Bandwidth Battle

As surveillance solutions ride on the network, systems integrators need to make sure their consumption is realistic and planned


The successor to H.264 is under way now, High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), being developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) along with other groups so that the evolution will be linear from MPEG-4, through H.264 into HEVC when the standard is developed in summer 2012. HEVC's early estimates describe a further reduction by up to one-half of the same image from the H.264 standard. Yet there is no need to abandon H.264 because of newer technology since H.264 demonstrates the highest quality at the lowest cost to the network. When the new standard is written, it will be some time before it's wide acceptance and the new compression algorithm is implemented by manufacturers in products.

Better compression across the board is necessary as the deployment of HD cameras continues. HD cameras can take up to one-third more storage space than their H.264 counterparts and their deployment may currently be limited to only a few high-risk areas per system, which will require everything in the system to perform better.

The key to all of this-using network bandwidth responsibly, recording good quality video and making it all work together-is understanding all of the options available.

Monte Carlo Statistical Analysis

Monte Carlo methods are a class of computational algorithms that rely on repeated random sampling to compute results. They are often used in simulating physical and mathematical systems. Because of their reliance on repeated computation of random or pseudo-random numbers, these methods are most suited to calculation by a computer and tend to be used when it is unfeasible or impossible to compute an exact result with a deterministic algorithm.

Monte Carlo methods are useful for modeling phenomena with significant uncertainty in inputs, such as motion in a surveillance scene. Utilizing the Monte Carlo method, the Infinova Analysis Tool gives security integrators and managers a step-by-step process to estimate the requirements for an entire solution that takes into account variations in motion in the scene and levels of activity on different days. The tool makes a random selection of the level of motion between the tolerances and repeats this process multiple times. The more times the selection is made, the more accurate the cumulative result.-Mark S. Wilson, vice president of Marketing, Infinova, Monmouth Junction, N.J.

Calculate Your Bandwidth Consumption

Many vendors offer bandwidth/storage measurement calculators. These tools can also, if applied properly, ensure a network never becomes overloaded during or after the design of an IP surveillance system. Here are several vendors with tools:

- Arecont Vision's bandwidth calculator:
http://www.arecontvision.com/sales-tools.html

- Theia Technologies' calculator for comparing different lenses:
http://www.theiatech.com/calculator.html

- IQinVision's storage calculator:
http://www.iqeye.com/storage-calculator.html

- Axis Communications' Design Tool:
http://www.axis.com/products/video/design_tool/

- Panasonic Systems Network Co.:
http://panasonic.net/pcc/support/netwkcam/technic/calculator/index.html

Paul S. Nowak, CISSP, is the CEO of Systems and Technology Consulting, a Philadelphia-based IT and Physical Security technology company.