Sep 2023

Understanding Bandwidth Management for better CCTV Surveillance

In the field of CCTV Surveillance and security, understanding the evolving challenges due to bandwidth issues is very critical. CCTV Surveillance Cameras require large amounts of bandwidth to transfer the video feed to DVR/NVR or Cloud. In almost all application case scenarios network bandwidth remains one of the most important factors. It is imperative to resolve the bandwidth issues.

Planning the bandwidth and Storage requirements of CCTV cameras is as important factor as the decisions about camera placements on any project site. This is because if the network is limited by the amount of traffic it can hamper the data delivery to destination. It clearly means that there are serious bandwidth issues in the network, A Video Surveillance System or Device that does not have an adequate amount of bandwidth will take more time and have more issues while sending through the video footage.

There is a direct relation between bandwidth and footage quality. The amount of bandwidth a CCTV system uses correlates to the overall quality of its video output. A higher quality video output requires more bandwidth which, in turn, requires more storage space.

Bandwidth Issues Impact Video Quality

Bandwidth issues pose serious network connectivity issues and result in bad quality video recording feed with freeze and drop out, poor resolution and chances are there that it may defeat the purpose for which CCTV surveillance cameras were deployed at a particular site.

The amount of bandwidth needed for a CCTV camera directly relates to the camera’s video quality. Generally, the higher the quality, the higher the bandwidth and need for storage space.

Different Bandwidth for Different Cameras

Bandwidth requirement keep on varying as per the camera specifications, it is not the same for every camera or solution requirements. Each CCTV surveillance camera has its own bandwidth demands. It solely depends on their resolution and other functionalities like Video Content Analysis (VCA), Edge Storage, VCA, AI Applications, etc.

IP versus Analog in Bandwidth Consumption

It is very crucial to understand the basic differences between the setups of IP Cameras and Analog Cameras in the context of bandwidth consumption. IP and Analog Video surveillance systems not only have different types of setups, but they also differ in bandwidth requirements. Analog cameras typically do not consume bandwidth because they are directly connected to the recorders themselves. In that case, only their recorder would consume bandwidth. IP cameras are connected to their IP network, they need to transmit data to the recorder and therefore consume network bandwidth.

Bandwidth Requirement

The answer to bandwidth requirement for CCTV surveillance lies in the elaborate bandwidth calculations. While designing a new CCTV Surveillance project or upgrading the existing surveillance solution, it’s important to make sure that system has enough bandwidth to function properly. Calculating the perfect bandwidth requirements will help to make the right decision.

Video Compression Technology

The video compression technology has been a great enabler for the security industry. With help of video compression technology, and the bandwidth requirement starts getting manageable. The popular video compression standards are MJPEG, MPEG4, and H.264. It is important to note that bandwidth reduction of anywhere between 80 – 99.5% is possible through the use of video compression technology.

All video compression standards work on the Constant Bit Rate (CBR) process, with minor variations. The level of compression possible is dependent on the video quality acceptable to the viewer; with a Bit-Rate figure encapsulating the bandwidth requirement for a given quality of video stream. The higher the Bit Rate, the better the quality of the video stream.

Now consider a scenario in which there are multiple cameras spread out across a few buildings but only one recorder. These IP cameras would consume significant bandwidth unless you had a recorder in each building for its respective cameras. This is because the recorders themselves act as a buffer to reduce the bandwidth demand.

In today’s age when video surveillance industry is going through a big transition due to AI enabled Applications, AIoT Solutions. The bandwidth requirements are growing to unprecedented levels. The IP Networks are evolving further with multi-casting, multi-streaming and video compression innovations.

Smart Bandwidth Management Helps

As Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) continue to improve the capabilities of Video Security cameras, the amount of video data feed travelling on a network is growing exponentially. Bandwidth continues to be a key consideration in effective video surveillance video feed monitoring and management. One has to ensure that the bandwidth calculations are matching with the video data feed recording requirements. The smart and efficient bandwidth management in any CCTV Surveillance project can lead to considerable saving and tangible gains in terms of time, money and human resources.

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