Testing Axis Zipstream

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Apr 13, 2015

Has Axis found its breakthrough differentiator? Can they demand a premium for this?

Axis claims Zipstream can "lower bandwidth and storage requirements by an average 50% or more."

We upgraded the firmware on the Axis Q1615 we first tested last September to test Zipstream.

Here is a 1 minute preview of the Zipstream test:

Undoubtedly, Zipstream can drop bandwidth consumption dramatically but here are the big questions:

  • What type of image quality degradation exists and when did it occur?
  • How much bandwidth consumption savings exists?
  • What mostly drives the bandwidth consumption savings - the dynamic RoI compression or the dynamic GOP variation?
  • How does Axis Zipstream compare to the most efficient bandwidth cameras on the market and to other bandwidth savings modes (like Arecont and Vivotek)?
  • How might it compare to H.265?
  • What type of issues occurred with VMSes?

*** **** ***** *** breakthrough **************? *** **** demand * ******* *** this?

**** ****** ********* ***"***** ********* *** ******* requirements ** ** ******* 50% ** ****."

** ******** *** ******** on *** **** ***** we***** ****** **** *********** **** *********.

**** ** * * minute ******* ** *** Zipstream ****:

***********, **************** ********* *********** ************ but **** *** *** big *********:

  • **** **** ** ***** quality *********** ****** *** when *** ** *****?
  • *** **** ********* *********** savings ******?
  • **** ****** ****** *** bandwidth *********** ******* - the ******* *** *********** or *** ******* *** variation?
  • *** **** **** ********* compare ** ******* ********* ********* ********* *** ****** *** to ***** ********* ******* modes (*********************)?
  • *** ***** ** ******* to *.***?
  • **** **** ** ****** occurred **** *****?

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

Key ********

**** *** *** *** findings **** *** ****:

******* *** ************** **** ** *** bandwidth ******* (**% ********* in ********* ****** **** this *****) *** ******* to ** *** *** innovation ****. **** ** the ******* ** ****** the * ***** ******** on ******, **** **** there ** ******* ******** (saves *********) *** ****** an * ***** ******** on ****** ****, *.*., something ***** ******* ** the ***** (******* ***** quality **** *** ******. In *** *****, **** Dynamic *** *******, ** saw * ***** ********* commonly ***** **** * to ** *******.

***** ***** ******* *************** ** ********** *********** on ***** ** ******* plates *** **** **** clear ***********, ********** **** dynamic *** *** ******* on ******* ** ***** (examples ******** ******).

******* *** **** ********** than ***** ********* ****** features** **** ****** ****** which ****** ************* ******* quality (*.*., *******) ** did *** **** **** much ** * ********** / **** *** * very **** ****** (*.*., Vivotek).

****** *** ***** ******* against *** ********* ********** cameras. ** ****** ****** from *****, ********* *** Samsung. **** ********* ***, Axis *** *** **** competitive. **** ********* '*****' out, **** *** ***** was *****. ** *******, especially **** ******* *** disabled, ******* **** *****.

**** ********* **** *.*** with ********* ******* ***: ***** *.*** *** reduce ********* ** ** 50% ******** ** *.***, Dynamic *** **** ****** bandwidth ** **%+ ** many / **** ************ scenarios **** *** ***** benefit **** ** ******** no ******* ** *** VMS **** (***** *.*** does) *** *** ********* to **** **** *.*** for **** *******.

** *** *********** ************ *** ********* ******** with ********, *****, ******* and *********.

Market ******

********* ** * ********** improvement *** *** **** a *********** ****** ******. However, ******** ********* ** limited ** ******-* ******* which **** * *** existing **** ******* *******. Most *** ******* ***** released ***** ******* **** support ******-* *** ********* Zipstream.

*** *** ******** ** whether ***** ************* *** enable / ******* / source ******* *** ** match ****.

********* ** ********* * 'Smart *.***' ***** **** claim ** ******* ** Zipstream *** **** *************, including *********, *** ********** H.265. *** ** **** will **** ********* * much **** ******** ************** for *** *********** ******.

Zipstream *************

********* ******* ******* *** a *** *** ** the ***** ****** ******** page ** *** ******'* web *********, **** *****.

**** *** ******** *** options:

  • "*.*** ******* *********" *********** adjusts *********** ****** ** different ***** ** *** scene, **** ****** ******* less **********, *** ****** background ******* **** **********. Settings ***** **** *** to ****, **** **** different ****** ** ******* reduction *** ******* ******.
  • "******* ***" ****** *** camera ** ****** *** I-frame ********, ** * range **** ******** ** set ** *** *.*** tab, ** * *******, to * ******* ** 1200. *-***** ******** ** decreased **** ****** ******* are *******, *** ********* when *** ***** ** static ** ****** *********.

** **** ***** ** review *** ************* ******* for *********, ******* ******* quality *********** (** **** thereof) ** ***, ****, and ******* *** ******.

************ *******

*********, ************ *** ******** as * ****** **, with * *********, ***********, ********** ** ********* being **, ***, ***, medium, ** ****. ***********, this *** *** ** correct. **** ****, *******, significant ***** ** *** image *** ***** ** be **** ****** **********. Nonetheless, ** ******* **** Axis ** **** ********* the ******* *********** ***** set.

*** ***** ***** ***** the ********* ******** ** two *****, *** **** Zipstream ****** ***, ** the ****, *** ******* with ** *** ** High, **** ******* *** on, ** *** *****. Both **** * ****** quantization ***** *** **** deviation **** ***.

******* *** ********

*** ***** ***** ***** a ********** ** ******** fixed *** (** ** this ****) ****** *** dynamic *** **** ** Zipstream (*** ** **** max), ** ******** ** AVInaptic.

***** *-****** ** *** left *** ******, ***** 10 ******, ******** **** on *** ***** ******, from **, ** **, to **, ** *** camera ******* ******** ********* to **** ** ** the *****.

Bitrate ******

********* ******* ******* ** all ****** ******, **** best ******* ** *** motion ****** *** ********* scenes.

** ****** *********'* ******* on * ****** ***** and *** **** * moving ******* ** **** light ** **** *****. Bandwidth ********* **** *.* Mb/s **** *** ***** was ****** ** ***** 80 **/* (*.** **/*) when ***** ********* **** plus ******* ***.

*** ** **** ***** example ** ****** ********* reductions ** *** **** scene ** ***** *.* lux, **** **** ******* effects, ******** ******* **** nearly ** **/* ** ~2.7 **/*, ** ~**% reduction.


******* ************

** ***** ******** ******** in ** ****** *** motion *****. ** **** light, ~*****, ********* ******* Dynamic *** *** ********** effective, ******** ******** ** 14% ** *** *** 25% ** **** ******** to ************ **** ********* off. *******, ******* ******* GOP ** ** **** still ***** ******* ******** by **** **% ** just **** *** **/*.

** * ***, *** effects ** *********'* ******* compression **** **** **********, reducing ******* ** **-**% Turning ******* *** ** in **** ***** ***** resulted ** ** **** 90% ********, ****** *** as ***** * **** as ** **** *****.

** ******* ******* ******, Zipstream *** ********* ********* to *** ****** ******* scene, **** ** ** 26% ********* ***** ******* ROI (******* ******* ***). Turning ******* *** ** increased ********** ** ** and **%, ********* ** the *****. ***** ********** are ***********, *** ******* compared ** ****** ***** due ** ****** ******* of ****** ** *** scene, **** ******* ********, foliage, *** ***** *********.

High ***** **** **. ***

********** ** ********* *** to ********* **** **** similar **** ***** **** high ***** ***** *** low. ** *** ****** still *****, ******* ********** due ** ********* (******* dynamic ***) **** ******** higher **** ***** ** FPS **** ** ***. However, ********** *** ** dynamic *** **** ******** greater **** ***** ** FPS.

Image ******* ******

** *** *****, ** saw ******* ****** ** image ******* ****** ** Zipstream. ****** ******* *** text ******** ******* *******, without ******, ***** ********** objects (*******, *****, ***** and ***** ********, ***.), less ********* ** *** scene, ********* **** ***********.

** ****** ***** ******* in ******** ****** ****** below.

***** ********/****

*** ***** ***** ******** images ** *** ******* and **** ***** ***** with ********* *** (** the ****) *** * fixed *** ** ** vs. ********* *** ** High, **** ******* *** turned ** (******* ** 1200).

******* ******* ** **** is ********* *******, **** no ******* *********** ********* from *** ******** *********** or ****** *-***** ******** used ** *********. ******* details ** *** ******* are *******, *** **** the **** **** ** the **** ***** ** line * (*****) ** similarly ******* ** ****.

****** ********

******* **** **** ******* when ********* * ****** vehicle, **** ***, ****, and ******* *** ******** all **** ** ******* a ******* ***** ** ~15-20 *** ** * ~20' ***** ** **** without *****.

******* ******

******* ******* *********** **** most ********** ** ******* areas **** ****** *******, such ** *** ***** below. ****, ******* ******** and ****** ***** **** clear **** ********* *** appeared ******* ** ******* when ** *** ****** on, ******* ** *** Zipstream **** ***** *****. When ******* *** *** added, ***** ******* **** most **********, ********* ****, seen ** *** ***** below.

Versus ***** *************

********* ** ****** ********* at ******** ******* ** supported *******. *******, ***** manufacturer's ******* ***** ******* lower ******* ** **** scenes.

*** **** ** *** scenes ** ******, ** did *** **** ***** test *** *********** *** the ***** ***-****, ********* 4132 *** ******* ***-****. Below *** *** *******:

VMS ***********

** *** ** ****** streaming ** ******* **** Zipstream ***** ** ******** Control ******, ***********, ******* Security ******, ** ********* XProtect. ********** ** ********* or ******* *** ********, cameras ********* *** ******** as ******, *** ******** was ******, ******* ***** gaps, **** ******* *** reverse.

**** **** **** ********* or ******* **** ***** in *** ***** ****** or *********, ****** *****, with *** ******** ********** a ***** ****** **** only *-***** ******* ******* until *** **** *-*****. This *** ** *********** when ******* ***-*********** (***, MKV, ***, ***.) ***** in **** ********.

******* *** ********** ********* settings **** ***** ****** Tool, ******** ***** ** set ***** ********** **** that ******, ******* ** using *** *** *********, shown ****:

Test *********

***** ******** ******* *.**.* was **** *** **** test. **** **** **** firmware ** *** *** publicly *********, *** *** supplied ** **** *** testing.

*** ****** ******** **** left ********* ****** *** WDR, ***** *** ****** off ** *** ******, and ********, ************ ** 1/30s.

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

  • ******** ******* ****** *.*.*.**
  • *********** *.*.*.*****
  • ********* ******** ********* **** 9.0c
  • ******* *.* ***

Comments (12)

Are changes to Dynamic GOP triggered only by movement? Does changing motion sensitivity affect Dynamic GOP (I-frame sampling) sensitivity?

Also, if I understand it right, are the efficiencies diminished the lower the framerate is set to begin with (ie: greater at 30FPS vs 8 FPS)?

30 FPS vs. 10 FPS results are added above. In short, the differences are not that great, and close enough that I'd be hesitant to declare a winner one way or another.

Thorough testing!

Note that when streaming or playing back clips in VLC Media Player or Quicktime, errors occur, with the programs displaying a blank screen with only P-frame changes visible until the next I-frame.

Are Zipstreamed streams available as ONVIF streams?

Do you think that the h.264 is possibly non-standard, which might explain the VLC and AVinaptic behavior?

Yes, they are available via ONVIF.

No, I don't think it's non-standard. It's an I-frame/P-frame issue in those players. We're talking to Axis to get their read on the AVInaptic analysis.

I'm really wondering when you enable dynamic GOV/GOP how it doesn't impact according to your test - the blur in image... when you provide a key frame every ..10 seconds or worse what is your chance to get a plate or a face, or a sudden move..oups... Zip is focussing on moving parts, so like smartstream keep a better quality on moving pixel... but DGOV kills that, by adding more P-frames.

For outdoor non detailed scene (without LPR or Face reco in dark envir. with quick moves) I agree Zip+DGOV is one of the current option to decrease both bandwidth and storage.

To be compared also with adaptive streaming based on 1 key frame and no P-frame when no activity is reported by motion detection, raising to normal fps when motion arises.. In that case, you can keep your key frame for police, it's supposed to be correct

I have experience Smart stream with good quality on moving pixels and/or Roi and big compression on static scene. MAin concerns is to explain to the customer why the static scene pixelise when darkness arises... even with DNR is enable

I should read the review more carefully. But... grumpy engineer-user response:

so you came up with this overly complicated video compression scam, then you deployed just enough of it to work, and now you're "tuning" it (if you insist calling tweaking a compression algorithm "tuning") and you want me to get excited about it?

Any camera vendor can twist the H.264 voodoo. It's gotta have a billion knobs and dials on the inside no matter how much is exposed through the interface. I don't see this as a differentiator I see it as an enabling technology for more incompatibility.

Rodney, you really should review the review more carefully. Why would you preface a sweeping, ungrounded, attack with that fatal admission?

How is 'incompatability' an issue given that we tested it and it worked with 4 of the biggest VMSes in the world without anything done on their part?

Secondly, if 'any camera vendor can twist the H.264 voodoo', why isn't Axis doing the vodoo on all of their cameras instead of just the new ARTPEC-5 ones? Any if this is just knob and dial turning why hasn't anyone else done this?

There is something genuinely new and useful here. Period.

I have understood the priciple behind the idea. They want to mimic Human brain. Only use the most relevand data in the image and the rest compress it to maximum.

After a couple of modification to the logic behind the software i think it could make a big diference in certain aplications.

I'm curious what the net effect of Dynamic GOP running together with VMD framerate speed-up on the VMS would be. It occurs that VMD framerate speedup functions like a poor man's Dynamic GOP. Although not increasing the cardinal interval between I-frames, VMD speedup does increase the realtime interval between I-frames and thereby reduces bitrate.

Of course motion detection has to be setup, and there are only two levels of frame-rates, so cruder for sure. Still I think if someone is using VMD speedup aggressively, they will not see as large a benefit from Dynamic GOP.

btw, Geurtebruck apparently has encoders that use Dynamic GOP...

Those Geuterbruck encoders are MPEG4.

Yes, from back in 2008!

Here's a spec sheet from an updated one:

Genetec has integrated Zipstream settings for Axis cameras to their Config Tool, seen here:

These settings directly correlate with Zipstream settings in the web interface, so users may now configure them from here.

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

Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
Bluecherry Open Sources Entire VMS on May 13, 2019
Bluecherry announced they have "released the entire Bluecherry software application open source with a GPL license". We spoke to Bluecherry's...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
Ranking Manufacturer Favorability 2019 on May 06, 2019
24 manufacturer's favorability was ranked based on 170+ integrators feedback. Voting plus in-depth comments revealed insights on which brands were...
Registration Closed - Spring 2019 IP Networking Course on May 02, 2019
Register now for the Spring 2019 IP Networking course here - Closed. Last chance now.   This is the only networking course designed specifically...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Inside Look Into Scam Market Research on May 17, 2019
Scam market research has exploded over the last few years becoming the most commonly cited 'statistics' for most industries, despite there clearly...
Maglock Selection Guide on May 16, 2019
One of the most misunderstood yet valuable pieces of electrified hardware is the maglock. Few locks are stronger, but myths and confusion surround...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Trump Signs 'Huawei Ban' - Executive Order Targeting Foreign Adversary Technology on May 16, 2019
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order targeting technology provided by 'foreign adversaries', in what is widely being called a...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...

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