Articles by Fredrik Svensson
In today’s market, efficient use of bandwidth and storage is an essential part of maintaining an effective video surveillance system. A video management system’s ability to provide analysis, real time event notifications and crucial image detail is only as a good as the speed and bandwidth of a surveillance network. In the physical security industry, H.264 is the video compression format used by most companies. Some companies also employ H.264 enhancements to compress areas of an image that are irrelevant to the user at a higher ratio within a video stream in order to preserve image quality for more important details like faces, license plates or buildings. The H.265, H.264’s successor, will be increasingly used for compression in the future. Some companies are already using H.265 in their cameras and video management systems, while a host of other manufacturers are certainly preparing for its broader adoption in the years to come. Video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies. In some cases, H.265 can double the data compression ratio of H.264, while retaining the same quality. Increased compression rate translates into decreased storage requirements on hard drives, less bandwidth usage and fewer switches – all of which reduce overall costs of system ownership. H.265 compression delivers a lower bitrate than H.264, which is relevant to end users and integrators because the lower bitrate reduces strain on hardware and can reduce playback issues. It’s very important that the compression format that is used is supported in all of the different components of a system: cameras, desktop computers on which the VMS is running and the VMS itself. It is also good for end users and integrators to understand the basics of video compression. Having a basic understanding of compression allows users to tweak settings to reduce bandwidth usage even more. Many cameras come with default settings that can be changed to ultimately reduce costs. ONVIF physical security In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 but is not directly involved in developing the compression standards themselves. With Profile T, the new ONVIF video profile released will employ a new media service that is compression agnostic. This means that it can support new video compression formats, including H.265, as well as new audio compression formats, with the ability to include new video and audio codecs as needed in the future without having to redesign its media service. In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 Standardisation organisations that are directly addressing new compression standards include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and a joint commission of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is addressing the coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information. Other compression formats on par with H.264 and H.265 are being developed by companies such as Google. H.265 compression formats Using products that employ H.265 compression will reduce costs through bandwidth reduction, as will changing default settings on cameras, which are often conservative. Having a basic understanding of compression formats and how to tweak camera factory default settings also gives integrators the ability to further reduce bandwidth for added costs savings and increased system performance. These enhancements will analyse which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly It is also worth noting that H.265 enhancements will likely be developed by camera manufacturers to further reduce bandwidth, as was the case with H.264. These enhancements will analyze which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly. While H.265 itself is ready for prime time, its value as a tool for IP-based surveillance systems is dependent on support for the codec in all parts of the system – the VMS, server hardware, graphics cards and camera. Though widespread H.265 adoption is predicted, providers of these components are jumping on the H.265 bandwagon at different rates of speed. ONVIF is including support for H.265 in its new video profile, Profile T, because it believes it will become the most widely used compression format and ONVIF recognises the need to anticipate that migration as a future need of the industry. The new media service, which will be implemented with Profile T, will be future-proof in that when new compression formats are released in the future, ONVIF can adopt them very quickly. That flexibility will definitely help integrators.
ONVIF, global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products held its annual membership meeting in early November this year, with an overview of important activities of 2018 and perspective on the year ahead. Attendees heard presentations on the final release of Profile T in 2018, an advancement which represents how ONVIF keeps pace with technological advancements that affect product development and interoperability between IP-based physical security products. Profile T for advanced video streaming In an acknowledgement of its 10th anniversary, ONVIF chairman, Per Björkdahl highlighted the forum’s achievements over the past decade, including an overview of the six ONVIF profiles, with emphasis on the newly released Profile T for advanced video streaming. Collectively, the profiles provide support for the more than 10,000 conformant products that are increasingly included in various bid and specification processes in projects around the world. Björkdahl also cited the continued involvement of ONVIF as part of the work of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s TC79 for international standardisation. ONVIF also recognised the contributions of four individuals from various ONVIF technical committees for their work on different profiles and committees. Fredrik Svensson of Axis and Dora Han of Hikvision were recipients of the ONVIF award, which acknowledges individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to ONVIF. As chairman of the Profile T Working Group, Svensson was a leading force in the development and successful final release of the Profile T specification. Han received the award for her extensions to the specification, and for supporting the development of other members’ extensions to the specification. 2018 ONVIF Distinguished Service Awards recipients One of two 2018 ONVIF Distinguished Service Awards was given to Baldvin Gislason Bern of Axis One of two 2018 ONVIF Distinguished Service Awards was given to Baldvin Gislason Bern of Axis for his role in developing and proofing the evolution concept as chair of the Technical Services Device Test Tool Evolution. Joining him in receiving this award is Dr. Hasan Timucin Ozdemir of Panasonic, who served as chairman from 2009-2018 of the ONVIF Video Enhancement Working Group, which is responsible for formulating and prototyping new features for the ONVIF specification. “All of our honorees have shown their significant and long-term commitment to the organisation as a whole, and in turn have directly and positively impacted the work of ONVIF,” said Björkdahl. “The success of our organisation would not be possible without the innovative contributions and hard work of our members, and for that, we say thank you.” Defining video surveillance and access control standards ONVIF Technical Committee Chairman, Hans Busch of Bosch, spoke to members about the specification development roadmap and its alignment to the standardisation activities within the IEC TC 79 working groups for video surveillance and physical access control standards. Technical Services Committee (TSC) Chair Andreas Schneider of Sony gave an overview of the committee’s work on new and existing profiles, client and device test tools, updates to the conformance process and tools and Developers’ Plugfests. Founding members Axis, Bosch and Sony automatically retain seats on the Steering, Technical and Technical Services CommitteesONVIF Communication Committee Chair, Tim Shen of Dahua provided a recap of ONVIF communication efforts in 2018, with a continued focus on market education about the specific profiles through presence at industry events and media activity. He also reported on the success of the first ever ONVIF Open Source Spotlight Challenge that took place earlier this year. The results of the annual elections for committees of ONVIF were announced by Kevin Schader, ONVIF Executive Director. Re-elected to the ONVIF Steering Committee were Mayur Salgar of Honeywell and Stuart Rawling of Pelco by Schneider Electric. For the Technical Committee, Hanwha Techwin’s Sujith Raman, Pelco by Schneider Electric’s Steve Wolf, and Tyco Security Product’s Stephen Serplus were re-elected, while Hikvision’s Dora Han joined the committee as a new member. Bob Dolan of Anixter and Giri Guntipalli of Honeywell were re-elected to the Technical Services Committee, along with new member Marwan Obeidat of Pelco by Schneider Electric. Tim Shen of Dahua, Jens Berthelsen of Hikvision and Xinming Kang of Honeywell were re-elected to the ONVIF Communication Committee, while Cathy Zhou of Huawei joined the committee as a new member. Founding members Axis, Bosch and Sony automatically retain seats on the Steering, Technical and Technical Services Committees. IP-based physical security solutions expert Founded in 2008, ONVIF is a leading and well-recognised industry forum driving interoperability for IP-based physical security products. The organisation has a global member base of established camera, video management system and access control companies and more than 10,000 profile conformant products. ONVIF offers Profile S for streaming video; Profile G for recording and storage; Profile C for physical access control; Profile Q for improved out-of-the-box functionality, Profile A for broader access control configuration and Profile T for advanced streaming. ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperability solutions that ONVIF conformant products can provide.