Smart Stream II- Maximize Video Quality, Minimize Bandwidth
VIVOTEK Smart Stream II combines Smart Codec and Dynamic Intra Frame Period technologies, which enable the cameras to optimize quality for desired regions and adjust encoding automatically to maximize bandwidth usage efficiency and lower storage requirements while maintaining high image quality.
Advances in camera technologies have enabled surveillance video with higher resolutions and greater dynamic range. However, this enhanced quality entails increased bit rates, consuming network bandwidth and storage capacity. In many cases, users are forced to sacrifice optimal video quality in order to avoid excessive demands on limited network and storage resources.
VIVOTEK developed Smart Stream to help users resolve this dilemma by reducing the bit rates of encoded video while preserving quality. It does this by intelligently compressing data in areas in the field of view or during periods of time in which no activity of interest is occurring, while maintaining full video quality where or when such activity is present. VIVOTEK's Smart Stream II, the new generation of this groundbreaking technology, enables cameras to optimize quality for desired regions while reducing network and storage consumption even more effectively than does the previous generation.
Intelligent Automatic Optimization
The key advance in Smart Stream II is the addition of Dynamic Intra Frame Period technology to adjust the I-frame interval, the length of time spanned by a defined set of successive images within an encoded video stream. With Dynamic Intra Frame Period enabled, the I-frame interval can be increased or decreased in response to actual state within the field of view. However, when Smart Stream II detects that the scene is essentially static, then it can draw on Dynamic Intra Frame Period technology to increase the I-frame interval. That leads to a longer time elapsing between data-heavy I frames, with the result being reduced average bit rates, while optimal video quality is maintained where and when it's needed.
Smart Stream II was developed for compatibility with H.265 and for new VIVOTEK cameras adopting this successor to H.264 video compression technology. Smart Stream II thus requires no further playback integration, and any browser (with a plug-in), surveillance software, or NVR can access Smart Stream II video and begin using it. With Smart Stream II enabled on VIVOTEK’s new H.265 network cameras, users can reduce network bandwidth consumption and storage requirements by up to 80% more than with H.264 cameras.A camera combining both H.265 and VIVOTEK Smart Stream II can reduce bandwidth and storage consumption up to 80% more than can cameras using H.264.
Getting Started with Smart Stream II
To set up Smart Stream II on a VIVOTEK H.265 series network camera, go to its interface page and navigate to Configuration -> Media -> Video -> Stream -> Video setting for stream -> Smart Stream II. There you can configure Smart Stream II to suit your particular environment and applications. For example, Smart Stream II allows you to either specify a region of interest (ROI) in the field of view where full detail is required, or it can determine algorithmically where motion is occurring in the field of view and automatically preserve full detail in these areas—you can even take advantage of a combination of predefined ROI and automatic motion detection.
With the addition of Dynamic Intra Frame Period technology, Smart Stream II is able to reclaim even more network bandwidth and storage space for users than its already formidable predecessor. Thanks to its sophisticated Dynamic Intra Frame Period technology, VIVOTEK’s Smart Stream II is even smarter.
3DNR (3-Dimensional Noise Reduction)
VIVOTEK 3DNR technology enables to suppress noise and retain good video quality in low light conditions
In a technical sense the term "noise" refers to any artifacts that occur when signals-including audio, images and video-from a source are transmitted or reproduced. One of the most common factors leading to noise in video is a low light level, and noise can obviously be a serious problem in video captured for security applications under such conditions. For example, noise can severely limit the ability to positively identify persons of interest or vehicle license plate numbers at nighttime video, or to effectively monitor dimly lit areas in an office or retail space. Noise reduction is thus a vital capability for any security camera to be used under low-light conditions.Without 3DNR
2DNR vs. 3DNR
There are two types of technologies currently in wide use to reduce noise in video, each with its strengths and weaknesses-2D noise reduction (2DNR) and 3D noise reduction (3DNR). 2DNR works by analyzing individual frames of video, identifying algorithmically and correcting those pixels that likely represent noise. 3DNR, on the other hand, additionally analyzes the differences between successive frames in order to adjust pixels and improve fidelity. 3DNR generally produces greater reduction in noise than does 2DNR, but with the drawback of tending to create motion blur on moving objects in the field of a view.
VIVOTEK 3DNR Solution: Combining 2DNR and 3DNR
In order to take advantage of the strengths of each type of noise reduction technology while avoiding its weaknesses, VIVOTEK employs a combination of 2DNR and 3DNR. Since 2DNR tends to produce superior results for moving objects, it is applied to areas in the field of view where movement is present. Meanwhile, 3DNR is applied in static areas of the field of view. Besides enhancing video quality, VIVOTEK’s noise reduction technologies provide other important benefits such as reduced video file sizes and prevention of false alarms caused by noise. It is VIVOTEK’s seamless integration of the two types of noise reduction technology that makes VIVOTEK’s cameras perform so extraordinarily well even in challenging low-light conditions.
Advanced Motion Detection - Each Alarm Counts
VIVOTEK advances the state of the art in motion detection
Conventional Motion Detection
Motion detection is used in surveillance video cameras to detect movement in the frame of view. Once movement is detected, specific actions can be triggered, such as the activation of an alarm, or an increase in resolution in order to capture greater detail. A basic algorithm for the detection of movement compares the current frame with a reference frame to determine the number of pixels that differ, returning a positive result if this number exceeds a specified threshold.
While motion detection can be a useful feature in surveillance cameras, its effectiveness may be compromised by frequent false alarms, where the software algorithm used to analyze the video is "fooled"-typically by signal noise-into detecting movement in the view when none has taken place. Such false alarms result in inefficiency in the form of extraneous tasks for administrators, consumption of additional storage for video recorded at unnecessarily high resolution, and so forth.
VIVOTEK's Advanced Motion Detection
VIVOTEK has developed an advanced version of our motion detection technology that enhances accuracy and minimizes the occurrence of false alarms, thus preventing the subsequent waste of resources. Previous generations of the technology relied on a software algorithm that examined the difference in successive frames of video to determine if movement had occurred. However, signal noise appearing along these differences could lead to false positives. VIVOTEK has created a more sophisticated algorithm to make the reference frame as a static background so as to easily distinguish the movement in the foreground while comparing frames in succession, reducing the possibility that random noise will lead to false positives.
An intuitive, simple-to-use interface makes it easy for users to set regions in the field of view to apply motion detection, as well as configure settings such as sensitivity to movement. VIVOTEK's advanced motion detection is available on all VIVOTEK cameras, so all customers can gain the benefits of this technology to automate responses to movement in monitored locations while minimizing false alarms to eliminate unnecessary staff mobilization and wasted storage capacity.
Revolutionary Invention Accelerates the Evolution of Outdoor and Long Distance Surveillance Applications
When it comes to outdoor surveillance applications or those covering large areas, such as wide-open factory sites, large-scale production lines, main intersections and outdoor parking lots, the installation of a surveillance system is always more challenging than indoor implementation because of a shortage of power supply, and unpredictable weather and lighting conditions. Particularly, a constant and stable power supply is always the first issue during system implementation. Installers usually have no choice but to adopt additional and excessive hardware such as PoE switches, extenders, injectors or splitters in order to ease power deployment and provide reliable power and therefore consistent surveillance. Now however, thanks to VIVOTEK’s new R series cameras, system implementation can be much simpler, easier and provided at a lower cost without sacrificing quality of surveillance coverage.
VIVOTEK has innovatively designed a series of cameras with embedded PoE extenders, which enable a surveillance system to be extended to up to 300 meters without the need for additional power supplies. The uniquely-designed PoE extender embedded within these camera models allows for both PoE input and output and direct connection with other PoE network cameras without an additional power source. VIVOTEK’s network cameras with embedded PoE extender revolutionize the establishment of long distance network surveillance systems by eliminating excess cables and power devices and significantly reducing the total cost of implementation. VIVOTEK is proud to offer its customers a more streamlined network surveillance system, which significantly elevates business efficiency and reduces the total cost of ownership of our state of the art systems.
The IB8367-R, IB8367-RT and IB8338-HR are VIVOTEK’s three new network cameras with embedded Poe extender. The embedded PoE extender design facilitates long-distance surveillance system implementation in factory areas, parking lots, crossroads, and outdoor sidewalks.
For more information, please check IB8367-R, IB8367-RT and IB8338-HR.
Getting video just right in both day and night modes
In most environments, levels of illumination during the daytime and at night are very different. In order to capture clearer and more detailed video under these opposite lighting conditions, VIVOTEK cameras feature both day mode and night modes. While the two profiles serve their purpose, fine-tuning the settings for each mode is the key to ensure the best video quality possible.
Profile settings take into account the unique conditions of a camera's particular location and the needs of a specific application. Profiles can be configured and applied with optimized image settings, exposure levels, and motion detection in both day and night modes. Profile settings can be set to work with on a schedule, so that the settings will be applied during a specific period of your choice allowing the system designer full flexibility.* Some cameras that come without the Day/Night mode will only support the Schedule Mode in the profile setting.
Three Configuration Profiles for Different Situations
A VIVOTEK camera's interface covers Profile settings in three areas—image settings, exposure, and motion detection. Under image settings, white balance, brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness can be set per profile. It can also enable or disable gamma curve optimization, 3D noise reduction, and electronic image stabilization, depending on the availability. It's equally easy to apply Profile settings for exposure levels, as well as to enabling VIVOTEK's WDR technology for enhancing image quality in high-contrast scenes. The Last Profile setting that can be adjusted would be the Motion Detection. The motion sensitivity and threshold at nighttime can be differently configured than daytime to prevent false motion triggers. Furthermore, motion detection windows can be added to or removed from the frame depending on the application and location.Image settings Exposure Motion Detection
Example of Profile Setting in Day and Night Mode
To give a brief example of how Profile settings works, imagine using an IP8155HP, that is set up to monitor a warehouse. The default settings were applied in day mode. However, in night mode, the camera was configured to take advantage of Profile settings specific to night time image quality. By having increased brightness and contrast, activated 3D Noise Reduction, and set WDR Pro II at high strength levels, while lowering sensitivity, it will reduce the chance of triggering false motion detection alarms and increase quality across the entire image.Without Profile Setting: Without Profile Setting, the camera keeps a single image setting while lighting changes and may get the image with lots of noise during nighttime. With Profile Setting: Profile Setting enables customers to have double configurations, ensuring good video quality in both day mode and night mode.
Benefit by Using Profile Setting
With the convenience and power of Profile settings, you can ensure that your VIVOTEK camera delivers clearly rendered objects and extensive detail in high-quality video in both day and night modes.
Panoramic camera has become very popular in video surveillance because of its wide angle field of view which significantly reduces the amount of cameras needed for complete video coverage. This brings total system cost saving benefits to the end user. There are two major technology trends in the next generation panoramic camera. The first trend is improving low lux performance by adding built-in IR illuminators so that the camera is able to record useful image even in challenging low light condition. The second trend is to run video content analysis (VCA) inside the camera to provide intelligent features.
IR Illumination for Panoramic Cameras
Built-in IR illuminators have been widely used in many surveillance cameras to capture useful footages during nighttime. However, due to the nature of wide angle field of view, adding IR LEDs to the fisheye camera come with 2 sets of challenges. The first issue is correcting bad uniformity of the illumination, and the other is eliminating over exposure problem of the foreground objects.
The result of the traditional IR illumination looks like the following picture, the central area has much higher light density which is often refer to as “white out or glare”. This is due to the light-emitting pattern of the IR LED and the wide coverage of the fisheye lens. As result, the video captured by the panoramic camera using traditional IR LEDs will not have proper exposure level. The peripheral area tends to be too dark and if there is an object in the central region, it tends to be overly exposed.Fig. 2: Illumination pattern from an IR LED
VIVOTEK has developed a unique technology to solve this problem. Instead of using IR LEDs only, we added a reflector with precisely calculated surface to shape the IR lights so that the illumination gets evenly distributed across the entire view angle. The design of the reflector is illustrated in the following figure.
The following picture shows the modified illumination pattern after using the reflector. It is clear that the VIVOTEK unique IR technology is able to distribute illumination evenly without glare spot in the center.Fig. 3: Illumination pattern of an IR LED with reflector
With the specially designed built-in IR illuminators, IR solution has been optimized to fit the VIVOTEK fisheye camera's wide view angle and gives an even illumination across the entire area while the result from other brand shows “glare” spots in central region and dark peripheral, which is a waste of illumination power.
The following images demonstrate the advantage of VIVOTEK's unique IR technology compare to another manufacturer.Fig. 4: Images captured from fisheye cameras
VCA (Video Content Analysis) for Panoramic Cameras
Built-in VCA for an IP camera is not a new idea. However, running VCA on a panoramic camera has a nature advantage. In most application, the 360-degree fisheye camera is often installed on a ceiling to cover the adjacent area that provides video with overhead view. This makes an ideal scenario for many video analytics, such as tripwire or object counting. An example snapshot is shown in the following picture.Fig. 5: Object counting example of an intelligent fisheye camera
In addition to the standard security and safety benefits, business owner can get useful marketing and operation information using the VCA features. These features are especially useful in retail application; for example, data collected can be used to analyze different consumer behaviors to better manage merchandzing in any number of stores. It can also be used to monitor peak business hours to improve overall staff management and allocation. The following chart shows a sample data collected from the object counting feature.
Another example is the heat map feature shown in the following picture.
A color code is overlaid onto the video to demonstrate the accumulated frequency of object activities. The area with brighter color means there is more traffic in that area.
Using the overview image with heat map captured by the fisheye camera, business owner can easily visualize customer traffic patterns over time as well as in real time. This helps optimize store performance, improve customer service and plan marketing and promotion.Fig. 7: Heat map example captured during IFSEC 2014
For your next surveillance project, please consider VIVOTEK's fisheye camera in the system to minimize the number of cameras needed for overall complete surveillance. VIVOTEK's unique IR technology dramatically improves fisheye camera's low lux performance and provides the best video surveillance around the clock. Also, don't forget there are tons of add on VCA benefits to the end user.
The right focus is essential for getting the most out of high-resolution cameras. After all, an out-of-focus image means the high pixel count is wasted. The best possible focus is especially important for surveillance cameras, since not capturing enough detail makes them less effective as security tools, particularly for demanding applications like facial identification.
VIVOTEK Smart Focus System
- Focus Assist
- Remote Focus
- Remote Back Focus
To make the task of adjusting focus on VIVOTEK cameras easier and more accurate, we have developed the Smart Focus System. The Smart Focus System consists of three modules: Focus Assist, Remote Focus, and Remote Back Focus.
The Focus Assist module provides a fast and simple way to set the focus when a camera is installed. Pressing the Focus Assist hardware button brings up an on-screen focus value indicator on a mobile monitor or notebook computer connected to the camera. The camera determines the best focus value, and displays this on-screen as well. From there, the camera's focus controller can be adjusted so the current focus value matches this optimal value.
The Remote Focus module provides a solution to the difficulties of adjusting focus after the camera has been installed and is in use. The ability to fine-tune focus remotely is particularly desirable for surveillance cameras because they are often installed in locations that are difficult to access. Remote Focus allows administrators to easily make focus adjustments on cameras using lenses equipped with stepper motors via the camera's browser interface.The camera with Remote Focus has lenses with built-in stepper motors, which can be used to remotely control the focal length through the camera UI.
The Remote Back Focus feature provides an extra level of control over a camera's focus through an adjustable CCD/CMOS sensor board. Installers can adjust the distance between the sensor board and the lens to fine-tune the so-called back focus directly from the camera's software interface, greatly reducing the time required for configuration, whether during initial installation or subsequently.The camera with Remote Back Focus comes with a controllable CCD/CMOS sensor board inside the camera. In the camera UI, installers can adjust the distance between the sensor board and the lens to fine tune the focus of a camera.
What is Smart Stream?
Smart Stream is a sophisticated technology developed by VIVOTEK in response to the conundrum that, all other factors being equal, the higher the video resolution, the greater amount of data produced, and thus the more network bandwidth consumed when transmitted. This situation forces many users to encode video from their network cameras at lower video quality in order to conserve network bandwidth, thus sacrificing surveillance quality. Smart Stream is a technology developed by VIVOTEK to eliminate the need to choose between high quality video and efficient network usage, achieving this objective by providing higher video quality only in those areas in the camera’s field of view that are of interest to the user. These areas can either be predefined by the user as regions of interest (ROI), or detected automatically as moving objects. Background areas of no interest for surveillance are presented at a lower baseline video quality, thus saving on network bandwidth, as well as on storage capacity if the video is archived. The result is surveillance video that preserves video quality where it matters, while dramatically reducing overall network bandwidth consumption.
Why use Smart Stream?
In environments where network capacity is constrained, or where there is simply a desire to improve network usage efficiency or performance, Smart Stream provides a solution that does not require sacrificing video quality. Use of a Smart Stream-capable camera is ideal for surveillance applications where only specific areas in the field of view will be of interest to the user—for example, in a traffic monitoring application, where only the road and the vehicles on it need to be captured at high resolution, but surrounding buildings are of no interest, so that a lower baseline video quality is adequate. In applications where objects or persons of interest only intermittently move in the field of view, Smart Stream can detect the motion and provide higher video quality for these objects or persons. Smart Stream can also be configured to use a combination of both ROI and automatic movement detection. In addition, Smart Stream is perfectly suited to remote surveillance or other scenarios where available network bandwidth may be limited or unknown.In this scenario, Smart Stream auto mode saves 30% of the original bandwidth required, while the detail of moving objects is kept.
Smart Stream is fully compatible with H.264 standard and requires no further playback integration. Without further integration, any browsers (with plug-in) or surveillance software/NVR can connect to a Smart Stream and start using it.
Where to get Smart Stream?
Smart Stream technology is currently available in VIVOTEK's IP8371E, a 3-Megapixel outdoor bullet camera. With the ability to provide either full-resolution 3 megapixel video at 30 fps, or 1080p video at 60 fps, this camera delivers stunningly detailed and brilliantly rendered video for demanding surveillance applications such as license plate or facial recognition. The only potential drawback of such high-resolution video is that it consumes correspondingly large amounts of network bandwidth, as well as of storage capacity when archived at native resolutions. The combination of the IP8371E’s capabilities with Smart Stream technology provides an ideal solution for users seeking high-quality surveillance video while maintaining network and storage requirements at a reasonable level.
If you wish to start applying Smart Stream now, set up IP8371E in your surveillance system. Find the settings of Smart Stream in Configuration ->Video->Stream->Any stream->H.264, and set up the video quality for your foreground, background, and start enjoying the benefit of a Smart Stream.
Hard to Ensure Focus under Fast Moving Objects
When installing a new IP network camera, it is critical to correctly focus the camera, so that all subsequent footage is as clear and as usable as possible. Unfortunately, in applications involving quickly moving objects, such as traffic monitoring or license plate recognition, it is very difficult for an installer to be sure that they have achieved maximal focus. The objects are simply moving too quickly, and passing through the plane of focus too rapidly for the installer to check the focus confidently. So even after installation, the client has to return to the camera to refocus.
Snapshot Focus Can Greatly Help
Now VIVOTEK, drawing in its broad experience in developing and installing network camera solutions, has created a revolutionary way to solve this problem. VIVOTEK's new Snapshot Focus function allows installers to record a short clip of the scene on site, and then playback this clip at any speed they wish, or even reverse it, in order to check or fine tune the focus.
After selecting the region on which they want the camera to focus, the user then simply clicks one button, and a three second clip of the scene is recorded. By pressing the right and left arrows on their keyboard, they may then cycle backward or forward through the short clip, pausing as the quickly moving objects appear in the center of the focus window. At this point, the focus can either be confirmed, or minor adjustments made in order to bring the scene into sharp focus.
While Snapshot Focus is designed for traffic monitoring applications, it is perfectly applicable to any situation in which objects are in motion. By guaranteeing that the user has the correct focus at first installation, Snapshot Focus saves repeated trips to the camera, or ongoing concerns about image quality, allowing the user to rest assured that all footage will not only be of the highest quality, but will also be crystal clear - allowing them to concentrate on the development of their own business. In saving so much time and hassle, it's easy to see why VIVOTEK's Snapshot focus is quickly becoming essential for anyone installing network cameras covering moving objects.
Challenges in Low Light Conditions
Low light levels have always been a severe challenge for cameras, and the problem is particularly acute for security cameras, which are often tasked with capturing clear video in poor lighting conditions. The inclusion of infrared capabilities marked a significant advance, allowing usable video to be captured with little or even no visible light, but still represents a less-than-complete solution, since only monochrome footage can be captured. Color, after all, can be a critical factor in the success of security applications. For example, if the facial features of a person of interest in surveillance video are visible, the color of the person's hair, eyes, skin or clothes may offer the best hope of eventual identification.
VIVOTEK's Innovative SNV Technology
VIVOTEK's SNV (Supreme Night Visibility) provides an innovative solution for enabling low-light surveillance video of sufficient quality to satisfy the requirements of demanding applications-for example, street-level surveillance at night or the monitoring of poorly illuminated indoor spaces such as warehouses. VIVOTEK has been able to achieve this breakthrough by incorporating advanced low-light video capture technologies. Its SNV-equipped cameras feature ultra-sensitive optical sensors that capture high-quality color video at levels of visible light all the way down to a minuscule 0.1 lux, complemented by advanced signal processing that ensures sufficient contrast and accurate color reproduction, as well as 3D noise reduction to reveal detail and improve overall clarity.
Conventional IR Cameras
Infrared (IR) cameras have been a boon for security applications, as they are able to capture clear images even at night or in other situations in which there are low levels of visible light. Such cameras function by utilizing LED arrays that illuminate the field of view with infrared light. In recent years, as IR LED technology has advanced, long-range IR capabilities are being incorporated into surveillance cameras. However, long-range IR generally depends on high IR intensity, which results in overexposure if an object is too close to the LED. For example, a person’s face will be “whited out” so that no features can be discerned, making the images captured unusable for identification purposes.
VIVOTEK Innovative Smart IR Solution
VIVOTEK has worked to overcome this shortcoming plaguing conventional IR cameras by drawing on Smart IR technology. Smart IR eliminates overexposure problems by dynamically adjusting the intensity of infrared light emitted by the camera’s LED source as an object of interest moves closer or farther away in the field of view. This ensures that the object is captured by the camera at an appropriate exposure level, preserving detail that would otherwise be lost with a conventional IR camera when the object is close by. The result is greater effectiveness for demanding applications such as identification of people or vehicle license plate numbers under low visible light conditions.
Transportation is not only vital for individuals as they go about their daily lives, but is also an essential part of the infrastructure supporting economic development. The 9/11 terrorist attacks truly brought the importance of transportation security into the public consciousness, and incidents around the world have continued to underline this fact. A comprehensive and reliable surveillance system has a pivotal role to play in ensuring public safety and the smooth operation of trains, buses, planes, and other transport, as well as the facilities that support them.
Broad range of solutions
The variety of environments encompassed by the transportation sector is vast—outdoors and indoors, wide-open and constrained spaces, low-light and brightly lit, daytime and night. In view of this situation, VIVOTEK has developed a broad range of high-resolution cameras, including bullet, dome, fisheye and box cameras, with several unique specifications to suit the needs of particular environments.
Likewise, VIVOTEK has developed a series of intelligent functions needed to support advanced applications relevant to the transportation sector, such as people counting, line crossing, and field detection. High-resolution cameras ensure sufficient levels of detail to make even demanding applications such as identification of persons of interest or vehicle license plates possible.
Support for industry standards
Superior solutions for the transportation sector must begin with support for key industry standards. VIVOTEK seeks compliance with the widest possible range of such standards, encompassing interfaces, physical design, interoperability, and more.
An example of the important standards supported in VIVOTEK products is the EN50155 guideline for electronic equipment on rolling stock such as railway trains. EN50155 specifies a number of criteria that compliant devices must meet, including humidity resistance, operating temperature range, and electromagnetic isolation. Another key standard that VIVOTEK supports is the M12 Ethernet plug specification, which ensures network connections that can withstand harsh conditions. IP66 compliance ensures the internals of VIVOTEK cameras are protected against ingress of even fine dust particles, as well as of water during the heaviest rainfall and winds. Conformance to the IK10 standard ensures that VIVOTEK hardware can withstand even powerful mechanical impacts, a regular occurrence in many transportation environments.
Sophisticated technologies and design
- WDR Pro
- Supreme Night Visibility
- High frame rate
- Auto exposure response time
- Intelligent video analysis
In addition to support for key standards, VIVOTEK has developed a diverse portfolio of technologies that either enhance overall performance or meet the requirements of specific transportation environments or applications.
One of the most important VIVOTEK technologies for transportation security is WDR Pro, which ensures that high-quality imagery can be captured even when difficult high-contrast lighting conditions prevail, such as a tunnel. Since many transportation security camera installations are subject to changing lighting conditions due to physical movement, or outdoor location, WDR Pro is the best guarantee of excellent image quality at all times.
For nighttime and other low-light scenarios, VIVOTEK's Supreme Night Visibility (SNV) series cameras incorporate a tightly integrated combination of technologies to enhance video quality when monitoring under night or under other low-light conditions. Taking as an example possible dim lighting conditions in a passenger vehicle traveling at the late night, SNV cameras provide clear color video at far lower levels of light so as to secure the safety of the driver as well as passengers.
When monitoring locations where high-speed movement occurs—such as vehicles in active operation—VIVOTEK supports high frame rate at up to 60 fps video recording to ensure that clear detail can be captured. Fast auto exposure response times are another feature that helps make monitoring of even highly dynamic scenes feasible.
VIVOTEK has also developed technologies to support sophisticated transportation security applications. For example, VIVOTEK cameras can integrate GPS information, displaying it as text on video, for easy location tracking and more complete incident data. For scenarios where privacy issues are a concern, VIVOTEK offers a privacy mask feature that can automatically apply a blur to specific areas in a camera's field of view.
Line crossing is another intelligent function that cements security in stations. VIVOTEK has developed VADP (VIVOTEK Application development Platform), an open platform for integrating video analytic functionality within its cameras. With VADP, line crossing detection can be directly installed in VIVOTEK cameras. Users can pre-set several lines for detecting object crossing. This intelligent function is especially ideal for monitoring platforms in train stations or metro stations, enabling police or security staff to take actions proactively before any damage or tragedy occurs.
Unique products for transportation applications
VIVOTEK's compact fisheye cameras provide an ideal surveillance solution for tight spaces such as train carriages and buses. Panoramic PTZ combines fisheye and speed dome functionality, providing the ability to switch seamlessly between monitoring an entire space and examining a specific region of interest. The video rotation feature in cameras like the MD8531H offers a way to capture a comprehensive view of such narrow spaces as well as more open locations such as train platforms. In addition, cameras such as the MD8562 and FE8174V are engineered to provide an extremely wide field of view, providing a tailor-made solution for such environments. At the other extreme, to provide clear monitoring of distant points, VIVOTEK offers an option for a powerful F4 zoom lens.
Network bandwidth is one of the most challenging factors to manage in a surveillance system, as it is generally difficult to scale, even as higher-resolution IP cameras transmit ever greater amounts of data across the network. Thus, the desire for improved image quality in surveillance video must be balanced against the additional network bandwidth that will be consumed. VIVOTEK has developed a variety of solutions to help customers get the best image quality possible while conserving network bandwidth-these include cropping, on-camera storage, and Activity Adaptive Stream technology.
CBR vs. VBR
One of the most powerful approaches for conserving network bandwidth is by enforcing a fixed bit rate on encoded video-so-called constant bit rate (CBR) encoding. With CBR encoding, the amount of network bandwidth required for transmitting video data is predictable, making it easier for system administrators to manage resources and plan upgrades. The downside of CBR encoding is that when the visual complexity of a view increases-for example, when a person of interest appears, or when the amount of traffic rises at a monitored intersection-either or both image quality and frame rate must be reduced in order to maintain the bit rate under the target. Unfortunately, an increase in visual complexity typically signals an event of potential importance, meaning that at just the time when superior quality video would be more useful, quality is degraded.
Variable bit rate (VBR) encoding, on the other hand, allows administrators to set a predefined level of image quality to be maintained, regardless of the complexity of scene. This is often desirable in surveillance applications in which there is a need for higher image quality when movement is present in the view. A side effect is, however, that network bandwidth consumption will increase when there is a high level of activity and will decrease when there is less activity. Since the bit rate may vary, the network infrastructure must provide sufficient available bandwidth to accommodate the maximum bit rate, making resource management potentially difficult.
VIVOTEK's New VBR with cap
To provide customers with the advantages of both CBR and VBR encoding while minimizing their disadvantages, VIVOTEK has developed a new version of its VBR encoding technology. In effect, this new encoding technology functions like VBR with caps—that is, administrators set an upper bound on allowable bit rates, but the bit rate is free to vary otherwise to accommodate changes in view complexity. Because the bit rate of the encoded video, and thus the network bandwidth required for transmission, is guaranteed not to exceed the preset limit, it is easier to manage network resources.
Under fixed quality (VBR) setting, the bit rate of the stream fluctuates with image complexity but stay under 6 Mbps, so as to help installers plan bandwidth and storage system.
VIVOTEK's new VBR with cap is ideal for applications where the visual complexity of the monitored location varies over time, such as road traffic, retail environments and train station lobbies. To ensure that sufficient image quality is always available, the cap can be set higher, or set lower to conserve network bandwidth. The result is better utilization of the high-resolution capabilities of the camera, while making network bandwidth consumption more predictable, aiding in the installation, administration, and operation of the surveillance system as a whole.
Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology improves a camera's image quality under high-contrast lighting conditions where both dimly and brightly lit areas are present in the field of view. It enables the camera to capture details clearly in both the poorly and strongly illuminated areas of the video.
The ability to discern details even in video taken under such high-contrast lighting conditions is extremely important for security applications, such as the identification of people or vehicle license plates. Using a camera with strong WDR performance allows it to clearly capture detailed features by appropriately exposing both the darkest and brightest parts of the entire scene. For this reason, cameras that incorporate WDR technology are particularly recommended for environments such as building entrances, ATMs, and transportation facilities, as well as near windows or similar areas.
VIVOTEK Comprehensive Range of WDR Solutions
VIVOTEK has developed a comprehensive range of WDR implementations to suit customer needs. WDR Enhanced uses software-based tone mapping technology, which detects areas in the field of view that are either too dark or too light, then adjusts them so that the final result closely mimics what the naked eye would perceive. WDR Pro represents an advancement over WDR Enhanced, utilizing a hardware-based solution by simultaneously capturing two or three images at different exposure levels. An algorithm is then used to combine the images into a single frame of video in which all areas are optimally exposed for maximum visibility. WDR Pro II is a further improvement, capturing four images simultaneously for even more precisely optimized video.
With extensive experience in developing WDR technologies and a comprehensive range of offerings, VIVOTEK is an industry leader in ensuring video quality in security application environments with challenging high-contrast lighting conditions.