Video Compression & the Art of Surveillance by ProQuest


H.264 can save bandwidth and storage by compressing even the highest megapixel images to manageable sizes. However, more advanced processing is required to compress the video. In the beginning this need for additional computing power complicated the adoption of H.2 64. Many companies have developed dedicated H.264 compression chipsets that handle the "heavy lifting" for the device that uses them.

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									TECH TIPS
                                                                        By Jake Lahmann

Video Compression &
the Art of Surveillance
                   VIDEO COMPRESSION MAKES it possible              companies have developed dedicated H.264
                to reduce the size of digital video files while     compression chipsets that handle the “heavy
                maintaining a useful level of image quality, thus   lifting” for the device that uses them. This has
                allowing for efficient management of file sizes     positioned H.264 as the standard to deliver the
                and bandwidth requirements. But not all com-        perfect balance of low bandwidth, high quality
                pression standards are created equal. The new       images and high frame rates. In fact, H.264 com-
                H.264 standard is rewriting the rules of what's     pression technology works so well that many
                possible in today’s world of video compression      big companies outside the security industry are
                and streaming network transmission.                 quickly implementing the compression technol-
                   Compression is a tool to manage video data       ogy, including Apple, Intel, Blu-ray, Sony and
                and minimize bandwidth/storage needs. Some          some satellite providers.
                                           of the more histori-        Because H.264 provides superb compression,
                                           cally popular stan-      in most security applications it more than dou-
                                           dards for video com-     bles the record times compared to previously
                                           pression include:        popular compression methods. Here is a com-
                                             Motion JPEG            parison of H.264 to other compression technolo-
                                           (MJPEG) compression      gies, using a 160GB hard drive, recording video
                                           requires each indi-      at 30 frames per second, at a resolution setting
                                           vidual video frame       of 720 x 480:
                                           encoded as a separate       • H.264 records 77 hours
                                           image. However, the         • MPEG-4 records 44 hours
                                           video takes up too          • JPEG2000 records 13 hours
                                           much bandwidth to           The ability to record longer on the
                                           be practical for most    same-sized hard drive can save your cus-
Compression i
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