How Do You Determine How Much Throughput You Need For Video Surveillance?

By: Courtney Hamby on January 2nd, 2014

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How Do You Determine How Much Throughput You Need For Video Surveillance?

Video Surveillance  |  bandwidth  |  throughput  |  resolution

CameraOver the years, video surveillance has become almost a necessity for any home and business security plan. Along with Video Monitoring & Surveillance Devices, high tech locks, access control systems, security alarm, etc. are being widely used by a number of house owners all around the world. For homes, the installation of video surveillance ensures that there is no trespassing, forced entry or theft. Likewise, businesses are vulnerable to various crimes and security issues; thus, installing a video surveillance system helps in monitoring the workplace and the entire system.

One question that may come in the mind of many users or potential users of video surveillance is how to calculate the throughput required for surveillance camera and what is the bandwidth requirement to stream live videos for remote viewing? Well, below-mention is the piece of information to shed light on the same:


Determining Throughput:

Calculation of the approximate throughput of a video stream is a matter of multiplying the resolution of the image with the number of frames it takes for capturing a moving image. The calculation of throughput includes other features such as the audio bandwidth and protocol overheads. A general formula for calculating the throughput of a video surveillance system is:

  • Frame Size: Resolution × Color Depth
  • Bit Rate: Frame Size × Frame Rate (fps)

To understand this better, here is an example for you:

Suppose the camera captures an image at D1 resolution, via 720 × 480 video size, transmitting the video at 30 fps, the throughput calculation can be summed up as:

Frame size = (720 × 480) × 24 = 829440 bits or 830 Kbps

Bit Rate = 829440 × 30 = 24883200 = or 250 Mbps


Video Compression

When it comes to bandwidth computation, video compression plays an important role. The popular video compression standards are MJPEG, MPEG4 and H.264. With video compression, bandwidth reduction of anywhere between 80-99.5% is fairly possible.

Video Compression works on CBR or constant bit rate process, with just small variations. The level of compression is dependent on the video quality, and the bandwidth requirement of the video stream. Generally, higher the Bit rate, the better is the quality of video stream. On the contrary, higher the compression rate, the greater is the possibility of the presence of compression modules.

Ideally, for remote viewing, higher bit rate may be preferred, however, that generally does not happen. Therefore, in addition to the basic guideline for throughput calculation, you can compute the desirable bandwidth through a series of trial and errors.


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