Coming to Terms With Digital Video Quality and Compression

Where are you when it comes to understanding the terminology and most useful techniques for digital CCTV recorders? Are you confident about your base of knowledge? If so, congratulations. If not, you’re part of a very large majority.

The first concept you need to learn about is the difference between digital video recorders (DVR) and digital video storage systems (DVSS). DVRs are designed to record a limited amount of information, while a DVSS is set up to store a large amount of digital video.

A good way to learn about the differences in digital video devices is to sit down with a specification sheet for a digital video recorder and begin to understand the terminology.  Once you have learned what terms like NTSC/PAL inputs, Wavelet compression, and 300MHz MMX processor mean, you will be better equipped to jump into the digital world.

Once you commit to digital recording, knowing the limits of image quality and the types of compression format are the key to getting usable video. Digital storage space can be used up rapidly if you don’t use a compression format.

There are many compression formats on the market currently, and no one has taken hold yet. Studying the differences among formats, such as JPEG, Wavelet and MPEG, can help you decide which best fits your application.

Grasping the Differences Between DVR and DVSS

Let’s start by looking at the simple differences between a DVR and a DVSS. The primary difference between a DVR and a DVSS is the informational capacity. A DVR is a device that is designed to record limited information.

Knowing the Terminology of Digital CCTV Is Crucial

Take a look at a DVR specification sheet. It is important to walk through the items listed, discuss what they mean and understand how each may apply to the applications you install.

Compression Formats Can Affect Image Quality

One of the items on this specification sheet described the type of image compression format it uses. Most images that are recorded digitally take up a lot of memory. The best way to minimize this memory usage is to use one of the various compression formats to shrink the amount of memory it takes to store an image.

Which Compression Format Is Best for You?

This is where the various compression formats come into play, as well as the design functions of the digital video recorder. Each format has a slight variation on the type or style of information that it stores or records. The net result of using digital video recorders is a compromise. You must design your application around limited information based upon time and/or quality.

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