What is the Impact of H.264 on NVRs and User's PCs?

By: John Honovich, Published on Jun 25, 2008

The biggest concern in using H.264 lies on the impact that H.264 video streams will have on NVR servers and client PCs. If H.264 video significantly reduces the number of cameras an NVR can support or undermines the ability of operators to view video, such losses could eliminate the overall storage and bandwidth impact H.264 promises. Please see a review of potential H.264 risks for an overview.

Today I would to share 2 pieces of information:

  • An explanation from Arecont Vision on why their H.264 implementation should not generate such problems
  • An announcement of an independent testing program for H.264 cameras that I will run to validate performance.

Arecont Vision's Explanation of H.264 Decoding Impact

Dr. Michael Korkin, Director of Engineering at Arecont Vision shared the following explanation:

"Arecont Vision's main goal was to minimize the cost of the H.264 encoder implementation on camera as much as possible while providing a fully compliant H.264 stream, and to also reduce the corresponding computational load on the H.264 decoder, typically implemented as software running on a client computer.

The H.264 standard is comprised of multiple computational tasks, each with different computational load. The standard leaves it up to the encoder implementation to pick and choose which options are used and which are not, while maintaining full compliance with the standard. The trade-off is the stream size at a given video quality vs. the computational load in the encoder and/or the decoder. Some options contribute 1-3% to reducing the stream size while requiring an extra 50% computational load. Other options reduce the stream significantly, while requiring very little additional resources. In the encoder the extra load translates into a more expensive hardware implementation, in the decoder it translates into a higher computational load on the CPU. Moreover, within each of these options there are multiple sub-options that could vary the encoder cost and the corresponding decoder load dramatically.

We have carefully selected a subset of H.264 options and features that are important for security and surveillance applications, and then optimized their implementation on top of that, so that the cost of the encoder is very low, while the corresponding CPU load of the H.264 decoder is no higher than the MJPEG decoder load. In our own AV100 software [link no longer available] we use an off-the-shelf software decoder known as FFMPEG which produces a CPU load slightly lower than when decoding an MJPEG stream from the same camera at the same image resolution, same frame rate and same video quality. In addition, our new H.264 camera models stream at full frame rate and full resolution into QuickTime and VLC media players running on regular off-the-shelf computers."

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

Related Reports

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...
Proactive CCTV "Only Affordable Video Archiving Solution" Profile on Aug 12, 2019
Proactive CCTV is claiming to offer "the only affordable video archiving...
Video Surveillance History on May 06, 2020
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
'CCTV' Is the Past, Cloud Video Surveillance Is the Future on Jul 08, 2019
A fundamental shift is happening. For decades, video surveillance was...
AVTech ~$70 IP Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 04, 2019
Taiwanese manufacturer Avtech is taking direct aim at low cost leaders Dahua...
Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 03, 2019
Smart codecs are now nearly a standard feature in IP cameras, but our...
Siklu $400 Compact 60GHz Radio on Jul 24, 2019
Siklu first entered the video surveillance market with a $6,000 per link...
Uniview H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 08, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision, helped by fever camera sales, are recovering from...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support has improved significantly since its introduction, with H.265...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics 2020 on Sep 10, 2020
Running one's video system on a converged network with other devices can save...
Surveillance Storage 101 on Mar 23, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Hanwha Wisenet X Plus PTRZ Tested on Feb 14, 2020
Hanwha has released their PTRZ camera, the Wisenet X Plus XNV-6081Z, claiming...
HLC Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Mar 02, 2020
Highlight Compensation (HLC) claims to reduce the effects of strong light...
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...

Recent Reports

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...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
Verkada Disruptive Embedded Live Help on Sep 24, 2020
Call up your integrator? Have someone come by the next day? Verkada is...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
Norway Council of Ethics Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing" on Sep 23, 2020
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...