Testing IP Video - Super Low Bandwidth

By: Derek Ward, Published on Aug 08, 2014

Even today, there are remote locations, especially in security applications, where extremely limited bandwidth is available.

Despite that, users want to be able to monitor video live.

In a world where HD video is the norm, what can you do when you only have 56 Kb/s or less?

A handful of vendors claim 'magic' compression technologies for these applications but they are typically proprietary and expensive.

Here are our key findings from this test:

  • H.264 IP cameras set to QVGA resolution (320x240), 5 fps and high compression may be streamed over a 56K dialup connection, with bitrates as low as 12 Kb/s in our tests.
  • Compared to HD video needed at least 102 Kb/s and that was with a simple, no motion scene at 3 fps and higher compression.
  • Increasing compression from Q28 to Q32 only marginally reduced visible quality, while decreasing bandwidth consumption by ~30-~40% for QVGA, and ~50-55% for 720p.

Recommendations

Users constrained to a 56K dialup connection (constrained to 48 Kb/s upload max) may be able to stream live video using standard cameras and CODECs, at the cost of resolution and frame rate. Resolutions of CIF, QVGA, or lower and framerates of 10 and below should be used to stream video via such a low bandwidth connection. Additionally, since motion increased bitrate by as much as 100% in our tests, headroom should be allowed to account for this or streams may drop.

Comparisons

Using an Axis P3354, we measured bandwidth between 720p and QVGAresolutions using 10, 5, and 3 frames per second, and compression levels of Q28 and Q32. We set the camera up to view a blank wall, with our subject walking through the scene. The field of view for testing is represented below:

With our subject standing in the field of view, we cannot see clear details from our subject in the QVGA image, but we can get a general idea of clothing and features. The QVGA bit rate in this scene with low motion was only ~11% of 720p.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Successful Tests

56k dialup connections are limited to 48 Kb/s (using V.92 modems). The highest quality frame rate/compression combination in our tests that did not exceed this bandwidth was 5 FPS at Q28, averaging about 38 Kb/s. Below is the video of our subject moving through the scene.

The lowest configuration with a bit rate of 19 Kb/s was obtained using QVGA resolution, H.264, high compression at 3 FPS.

As a middle-ground between the highest and lowest bit rates achieved, we measured 32 Kb/s, which had the camera set to QVGA resolution, H.264, high compression at 10 FPS.

Bandwidth Measurements

Here are the compiled bandwidth measurements taken from testing. Notice how every QVGA resolution test passed, while none of the 720p tests did. We can clearly see a ~9X difference between 720p resolution and QVGA as well throughout many of the different scenes tested.

Methodology

We ran this test using the Axis P3354 using firmware version 5.40.17.

ExacqVision version 6.2.7.63216 was used.

Comments (11) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
TVT / InVid White Light Camera Tested Vs Hikvision ColorVu on Mar 18, 2020
With mega China manufacturers Dahua and Hikvision facing both bans and human...
Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception...
Video Surveillance History on May 06, 2020
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going...
Last Chance - Spring 2020 IP Networking Course - Register Now on May 06, 2020
This is the last chance to register for the only networking course designed...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Credentials on Feb 20, 2020
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be difficult to see,...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 30, 2020
The best and worst cameras tested in this IPVM shootout showed major...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Jun 18, 2020
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video...
Camera Course Summer 2020 - Last Chance on Jul 18, 2020
This is your last chance to register for the Summer 2020 Camera Course. This...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30...
YOLOv5 Released Amidst Controversy on Jul 27, 2020
YOLO has gained significant attention within video surveillance for its...
Bosch Presents MIC 7100 Extreme PTZs on May 21, 2020
Bosch presented its MIC 7100 Extreme PTZs at the April 2020 IPVM New Products...

Recent Reports

Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...
Alabama Schools Million Dollar Hikvision Fever Camera Deal on Aug 11, 2020
The Baldwin County, Alabama public schools purchased a $1 million, 144-camera...
Dahua Taunts Australian Government, Continues To Sell Illegal Fever Cameras on Aug 10, 2020
Dahua is effectively taunting the Australian government by continuing to sell...
HID Releases VertX Replacement Aero on Aug 10, 2020
HID is replacing two established and broadly supported types of access...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Telpo China Temperature Tablets Tested on Aug 10, 2020
The provider for overseas companies ranging from Canon Singapore to US'...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...
Dogs For Coronavirus Screening Examined on Aug 06, 2020
While thermal temperature screening is the surveillance industry's most...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...