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?

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, ** ****. ***********, **** can *** ** *******. With ****, *******, *********** parts ** *** ***** are ***** ** ** more ****** **********. ***********, it ******* **** **** is **** ********* *** default *********** ***** ***.

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

******* *** ********

*** ***** ***** ***** * comparison ** ******** ***** GOP (** ** **** case) ****** *** ******* GOP **** ** ********* (set ** **** ***), as ******** ** *********.

***** *-****** ** *** 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 cameras. *******, ***** ************'* cameras ***** ******* ***** bitrate ** **** ******. 

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

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,590 reports, 889 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Avigilon Open Analytics Tested on Apr 16, 2020
After years of effectively closed analytics, Avigilon decided in late 2018 to...
The Future of H.266 For Video Surveillance Examined on Aug 17, 2020
First H.264, now H.265, is H.266 next? H.266 was recently announced amid...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30...
Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS,...
Micron 1 TB SD Cards Aim To Eliminate NVRs on Apr 08, 2020
Micron has boldly proclaimed their latest 1TB microSD "eliminates the need...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Verkada Access Control Tested on Sep 09, 2020
Verkada raised $80 million earlier in 2020, expanding from video into access...
Hanwha Wisenet X Plus PTRZ Tested on Feb 14, 2020
Hanwha has released their PTRZ camera, the Wisenet X Plus XNV-6081Z, claiming...
Vivotek LPR Camera Tested on Apr 15, 2020
Vivotek has historically sold license plate capture cameras but not LPR. Now,...
Dotty "Hot Or Not" Elevated Body Temperature App Tested on Jun 01, 2020
What if you could take an existing phone or tablet and transform it into...
Ava / Vaion Releases Cloud Connected IP Cameras, Verkada Competitor on Oct 01, 2020
Ava (formerly Vaion) announced its new direct-to-cloud AVA Aware IP cameras...
OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
YOLOv5 Released Amidst Controversy on Jul 27, 2020
YOLO has gained significant attention within video surveillance for its...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...

Recent Reports

GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...
Watrix Gait Recognition Profile on Oct 16, 2020
Watrix is the world's only gait recognition surveillance provider IPVM has...
Intel Presents Edge-to-Cloud Ecosystem for Video Analytics on Oct 16, 2020
Intel presented its processors and software toolkit for computer vision at...