Posts Tagged ‘ megapixel ’

Frame Rate vs Resolution in Security Cameras – What’s More Important?

Written By:
Monday, July 27th, 2015


Frame Rate vs Resolution? Which is more important when it comes to the best recording with security cameras? This is one of the questions that I am asked the most at Techpro Security Products. It is an important question to ask at the time the purchase is made, but it’s also important to understand the answer when you are setting up the DVR or NVR to record in the manner that you want. This is true at both of these points in time for the same reason. It’s going to affect the quality of the recorded video and how much hard drive space you need to have installed in the recording device. There are actually two other factors that will affect the video quality which we’ll take a look at in this article as well: compression and the bit rate.

In the security camera world, the video quality produced and recorded by your system is very important. It can make the difference in your recorded footage being able to help law enforcement to catch those responsible for criminal activity or not. If your surveillance video doesn’t provide enough detail to recognize a person or vehicle, then it’s not going to be nearly as useful to investigators.

Resolution –

The resolution ratings for a camera or recording device are a measurement of the vertical and horizontal pixels which the device is able to process. The more pixels in an image, the higher the level of detail that will be displayed and/or recorded. The native size of each frame also increases in size as the resolution goes up and it will be possible to zoom in on the image to a greater degree without pixilation or loss of detail occurring. This means that not only will a camera offering megapixel video give you a much higher level of detail, but you will also be able to zoom in further.

The security cameras that we carry today are rated for resolutions ranging between 520 TVL (with an analog system) up to 2 Megapixels (with an HD-CVI system) or up to 8MP (with an IP camera system). No matter which type of system you choose for your application, you will be able to operate them at a lower resolution through the settings available in the recording device or the camera itself. The resolution that your security camera system is capable of processing is the basis for the video quality you will get but the following elements heavily influence the final picture quality:

Frame Rate –

All video is really a series of pictures or frames, just like the old flip books. As a general rule, the video’s animation will be smoother when you’re viewing more frames per second. This concept is the same as if you were to flip through a flip book at greater speed. Our DVR’s and NVRs give you the ability to customize how many frames per second are being written to the hard drive with the majority of resolutions which are available in the security camera industry today. The maximum frames per second is limited with higher resolution cameras (3 megapixels cameras and those with higher resolutions), but cameras of this type more than make of for it with incredibly high picture quality. This limitation exists because of the increased data required for these higher resolution cameras.

Compression –

Transmitting surveillance camera video requires a significant amount of data to be handled. The higher the quality of the video being transmitted means that much more data has to be processed. Without compressing this video, it really would not be possible for a security camera system to offer megapixel quality video. H.264 is the best type of video compression that is available today, although there are other types which are being researched currently and may be available down the road.

Generally, this type of compression sends a complete picture as one of the frames (referred to as an iframe), then in the next few frames it will only send the data for the portion of the frame that has changed. This allows the system to not have to resend the redundant portions of the picture again. This drastically reduces the amount of data that needs to be handled by the system’s processor.

The issue with this in relation to the video quality produced is that if you choose different types of video compression, or adjust how often the iframes occur, it can severely affect the picture quality that you get. Our DVRs and some cameras give you these configuration options in order to provide the high level of customization that will allow you to set up your security camera system to meet your needs in the best possible manner. It is a very good idea to contact our technical service department before making any changes to this portion of the settings menu.

Bit Rate –

This setting allows you set a limit on the amount of data transmission that each camera can use every second. The more data that is used by each camera means that it will be able to give you higher video quality, but it will take up more hard drive space. Since all of the DVRs and NVRs that Techpro Security Products carries are designed to overwrite the oldest footage once the storage space fills up, this is important. If you have the bit rates for your cameras set high enough so that they give the best video possible, it’s going to use up your hard drive space faster and cause it to be over written sooner.

It’s certainly understandable to want the best video quality possible but you need to understand everything that goes into that quality and make sure that your system is designed to meet your other needs. For example, this may be accomplished by installing additional hard drive space in order to get your surveillance system to hold the number of days of recorded footage that you want. Our sales team can make sure that the system is designed to meet your desires and needs. Our tech support team can also help you to make sure that everything is configured correctly on site, which is part of Tech Pro’s free service.

For a more detailed and visual look on resolutions, check out our resolution comparison page which included some side by side video comparisons.


The Differences Between Megapixel IP Security Cameras and HD-SDI

Written By:
Friday, February 28th, 2014

Megapixel VS HD-SDI

What is the difference between Megapixel and HD-SDI Security Camera Systems? We get many calls on a daily basis with customers asking whether or not they should choose one over the other. There are good and bad things about both. You should be aware that even though both systems can record at megapixel resolution, there are vast differences about both systems that you may want to consider before making your choice.

You will find many different debates between both surveillance systems. The easiest way to choose which system is best for your application is to take a look at these differences below:

  1. Megapixel cameras are capable of recording on their own. They generally have all of the same features that you would find in the rest of our Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) and Network Video Recorders (NVR’s). You will be able to set up one IP camera on its own, or set up a few of them without ever needing an NVR to record its footage. A lot of megapixel IP cameras these days have the ability to record onto a micro SD card. It will save you some money if you’re looking to set up a surveillance system on a budget. However, you’ll ask yourself, so why would anyone ever need an NVR? That’s because in some application, you’ll need more storage space. If you set up the cameras on their own, you’re going to be limited to the amount you can record on a micro SD card. In turn, you’ll only have the capabilities to go back and view a couple of days of recorded footage as opposed to a couple of months. Also, NVR’s are generally going to act as a central hub for all of the cameras where recording each one on their own will make it harder for you if you’re looking to view all of the cameras at once. With an HD-SDI system, you’ll only be able to record the cameras if you’re using some sort of digital recording software or hardware.
  2. With an HD-SDI surveillance system, you’re going to need to have all HD-SDI technology. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use your current DVR with HD-SDI cameras. They transmit a different signal through the wires.
  3. Even though you may not be able to use your current DVR you will be able to keep your analog system wiring. This is a huge benefit for anyone who cannot re-wire their home or business. There are some situations where wires have been installed during the construction of a building and running new lines are near impossible without doing damage to the structure. In this case, it would be best to leave the wiring alone and upgrade your analog security system to an HD-SDI DVR and set of cameras. You’ll then be able to get the benefit of recording at megapixel resolution instead of being limited to D1.
  4. Even though it’s usually not really noticeable, megapixel systems have a bit of latency. Latency is also known as lag. If you’re viewing your video in real time, you may have a situation where you need to view the video exactly as its happening. Depending on how the network is set up, you may have a bit of latency (sometimes one second or more) and having an HD-SDI system will usually solve this issue when directly connected. You are then bypassing any network issues and recording the signal directly to and from the system without the inconsistencies of data packets being delayed.
  5. Many people purchasing a new system have a limited budget to purchase their security system with. HD-SDI generally ends up costing more money than a megapixel IP system. The chip needed to process the video in an HD-SDI system is generally more expensive than the ones manufactured for megapixel. Price has dropped considerably in the past few years and megapixel systems have become way more affordable these days in comparison to the costs of HD-SDI hardware.
  6. Even though an HD-SDI system is a bit more costly for the hardware, at the end of the day you may end up spending less because of ease of use. With a megapixel system, you may be stuck hiring someone with more of a technical background to set up your network and make sure that all of the cameras are connected correctly. Megapixel cameras each have an IP address and they all need to be set up correctly onto your NVR in order to begin recording each camera. You will end up having to choose between directly powering your cameras with a power supply or whether you want to use Power over Ethernet (POE) to power each IP camera. If you choose POE, you’ll have the benefit of just running one Ethernet cable for each camera all back to a POE switch, and then from there back to the NVR. This is where things can get confusing for most people who don’t deal with this type of network setup on a regular basis. Once you factor the cost of hiring a network technician, you may end up spending more money. However, with an HD-SDI system, every component is basically plug and play. You won’t need to worry about setting up each camera individually and at that point, running the wires will be your most difficult task.
  7.  One last thing you’ll need to consider is the reliability of your new surveillance system. If you ever have your DVR or Hard Drives fail on your HD-SDI DVR, your whole system will go down. You will no longer be able to record anything that’s happening on your property. However, if you’re using an NVR for your megapixel system and it crashes, at least you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re cameras are still capable of recording everything that’s happening for the next couple to few days depending on what type of memory card you have installed in each camera.

It seems that there are quite a few things to consider when trying to decide on HD-SDI VS Megapixel. If you think about it, it’s really not that hard of a decision to make. Personally, I would choose a megapixel IP system over an HD-SDI. It looks like the future is pointing to megapixel over HD-SDI because of all the added benefits between costs to reliability. Please keep in mind that HD-SDI still has its uses though. There are definitely some instances where it will be a benefit over a Megapixel IP system.