Zooming In on Game-Changing Video Surveillance Technologies

Take a look at the new 4K and 8K Ultra HD standards, the migration of IPv6 from IPv4 and other advances in video surveillance technology.

According to CDW’s 2013 reference guide on cloud computing: “A cloud can be public, whereby many different organizations share computing resources. A cloud can also be private, in which cloud resources are dedicated to a single organization and run either in its datacenter or that of a service provider. A final option is a hybrid cloud, which is a combination of shared and dedicated cloud resources. Increasingly, organizations are exploring hybrid cloud options to enjoy the best of both worlds.”

There are those who truly believe that cloud storage represents the next boon for those within security who are smart enough to see it. For additional information, see the blog, “How Security Integrators Can Get Ahead in the Cloud.

Progression of Image Compression

Video compression and the standards that go with them are important to security professionals and their clients for several reasons. First, the development of video compression standards assures interoperability where video data is recorded and later displayed on dissimilar systems. Secondly, an effective, tighter compression algorithm, such as H.264, including the recently-developed H.265, reduces redundant data, thus assuring uniform and rapid transmission over a network connection. And thirdly, better compression ensures that more video data can be stored on hard drives and storage discs than has previously been available.

RELATED: 19 IP Video Installation Pointers

Since 2003, the industry has experienced great success with the H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) compression algorithm and as the new H.265 looms largely in our future the older H.264 continues to see widespread use among video surveillance equipment manufacturers.

“A very mature technology, AVC [H.264] has been saving bandwidth and storage through the valued integration with software solution providers and their provided video management systems,” says Steve Surfaro, Axis Communications industry liaison. He adds that H.265, also referred to as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), “offers variable blocks that can handle up to 64 X 64 pixels, changing the size according to texture, while the previous generation H.264 standard relied on a macro-block size of a maximum of 16 X 16 pixels. This larger block size allows HEVC to achieve higher compression or higher resolution and improve parallel processing efficiency compared to H.264.”

H.265, which was instituted by the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG – ITU-T SG16 Q.6), offers a 30%-40% reduction in bit rate at the same image resolution as H.264. And yet, as previously mentioned, H.264 continues to receive widespread use. “The new H.265 is a stronger encoding algorithm that produces less bandwidth for the same video images using H.264. At the same time there are good reasons why H.265 has been slow to take off,” says Erick Ceresato, product marketing manager with Genetec.

The concern is that camera and VMS vendors have not completely adopted H.265 throughout their product lines, so there will be limitations. While the use of H.265 will reduce bandwidth utilization, it also leads to more complex decoding requiring greater CPU/GPU power, which can cause additional expense to update computing hardware, Ceresato says.

“Since most H.264 compression and decompression routines use hard-ware chips in order to keep up with the high resolutions, it’s very expensive to jump to a new technology,” says Digital Watchdog CTO Ian Johnston. “The expression that comes to mind is, ‘Where there’s a wallet there’s a way.’ Right now there’s just no [financial] incentive for the consumer industry to make the jump to H.265. Cable modems and Internet service providers can keep up using H.264, especially with the content providers literally using trucks to get the mammoth amount of data to the edge.”

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