3 Top Surveillance Improvements You Can Do

By John Honovich, Published Nov 06, 2012, 12:00am EST

Here are 3 very valuable surveillance improvements you can do simply with existing equipment. While they are less known, we have validated them in ongoing IPVM tests. Using them could realistically cut your bandwidth needs and storage requirements by half or more.

They are:

  • VBR With a Cap
  • Speed Up / Boost Up Recording
  • Privacy Zones fo Bandwidth Reduction

Let's review each one:

VBR With a Cap

Most people choose between VBR and CBR for streaming video but VBR with a cap is the best choice overall. CBR is risky as it fixes the bit rate, resulting in either wasted bandwidth or low quality video. By contrast, VBR dynamically adjusts the bit rate to maintain quality and minimize bandwidth use. VBR's main problem is during low light / night time. AGC causes bandwidth spikes for most VBR streams with no quality gains. Setting an appropriate cap limits how much bandwidth is wasted at night while still delivering the same quality.

Many, but not all cameras, support this approach though manufacturer terminology varies greatly. Read our guide to CBR vs VBR for more.

Speed Up / Boost Up Recording

Most people use either continuous or motion based recording but a third option exists that combines the best of both approaches. The upside of motion based recording is storage savings but the downside is missing video of important events. Speed Up / Boost Up recording ensures that video is recorded at all times. However, this is done at a low resolution when no activity is detected, but is 'boosted up' to high resolution when motion occurs. This way, you get most of the bandwidth savings of motion based recording but eliminate the risk of having no video for a key event.

Limitations do exist on VMS / recorder support and switching between different quality settings. See our speed up / boost up test results.

Privacy Zones for Bandwidth Reductions

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Most think of privacy zones as simply a tool to mask off sensitive areas but on many cameras, privacy zones can actually reduce bandwidth consumption. While image cropping also can be used, privacy zones are far more flexible because different areas can be 'carved out' within the FoV to reduce bandwidth in areas that have no practical benefit anyway.

See our Privacy Zone / bandwidth reduction test results.

Try Them Out

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