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Megapixel IP Camera for Traffic Monitoring

Simple guide of IP camera bitrate setting

Different from analog surveillance system, IP camera system requires user to have sufficient network bandwidth for video file transmission. The data rate for a video file is the bitrate. So a data rate specification for video content that runs at 1 megabyte per second would be given as a bitrate of 8 megabits per second (8 mbps). Generally, higher bitrate means higher image quality, but since there is limitation for available network bandwidth and storage capacity for IP surveillance camera, a careful selection of bitrate and file zie is required for a balance between video quality and network bandwidth, as well as storage capacity.

In this article, we recommend bitrate and file size setting based on variant conditions and you are encouraged to choose the suitable one according to frame rate and resolution settings for getting the optimal result. 

The data recommended in this document is for one stream condition. If you want to estimate the bandwidth for multiple streams, please create a new specification for each one. Please refer to the camera UI for available settings while you are selecting resolution and frame rate to determine the suitable bitrate.

Bit rate recommendation for IP cameras (Kbps)

Technology Resolution 30FPS 20FPS 15FPS 10FPS 5FPS 3FPS 1FPS
H.264/MPEG4 640x360 1500 1500 1000 1000 500 500 500
640x480(VGA) 1500 1500 1000 1000 500 500 500
720x480(D1)  1500 1500 1000 1000 500 500 500
800x450  2000 1500 1000 1000 500 500 500
1280x720(720P)  2000 2000 2000 1000 1000 500 500
1280x800(WXGA)  3000 3000 2000 2000 1000 500 500
1280x1024  3000 3000 3000 2000 1000 500 500
1920x1080(1080P)  4000 4000 3000 2000 1000 500 500
2048x1536(QXGA)  N/A 4000 2500 2500 2000 1500 500
2592x1944(5M)  N/A N/A N/A 3000 3000 2000 1000

Suggestion in above table for H.264 (MPEG4) is to balance the video quality and bit rate for one channel in daylight condition. If you concern about network bandwidth or PC performance for a multi-channel scenario, please lower both frame rate and bit rate.

For network speed dome cameras with continuous pan rotation, it is recommended to increase the bit rate by extra 50% for such high speed condition. 

D1 Frame Size Assumption (Kb)

Assumption of MJPEG frame size in this table is based on a specific activity scene type. For resolution other than D1, the frame size per resolution can be calculated by multiplying a factor proportional to the resolution difference with D1. MJPEG file is created frame by frame. Frame size may vary widely if the scene complexity changes.

Codec Quality Simple Normal Complex
MJPEG Low 130 200 270
Medium 180 250 300
High 200 280 320

What's Comparing Constant Bitrate (CBR)?

Constant bitrate (CBR) encoding maintains a set bitrate over the entire video clip, but limits the image quality in most cases—especially for complex video segments. CBR is often not an optimal choice for streaming since it does not allocate enough data for the complex segments: this results in lower quality overall and unused capacity on the simple segments. Therefore, we recommend you avoid using CBR unless you have a specific requirement.

What's Variable Bitrate (VBR)?

VBR is our default processing mode and will typically produce significantly higher quality at similar bitrates. The primary benefit of VBR encoding is that it allocates a higher bitrate to the more complex segments of media files and lower bitrates to the simple segments. Adding up the bitrates and dividing by the duration (in seconds) gives the average bitrate for the file. This average bitrate usually compares favorably with the equivalent CBR bitrate. Although VBR encoding requires more processing time, for most content it produces superior visual quality.

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