Milestone Talks About Video Compression

Mike Sherwood, Director of Technical Operations at Milestone Systems, weighs in on the state of video compression.

In today’s market, the most current video compression format/codec is h.265 but this is now only in the very early adoption phase. The most widely used codec currently is h.264, which reduces storage requirements by up to 80% compared to MJPEG and up to 50% compared to MPEG-4.milestone-mike-sherwood

Many camera manufacturers have come out with, and are continuing to come out with, smart H.264 codecs which allow for applying heavier compression to areas where there is less activity. Some smart codecs also allow for dynamic GOP sizes and dynamic frame rate adjustment which further reduces the storage and bandwidth requirements.

Milestone does not use a proprietary compression format but instead supports the three most widely used compression formats which are MJPEG, MPEG-4, and h.264.  Milestone also supports MxPEG which is a proprietary compression format used in Mobotix cameras.

These compression formats are currently governed by accepted standards: MJPEG, MPEG-4, h.264, and h.265.

Over the next 12 months or so, smart h.264 codecs are likely to continue being released and improved while h.265 will start to become more commonplace.

H.265 has been a major topic within the compression conversation for some time but is it ‘ready for prime time’? We think not. The h.265 codec is still in the very early adoption phase with only a handful of camera manufacturers and VMS providers supporting it. Like h.264 when it was first released, h.265 is not currently showing a large improvement in storage and bandwidth but will very likely increase as the codec is further improved.

The Milestone XProtect 2016 R3 software release in Q4 has support for h.265.

Courtney Pedersenby Courtney Dillon Pedersen, Corporate Communications Manager, Milestone Systems

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