Testing Time Compressor

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 31, 2014

Our VMS Search Shootout showed that performance varies greatly and is an important differentiator in product selection.

One uncommon but interesting feature is the ability to overlay people and vehicles from different times on a single video to quickly show who and what passed by in a scene. Axxon's VMS has this, calling it Time Compressor. Here's their very short demo:


It's free and built into their VMS, so we decided to test it to better understand how well it performed.

Key Findings

Here are our key findings from this test:

  • Time Compressor was simple to use, with little configuration required and minimal control over number of simultaneous objects shown on screen (maximum 6).
  • Users have no control over exact time range compressed, only number of objects displayed on screen. A section of video (such as 12am-6am) cannot be selected and compressed explicitly. Objects simply appear in order of detection.
  • In high traffic areas, objects overlaid on top of each other may be very confusing to view, especially for new users. Adjusting number of objects on screen (minimum of 2, maximum of 6) lower helps to reduce this visual clutter, but reduces time gains using Time Compressor.
  • Since Time Compressor relies on Axxon Next's built-in analytics to operate, inaccuracies should be expected. For example, a single object may be detected as two objects, headlights or shadows detected as objects, etc. This results in inaccuracies and may make search difficult.

Future enhancement: Axxon reports that the next major version of their software (4.0), due in the second half of 2014 will increase maximum objects displayed from 6 to 20.


Time Compressor may save moderate time in searching for archived video, especially in scenes with infrequent motion. However, analytics must be properly configured (often by trial and error) for best performance, and object overlap and false detections may reduce benefits in many scenes.

Most importantly, since it cannot compress over large periods of time, it still requires scanning through video manually to find objects of interest, limiting is application significantly.

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


This video provides an overview of playback, with and without time compressor:

Performance Issues

This video reviews issues with using Time Compressor, generally due to analytic detection performance:

Small Scene Performance 

In this screencast, we review potential drawbacks using Time Compressor in small spaces, where motion may be higher and angles not ideal:


Finally, we briefly review the few configuration steps required for Time Compressor in this screencast:

Other Options

There are few options which compress video similarly to Time Compressor. The standout comparison is BriefCam [link no longer available], whose Video Synopsis is similar in functionality, though with more configurable options, including specifying time range, object direction, and more. However, BriefCam is a third-party add-on requiring a separate license and integration to the user's VMS, not built-in as Time Compressor is.

2 reports cite this report:

Axxon Next VMS 4.0 Tested on Aug 24, 2016
AxxonSoft is one of the biggest VMS vendors (reporting 263,000 channels sold in 2015), especially strong in their home market of Russia, but not...
ASIS 2014 - 17 Manufacturer Tech Review on Sep 30, 2014
This long post recaps key findings from IPVM team members meeting with manufacturers at ASIS 2014 including Hikvision, EMC, Pelco, Digital...
Comments (4) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30 series cameras, claiming to deliver "sharp video quality even in poor...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R3 'Centralized Search' Tested on Oct 30, 2019
Milestone has had problems over the last few years releasing significant new software. Now, in XProtect 2019 R3, Milestone is touting "one search...
Axis Live Privacy Shield Analytics Tested on Jun 25, 2019
Privacy is becoming a bigger factor in video surveillance, driven both by increased public awareness and by GDPR. Now, Axis has released Live...
The HIVIDEO $31 Face Detection DVR Tested on Apr 25, 2019
Face detection in a $31 DVR? That is what "HIVIDEO" (not to be confused with Hikvision, even if the company intends to do that) was promoting at...
Exacq's Cloud Drive Storage Tested on Feb 04, 2019
Less than a year after acquiring cloud video company Smartvue, Exacq has launched its 'cloud drive storage' offering. We see the VSaaS market...
Axxon Face Search Tested on Oct 26, 2018
AxxonSoft has brought facial recognition to their Axxon Next VMS for free with the simply named Face Search, claiming to allow users to find...
Healthy Skepticism for Deep Learning Is Prudent on Jul 26, 2017
The hype for deep learning in video surveillance is accelerating. Between the race to the bottom and dearth of a 'next big thing', certainly pent...
Universal HD Analog Encoder Tested (DW Compressor) on Jul 06, 2017
Digital Watchdog has released the Compressor HD, a "universal" HD analog encoder, with support for AHD, CVI, TVI and SD analog cameras. We tested...
Nvidia Deep Learning Developer Kit Examined on Apr 17, 2017
Can building a deep learning video analytics application be as easy as the typical VMS installation? Maybe not quite, but Nvidia is aiming to make...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Illicitly Uses Back To The Future In Marketing on Jul 03, 2020
NBCUniversal told IPVM that Hikvision UK's ongoing coronavirus marketing campaign using NBCUniversal's assets was not allowed. Hikvision mass...
Verkada: "IPVM Should Never Be Your Source of News" on Jul 02, 2020
Verkada was unhappy with IPVM's recent coverage declaring that reading IPVM is 'not a good look' and that 'IPVM should never be your source of...
Vintra Presents FulcrumAI Face Recognition on Jul 02, 2020
Vintra presented its FulcrumAI face recognition and mask detection offering at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A...
Uniview Wrist Temperature Reader Tested on Jul 02, 2020
Uniview is promoting measuring wrist temperatures whereas most others are just offering forehead or inner canthus measurements. But how well does...
Dahua USA Admits Thermal Solutions "Qualify As Medical Devices" on Jul 02, 2020
Dahua USA has issued a press release admitting a controversial point in the industry but an obvious one to the US FDA, that the thermal temperature...
Access Control Online Show - July 2020 - With 40+ Manufacturers - Register Now on Jul 01, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our July 2020 Access Control Show. With 40+ companies presenting across 4 days, this is a unique opportunity to hear...
Hanwha Face Mask Detection Tested on Jul 01, 2020
Face mask detection or, more specifically lack-of-face-mask detection, is an expanding offering in the midst of coronavirus. Hanwha in partnership...
UK Government Says Fever Cameras "Unsuitable" on Jul 01, 2020
The UK government's medical device regulator, MHRA, told IPVM that fever-seeking thermal cameras are "unsuitable for this purpose" and recommends...
Camera Course Summer 2020 on Jun 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop, most are still moderately dealing with the pandemic's problems, June...