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Without any kind of compression in video streaming, the network can’t transmit the raw data. Also, because of large file sizes, storing data on limited capacity of hard drives isn’t feasible. This is exactly why we have to use compression, particularly in video surveillance systems. Video compression removes redundant video data, so the video file could be transmitted or stored effectively. Video submissions are encoded and decoded using a video codec method, in the container format, therefore the video quality isn’t degraded during the time of transferring within the network. We read the concept and a few various kinds of video codecs and video containers with their variations.

What’s video codec?

A codec is really a software accustomed to compress or decompress an electronic media apply for transmission more than a data network. Actually, a set of encoding and decoding algorithms that actually work together is known as a relevant video codec, to ensure that encoder uses these algorithms to effectively compress how big the recording file, after which decoder decompress it if needed. Some codecs include these two components yet others include one of these. Furthermore, codecs are split into two groups: lossless and lossy codec. In lossless codec all the details is stored within the original stream, thus the recording quality is preserved. However, in lossy codec because of using lower data bandwidth and missing a few of the original data to offer the best compression, the standard will disappear.

There are various standards of codec designed to use different technologies to encode and decode the recording file associated with intended application. Since video content that’s compressed one standard can’t be decompressed along with other standard, different implementation of video codecs are usually not suitable for one another. Because, one formula cannot properly decode the output from another formula.

However, applying a variety of algorithms within the same software or hardware can be done, so multiple formats could be compressed. Utilizing different ways of compressing data results in variant bitrate, quality and latency. Time it requires to compress, send, decompress and display personal files, known as latency.

How video compression might help video surveillance?

Video compression methods make use of a codec to lessen or eliminate unnecessary files or frames from video clips, with no significant degradation in final video. This will make the recording file smaller sized, so more video could be stored on NVR hard disk drives or files could be stored for extended amounts of time.

Because of large capacity of high definition video clips, video compression is really a valuable tool once the surveillance system has storage and bandwidth limitation. It’s worth mentioning that to attain preferred picture quality regardless of compression, the very best balance of picture quality and compression method ought to be found.

In IP video, encoding would be carried out by the IP camera encoder and also the decoding is generally done on the pc or device that is displaying the live video.

Compressing video results in file transferring over network without significant delay, leading to high-speed bandwith, that is particularly important in mobile viewing having a smartphone in video surveillance.

Various kinds of video codec:

Much like a digital picture camera, a network camera captures individual images and compresses them right into a format. Your camera captures and compresses individual images per second (fps), and then suggest them a continuing flow of images more than a network to some viewing station. In a frame rate of approximately 16 fps and above, the viewer will see full motion video. Since every individual image is really a complete compressed image, they’re going to have exactly the same quality, based on the compression level defined for that network camera. So, Video compression is conducted instantly by surveillance camera and selecting the compression level is a vital issue to offer the best video quality. Here, we study a number of video compression methods.


Motion JPEG (MJPEG) is really a video codec where each video field (frame) is individually compressed right into a JPEG image. As JPEG is really a compression approach to compress the pictures, MJPEG is definitely an formula to compress multiple frames of videos and send them as individual JPEG images. The resulting quality of videos is independent in the motion within the image, so quality isn’t decreased once the video contains plenty of movement.

Because of offering minimum latency in image processing and looking after picture quality during transmission over low bandwidth availability, MJPEG continues to be a functional compression format regardless of becoming an old lossy codec.


MPEG, meaning Moving Picture Experts Group, is among the greatest families in video codec and the most typical video format. Its algorithms compress data into small bits that may be easily transmitted after which decompressed. Since a number of data is going to be removed in MPEG, this process is really a lossy compression, however this defect is usually invisible towards the eye. The most typical kinds of MPEG include MPEG1 (utilized in producing VCD and also the download of some videos), MPEG2 (utilized in producing the DVD and in a few of the High definition tv and demand video editing), and MPEG4. MPEG4 transmits video and pictures more than a narrow bandwidth, and therefore it cuts down on the network bandwidth utilized by the surveillance system. Also, MPEG4 reduces the quantity of needed storage and increases how long that video could be stored, which will make it advantageous for video surveillance. However, MPEG4 can identify and cope with separate video and audio objects within the frame, which enables individual elements to become compressed more proficiently. Hence, it may mix video with text, graphics and a pair of-D and three-D animation layers.

It’s also important to indicate that, because of utilizing video sequencing compression which transports just the alterations in the succession, MPEG uses less network bandwidth and storage than MJPEG. However, the standard frequently decreased high plenty of movement obtainable in video, it’s a drawback to MPEG.


DivX because the popular MPEG4 based codec produced by DivX, Corporation, enables user to experience and make top quality videos inside a fast way and the highest quality. DivX can compress a Dvd and blu-ray to suit on the CD, and DivX HD can help to eliminate an HD movie to suit on the DVD.


It’s an free form of DivX, so videos which encoded by XviD could be decoded by all MPEG4 compatible decoder. The XviD codec can compress a complete length DVD quality movie to suit on one CD, while original picture quality continues to be stored. It’s employed for compressing video data to be able to facilitate video data transferring and storage step up from hard drives.


H.264 may be the newest and many efficient compression method particularly in video surveillance. Fraxel treatments evaluates small categories of frames together like a series to get rid of duplicate content in every frame without altering. Low bandwidth usage, reduced storage needs, greater resolution and quality images let the security surveillance applications to make use of H.264 codec.

Why H.264 video compression is suggested in video surveillance?

To identify the brilliance of 1 compression format to a different, some factors should be considered for example bandwidth consumption, storage requirement, latency and picture quality.

The most popular video compression standards are MJPEG, MPEG4, and H.264, although some options that come with H.264 allow it to be popular in video home security systems.

H.264 video compression standard provides roughly two times the compression from the previous MPEG4 standard for the similar video quality.

The bitrate may be the final amount of bits which transferred between two devices. The bitrate of the IP camera directly affects all the data which could transfer over network at any time (bandwidth). If surveillance system uses more bandwidth than available, video feeds will lost. So, by reduction of the bitrate more data could be transmitted and also the transmission rate is going to be elevated. H.264 provides low bitrate for decrease in bandwidth usage, 80% less than MJPEG video and 30-50% less than MPEG4. The low bitrate is preferred for security applications which require fast frame rate for example casino, traffic monitoring, object counting (for example vehicles, people), etc.

However, in video surveillance system all the storage capacity signifies the number of recorded days could be retained, so the quantity of needed storage for recording needs to be considered. Low bitrate cuts down on the file sizes being stored, to ensure that using H.264 will give you 30-80% total conserving space for storage when compared with conventional compression formats. Therefore, the upkeep period for recorded archive is going to be elevated.

Low latency is really a requirement of video surveillance, because images should appear instantly in surveillance monitoring. H.264 provides low latency, which means this compression technique is needed in video surveillance. Also, picture quality is a vital factor for just about any video surveillance system together with savings in bandwidth and space for storage, therefore the efficient compression method ought to provide high video resolution. Hd video encoding by H.264 enables the IP camera to capture details and offers top quality images that makes it a perfect video codec for mission critical video surveillance.

H.264 provides strategies to create better video encoders, leading to greater quality video streams, greater frame rate and greater resolution at lower bit rate in contrast to other video codecs.

Technically, H.264 introduces a brand new and advanced intra conjecture plan that’s a major factor of their efficiency in video surveillance. The brand new intra conjecture can be used to encode I-frames (the very first image inside a video sequence is definitely an I-frame) which greatly cuts down on the bit size an I-frame and maintains top quality through consecutive conjecture of smaller sized blocks of pixels within each macro block inside a frame.

Reducing data when there’s lots of motion inside a video is other essential aspect in video compression methods. This needs techniques for example block based motion compensation, which divides a frame right into a series or macro block. This method continues to be improved in H.264 encoder, confirming its efficiency in crowded surveillance scenes in which the top quality is required. Additionally a certain filter utilized in H.264, smoothes block edge utilizing an adaptive strength to attain a nearly great decompressed video.

Variations between H.264 and H.265:

H.265 or HEVC (High Quality Video Coding) as generation x of H.264, is really a video compression standard which delivers video quality just like H.264 at just half the bitrate, and therefore the bandwidth usage is split in two. Interest in better compression, greater picture quality and bandwidth saving results in H.264 transition to H.265 compression.

What’s video container (file) format?

Container format is a kind of extendable which contains various kind of data compressed by different codecs. Video container format contains various aspects of a relevant video like the stream of images, the seem, and other things.

There are various kinds of video extendable that are described within this section briefly.

AVI format (.avi):

AVI which means Av Interleaved, like a multimedia container format stores data that may be encoded in many different codecs and may contain both video and audio data. The potential of selecting codec for AVI container, can acquire the high rate compression as the advantage of AVI format. However, like a disadvantage, if AVI files compress under certain limits, the recording quality is going to be lost.

MP4 format (.mp4):

The MP4 container uses MPEG4 or H.264 for video encoding, in addition to AAC for audio compression. It’s broadly supported of all consumer devices, and the most typical container employed for audio and visual streams online.

MKV format (.mkv):

MKV is really a container that supports any audio or video format, therefore it is among the best container to keep video and audio files. Plus it supports error recovery property, and therefore playing back corrupted files is achievable. Hence, MKV is definitely an adaptable and efficient container which has rapidly grew to become among the best containers presently available.

WMV format (.wmv):

WMV means Home windows Media Video which files frequently contain Home windows Media Video and Home windows Media Audio. WMV contains files which support digital legal rights management, stopping users from copying the data. The benefit of this format is it can compress large video clips by retaining significantly top quality.

Flash video format (.flv,.swf):

FLV is really a extendable utilized by Flash Player to keep and deliver synchronized video and audio streams on the internet. The benefit of this format is its small size, so it may be easily viewed or downloaded. There’s two different video file formats referred to as Flash Video: FLV and F4V. The newest FLV file formats supports H.264 video encoding and AAC audio coding.

ASF format (.asf):

The Advanced System Format (ASF) was formerly referred to as advanced streaming format or active streaming format designed mainly to keep and play digital media streams and transmit on them systems, therefore it supports bandwith over an array of systems and protocols. ASF files support playback from digital media serves, HTTP servers, and storage devices. It’s not O.S dependent.

Among the benefit of ASF format is the fact that playing the recording is achievable prior to it being streamed towards the finish, allowing the consumer to playback and examine the file when some bytes happen to be downloaded and also the file is constantly on the download as you’re watching, that makes it well suited for internet use. (Like YouTube)

Although ASF doesn’t define the way the video or audio ought to be encoded using the codec, it defines the dwelling from the audio and video stream. ASF container frequently contains Home windows Media Audio (WMA) and Home windows Media Video (WMV) files which may be compressed using a number of video codecs. However, the very best compression is achieved Through the Microsoft Home windows Media Audio codec. Also ASF file can contain data type like text streams, script command, web site, title album (for seem track) additionally to audio and video stream types.

The drawback to ASF format is the fact that as it is designed mainly for streaming abilities, the utmost resolution is small at 352×288.

This format continues to be substituted with WMA and WMV files.

Variations between video codec and video container format:

Codecs and containers aren’t equivalent. Video extendable defines the way the information is stored combined with the video and audio data. It doesn’t define the compression approach to data, while codec performs encoding and decoding the audio and video streams inside a video file. Quite simply, data that’s been compressed using a particular codec is situated within the container. Good container formats are designed for files compressed by a number of different codecs. Sometimes container and codec have a similar name, for instance, personal files format for example Home windows Media Audio (WMA) contains data that’s compressed using the Home windows Media Audio codec. However, personal files format for example Av Interleaved (AVI) can contain data that’s compressed by of a variety of codecs, including MPEG-2, DivX, or XviD codecs.


Surveillance systems ought to be designed round the available storage capacity or bandwidth allowance. Lowering the storage requirement or being able to lower the bitrate while keeping high definition would be the important issues of these systems. Video compression methods enables encoding video streams to deliver within the network and decoding the streams to see without significant degradation in quality. Video compression is accomplished by removing unnecessary areas of the image and lowering the color resolution.

Among different video codecs, Motion JPEG provides good compression rate and quality, but H.264 presents an invaluable advance in video compression technology because of better conjecture abilities. H.264 has become probably the most prevalent compression method in network camera because of significant enhancements in coding efficiency, latency, complexity and sturdiness. It delivers a typical bit rate decrease in 50% when compared with older video codec standards, and therefore greater quality is achieved in the maintained bitrate or on the other hand, exactly the same quality video in a lower bitrate.

However, the marketplace requirement for better picture quality, greater frame rates and greater resolutions with minimized bandwidth consumption results in the arrival of H.265 as generation x of H.264. It achieves greater resolution at just the 1 / 2 of H.264 bitrate, leading to bandwidth saving.

Finally, it ought to explain that today video network items that support several compression format especially H.264 and H.265 are perfect to attain maximum versatility and efficiency.

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