** ****. ** **** stayed **** *.***. ** don't **** ****** ***** we *** ******* *** storage **** **** *** might *** **** ***** them. ******* ** ********** cheap."
  • "***** ****** ******* *********** installs ****** ** ********* turn **** *** ** storage ** *** **** a ******* *** **** seem ** ****** ******* smooth *********** ** *** standalone ********."
  • "*% *)******* ** (**********) inexpensive *** ******* *************. 2)Larger ************ ********* ***** have ******** ***** *** are ********* ** ***** CODECs."
  • "* *** ****. ** don't *** ****. ******* is **** *****."

******, ****** ** ******* have **** ******** ******** in ****** *****. *** example, *** ****** *** ******* ~$***-*** *****, ***** in **** ** **** ~$240, * **-**% ****.

Future ***** ** *********

*******, * *** *********** specified **** **** *** not ***** ***** ****** today, *** **** ***** to ** ** ** the ******, **** **** selling ***** ***** ******* cameras ******* (*** *** using *** *******) *** others ******* ** ***** which ******* ****.

  • "****, *** ** *** ready *** ** *** "future-proofing" *** ********* *****. It's *********, *** ***** is ***** * ******** of *** **** *** there **** ***'* ** it. * ****** **** number ** **** ************* by **** **** **** year."
  • "**** ***** *** **** will ** ********. ********* are ********** **** ******* to ** ***** ** existing ******* *** **** will ***** **** ******* bogging **** *** ******."
  • "** **** *** **** Smart ****** ***. ** are * ******* ********** but *** ******* ** different ***'* *** **** may ****** ** *** future"

Comments (15)

One thing that comes up with smart codecs is image quality variances with codec on compared to codec off.

Has IPVM done a shootout of identical cameras, with identical scenes and compared the live and playback video quality with smart codec active and inactive?

Seems to me, bandwidth is generally not an issue these days and any degradation of video quality (typically background) is quickly recognized, particularly in live monitoring environments. 

While background scene degradation doesn't really matter that much practically, it is still observable, noticed and perceived as a deficiency by users. 

Additionally, I'm sure that all smart codecs are not created equal, so there may be variances from codec to codec. 

Very interested to hear what you think!

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any degradation of video quality (typically background) is quickly recognized, particularly in live monitoring environments.

Oh, I see you, you are not familiar with Verkada...

In all seriousness, there are clearly a significant number of buyers who do not notice video degradation.

And we have tested video quality with smart codecs on and off, I'll let Ethan respond.

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Ha, that's foreground degradation! And without a smart codec, correct?

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Has IPVM done a shootout of identical cameras, with identical scenes and compared the live and playback video quality with smart codec active and inactive?

Yes, we've tested multiple smart codecs at multiple levels. There are definitely variances from manufacturer to manufacturer, and generally those with the ability to control level of the smart codec perform better, as they can be fine tuned.

For example, Hanwha WiseStream tends to degrade the background drastically at High and above (our test):

Zipstream shows some degradation in the background using High, but not much. When you switch to "Extreme" it is quite pronounced, though (our test).

Hikvision's H.264+/H.265+ don't offer any strength controls, so there's no real option to adjust how compressed the background is, but we saw issues of smearing fine details with it on, for sure (our test). Same with Dahua Smart H.264+.

 

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Awesome, Thanks. Not sure how I missed that one. 

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Ethan,

What about video comparisons? smart codec will smear details in a static image because that's what it's supposed to do. What about quality differences when there is motion, like how effective do the various codecs work to not compress motion? Is their compression bleeding to the object that is moving, etc.

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In my experience, I've never seen compression bleed into moving objects. It seems that codecs tend to err more on the side of caution. Keep in mind that this is not "motion" as in valid motion like is used for VMD, but pixel change. So cameras tend toward simply compressing what does not change. Some seem to be a little bit smarter and will keep text less compressed even if it's in the background, but I haven't seen even the cheapest smart codec camera compress a valid moving object.

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did the sun peek out from behind the clouds right before the “H.264+ On” test?

or do you believe that brightening is also an artifact of the SC?

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That test was a couple years ago at this point, but I believe the light level was fairly stable the entire time. I'd have to go back to the video at this point to confirm.

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Seems to me, bandwidth is generally not an issue these days...

even on the WAN, or mobile?

also, bandwidth savings is only part of the equation, the other part is retention/storage.

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Agreed on storage point. I was thinking strictly of camera to server bandwidth. I stand corrected on oversight of your point. 

One thing I'm not certain of and could use clarity; does smart codec come into play with WAN connections with Axis or Hanwa or other smart codecs? Does smart codec apply to secondary stream to gateway or other outlet to WAN as implied?

I am familiar with Avigilon's HDSM which is not a camera codec but rather a server to client/WAN transmission efficiency and has something to do with my oversight on that point. 

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I am familiar with Avigilon's HDSM which is not a camera codec but rather a server to client/WAN transmission efficiency and has something to do with my oversight on that point.

Avigilon does have smart codecs on all of the H4 series of cameras at this point in time.  As far as I am aware all currently available cameras now that the H3 multi-imagers have been discontinued support smart codecs, even the H4Pro series.

One thing I'm not certain of and could use clarity; does smart codec come into play with WAN connections with Axis or Hanwa or other smart codecs?

Yes, it applies to the stream itself from the camera.  The same is true for Avigilon.

Does smart codec apply to secondary stream to gateway or other outlet to WAN as implied?

I'm not certain that smart codec applies to the secondary stream.  I would assume so but cannot answer definitively.  I may also be misunderstanding the second part of your question.  The stream itself is what is modified by smart codecs so the gateway is irrelevant.  If your definition of gateway in this instance is some form of mobile client server/transcoder the answer is highly dependent upon the VMS/NVR/transcoding device.

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You can choose to enable it for the secondary or other streams, as needed in most cameras. 

This can provide additional bandwidth and storage savings, but the secondary stream is usually lower resolution so the savings are not as significant. 

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Bottom line, there are different architectures depending on the VMS and their respective utilization of smart codec can be different. 

I know Avigilon cameras have smart codec but it is strictly used for camera to server connection. ACC client and mobile pulls video from the server, not from the camera so smart codec means nothing for client connections. That's where HDSM kicks in.

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Can anyone confirm that Avigilon does not support ZipStream?  I'm getting ready to put a large project out to bid and was considering ACC7 and Axis cameras.   

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