Remote monitoring of VMS systems is often critical. Large organizations have campuses, offices or branches scattered across a country, with a need to access that surveillance video. Indeed, all organization, large and small, frequently want to watch video from their homes or while on the road.
Limited bandwidth remains a key problem, with remote locations often only providing 1Mb/s upstream to send video out. Worse, many locations (e.g., banks and retailers) want to constrain how much bandwidth video takes up to ensure transactions are always promptly processed.
At the same time, megapixel adoption has surged, becoming the de facto standard for new IP video surveillance systems, raising the question of how well remote monitoring will work with increased strain.
We decided to test performance of remotely monitored VMS systems. We used a tool to throttle bandwidth to 3 levels:
- 56kb/s: Worst case scenario for legacy systems
- 256kb/s: Challenging but common scenario with limited bandwidth
- 1.5Mb/s: "Good" bandwidth for remote monitoring
We then tested the following VMSes: Avigilon, Exacq, Genetec, Milestone, Network Optix/Digital Watchdog and VideoInsight.
We started with thick clients and then tested web clients. (Note: a future report will be dedicated to mobile applications).
The Key Questions
This report examines and answers the following:
- How good or bad was performance at 56kb/s, 256kb/s and 1.5Mb/s?
- How did performance vary between a single and 4 camera view?
- How usable was live monitoring vs investigations?
- What difference in performance occurred across cameras and resolutions?
- What optimization techniques were available to improve performance?
- How did manufacturer performance vary?