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OpenEye Knowledge Base

What is Smart Compression?


Smart Compression, also known as H.264+, is a dynamic codec that can significantly reduce the amount of storage needed to meet video retention requirements. This allows you to record more video without increasing the storage size of your recorder. It can also reduce system costs by meeting retention requirements while using a system with smaller drives.


Some benefits of Smart Compression are the reduction of bandwidth usage and storage requirements by up to 70% while maintaining high-resolution video and preventing a perceptible reduction in video quality. We use H.264, which utilizes Group of Pictures (GOP) to compress across frames. Let’s break down these two.


H.264 is a video codec that has found the optimal balance between picture quality and compression, at-least for now. It is also adaptive to both video of lesser and higher quality. This is why it’s so popular for streaming media. One reason that H.264 is so effective is the use of GOP.


Simply put, a GOP is the distance between two keyframes, measured in the number of frames, or the amount of time between keyframes. This means that with H.264 only some frames are compressed by themselves, while most of them only record changes from the previous frame.
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Affects on Bandwidth

It not only reduces bandwidth and storage consumption significantly. It also allows for the adaptability for video quality based on the bandwidth of your local network. It gives you the same picture quality at a third to half of the resource usage. It eliminates redundant information that might otherwise clog your bandwidth.

With the consumption of bandwidth and storage that security systems require, along with the cost of storage, you can see why H.264 is big deal. And with the advancements in the streaming quality of security cameras, H.265 is on the rise. But that is for another article.

Note: It is recommended not to set the frame rate below 10 frames per second when Smart Compression is enabled.

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