Security camera video compression is performed through a video codec that works on one or more compression algorithms. The process of the security camera video compression involves applying an algorithm to the source video to create a compressed file that is ready for transmission or storage. To play the compressed file, an inverse algorithm is applied to produce a video that shows virtually the same content as the original source video. The time it takes to compress, send, decompress and display a file is called latency. The more advanced the compression algorithm, the higher the latency.
Once a security camera video is compressed, its original format is changed into a different format (depending on the codec used). A pair of algorithms that works together is called a video codec (encoder/decoder). Video codecs of different standards are normally not compatible with each other; that is, video content that is compressed using one standard cannot be decompressed with a different standard. The video player must support that video format or be integrated with the compressing codec to play the video file.
When your security camera system has bandwidth and storage limitations, a security camera video compression is a valuable tool because the compressed video files will take up less space, allowing you to store more videos or keep the files for longer periods of time. However, if your video is compressed too much the image quality can be compromised. For this reason, it is very important to choose the right security camera video compression technology, in order to have the best balance possible between the video compression and the image quality.
There are two types of codecs – lossy and lossless. In lossless security camera video compression no pixels are changed, so the image looks exactly the same after decompression as before it. With lossless security camera video compression, every single bit of data that was originally in the file remains after the file is uncompressed. Though lossless security camera video compression is adequate for video compression, its major disadvantage is that it doesn’t reduce the data by very much. Most video compression is based on the lossy security camera video compression format, which compresses data in such a way that it loses some of the original data but achieves much smaller file sizes while still retrieving a pretty clear image.
Different security camera video compression standards reduce data by different means, and hence, results differ in bit rate, quality and latency. Video compression is an important tool to help prevent network traffic from becoming saturated. What are the most popular security camera video compression standard or compression schemes? There are three major security camera video compression worldwide standards:
H.264 is another name given to MPEG-4 Part 10, also known as AVC (Advanced Video Coding). H.264 security camera video compression is the newest and most efficient security camera video compression codec and it works by taking small groups of frames and evaluating them together as a series to eliminate duplicate content that appears in each frame without changing. H.264 offers higher compression rates and requires much less storage space than MPEG-4 and M-JPEG.
M-JPEG is the compilation of separately compressed JPEGs in a sequence thus creating a video. It focuses on the quality of the image, rather than the quantity, i.e. less frames per second and priority is given to image resolution. This security camera video compression is appropriate for megapixel and many other security cameras are supported. Some advantages of M-JPEG include better decompression on the computer, better live viewing and great image quality (consistently). M-JPEG is also unlicensed, making it free for the user and viewer. Another aspect that makes M-JPEG good is its robustness, if one frame is dropped, then it does not affect the video.
MPEG-4 uses techniques similar to M-JPEG, as far as putting pictures in a sequence. It essentially compares two compressed images, saves the picture, and it saves only the difference from each additional sequential image, such as movement, thus saving time, memory space and processing power. A higher compression rate is amongst the advantages of MPEG-4. It can sync audio and video and is great for real-time viewing. MPEG-4 was designed to support low-bandwidth applications.
Security camera video compression technologies such as Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 and H.264 allow users to transmit and record high-quality security videos without consuming as much bandwidth. Even though the security camera video compression industry is fairy mature, one can still expect to see even better Security camera video compression techniques and standards, such as the new H.265 standard, that will bring us better images transmission at even lower bandwidth consumption rates. Would like to learn more about H.264 vs H.265? Contact Dicsan Technology to learn more about how you can benefit from security camera video compression. Contact us
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