Reducing Storage Cost Through Bit Rate Control

Posted 3 years 90 days ago ago by Jake Thomas

What if you could save on your video storage requirements without having to sacrifice video quality? When it comes to video storage, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a choice between one or the other. In a consideration of Axis Zipstream and Hikvision H.264+ Advanced Video Coding (AVC) technologies, we take a look at the offerings of both and what it can mean for surveillance customers.

Massive video data requires increased storage capacity, which represents a significant portion of the cost of any surveillance system. As Axis references in an industry white paper, studies of total cost of ownership indicate storage can constitute 20-25 percent of an initial investment. Hikvision notes in one of their white papers, that the popularity of higher definition video, bit rates and resolutions has created a demand for higher-capacity devices. This has, in turn, resulted in increased system costs. To address this problem, both Axis and Hikvision have developed a method to significantly reduce storage requirements and the associated cost without sacrificing image quality.

Building on the video compression standard of H.264, both Axis and Hikvision offer a more efficient implementation that lowers bandwidth and storage requirements. Axis Zipstream technology, announced in March 2015, reduces storage requirements by an average of 50 percent or more and is included in supported Axis cameras free of charge. A more efficient use of H.264, Zipstream is backwards compatible with any Video Management System (VMS) and can switch over to H.265 when that becomes available. The technology works by reducing the bit rate of recorded video, and depending on the light and movement conditions of a scene, can reduce up to 90 percent. Zipstream also offers storage options of an onboard SD card, network-attached storage (NAS) device, redundant array of independent disks (RAID), or cloud storage.

Meanwhile, Hikvision’s H.264+ optimizes compression beyond the H.264 through predictive encoding, noise suppression and long-term bit rate control. In surveillance environments with few moving objects, the technology can reduce storage space up to 75 percent. Conversely, in scenes with a lot of movement all the time, H.264+ can save users up to 50 percent on their storage requirements. Hikvision states their H.264+ technology is fully compliant with the industry standard and is compatible with most hardware and software supporting H.264/AC without additional plug-ins.

As for the customer, both options offer an improved method of storing video data without necessarily having to significantly alter their current storage infrastructure. Both solutions are compatible with storage devices and software that use the H.264 standard, such as Blu-ray Discs and Adobe Flash Player. In effect, saving on bandwidth and storage can mean saving money. Also, the reduction in bandwidth and bit rate doesn’t necessarily mean giving up high-definition video quality. Details like license plate numbers, facial features, etc., are preserved with high forensic quality in either case, offering those in the surveillance market two uncompromising choices.

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