Bandwidth is the capacity of a network to transfer data. It is quantified as the number of bits transferred through a network system for a measured period (bitrate). For data transfer and storage, current network bitrates are measured in gigabytes (1 billion bytes) or terabytes (1 trillion bytes) per second, respectively.
Digital audio and video bitrate is further defined by the amount of detail transmitted or stored per second of streaming or recording. Bitrate terminology remains the same; however, audio and video bandwidths are typically quantified in kilobits (1,000 bits), megabits (1 million bits), and megabytes (8 megabits) per second respectively.
The bitrate of digital audio and video is dependent on additional factors such as media sampling, encoding, or compression. Sampling is simply defined as converting sound from analog to digital. Encoding means converting digital audio or video from one format to another. And media compression is the process by which a media file is reduced in size.
The bandwidth of digital audio and video is referred to as the net bitrate, which is the capacity to transfer data without protocols, encoding data, and channel coding.
Relationships Between Bandwidth and Surveillance Camera Systems
Common IP video surveillance camera bandwidths range from 50 kilobits per second to 15 megabits per second or higher. Video surveillance cameras can require greater bandwidth when the image and sound quality of videos are improved.
Ultra-high-definition video files require significant bandwidth and storage space. Streaming videos can have similar bandwidth demands, especially when transmitting high-quality information through complex networks, offsite locations, and long distances.
Understanding Bandwidth Issues
Factors that lead to high bandwidth demands for IP video surveillance cameras include:
This refers to the clarity and sharpness of digital video images. For a long time, 1080P was the standard resolution for high-quality images.
Current technology improvements have superseded 1080P resolution, bringing forth higher pixel densities, and making 4K resolution the dominant quality standard for digital video media. However, higher image quality and resolutions demand greater bandwidth.
This refers to the measure of frames or images a video displays per second. Higher frame rates improve the smoothness of objects in motion, which also increases bandwidth demand.
Light and heat sensitivity
Specific video cameras are designed to record clear images during low light or at night. Cameras that produce clear images and reduced video noise at low light environments require more bandwidth.
IP video surveillance cameras equipped with temperature monitoring systems are currently in high demand. However, video information from cameras and thermal information from temperature monitoring systems further add to the demand for network bandwidth.
IP video cameras, designed to capture images at high frame rates and produce high-quality video typically will require increased bandwidths when recording in an environment with many moving objects, when objects are moving at different speeds, and while changing light and low light levels.
The growing industry for IP video surveillance cameras equipped with Artificial Intelligence analytics that gathers information quickly to speed up observations and investigations will result in greater bandwidth demands.
This is how repetitive images, sounds, scenes, noise, and unwanted data are removed from the video using video codecs. IP video camera recordings usually are compressed when they pass through the network.
Specialized codecs (digital media encoder/decoder devices) allow for significant bandwidth reduction without drastically decreasing image quality. However, many codecs are successful only in reducing the video file size and have minimal or no significant effect on bandwidth reduction. Since unwanted data is only sorted or encoded, it remains as part of the gross bitrate.
The demand to incorporate more cameras and sophisticated devices in video surveillance systems has increased due to the current pandemic environment.
Bandwidth bottlenecks can occur when too many cameras and IoT devices are connected to the Ethernet edge switch, resulting in network traffic capacity overload between the edge switch and core switch and between the core switch and network server.
This type of bandwidth bottleneck is prevalent for surveillance video cameras incorporated in local area networks, where the situation is not easily monitored and addressed.
Bandwidth bottlenecks also happen in wide area networks managing many surveillance video camera feeds and multiple streaming feeds simultaneously, over limited servers, or even in cloud storage. Bottlenecks tend to continue and worsen due to the lack of timely network health monitoring.
Differentiating Key Bandwidth Issues
Image quality, frame rate, thermals/light levels, and video complexity may contribute to high bandwidth demands. However, many of these factors are part of developing sophisticated and effective IP video surveillance systems and are increasingly preferred by customers.
Video camera aggregation on a single network, Ethernet edge switches lacking the capacity to resolve bandwidth bottlenecks, and network systems/servers unable to manage multiple complex feeds are key causes of significant bottlenecks and high bandwidth demands.
The lack of automated and physical monitoring to prevent bandwidth bottlenecks adds to bandwidth issues and can result in network connectivity problems affecting the entire system.
To learn more about the advantages of IP video surveillance and potential benefits and concerns observed during the current pandemic environment, we recommend reading this article State of the Market: Video Surveillance in 2021.
How Razberi Solves Bandwidth Issues
Organizations in every sector and industry depend on IP surveillance video cameras that produce high-quality images, high resolution and frame rates, cameras that can function in low light conditions, and video surveillance cameras that can handle complex environments.
Reduction in camera quality and function is almost never an option or solution to bandwidth problems. Hence, organizations rely on ComNet and Razberi to provide high-level solutions for key bandwidth issues.
ComNet’s unique solution to bandwidth issues is to move the video surveillance camera system out of the customer’s existing network. Instead, ComNet’s design provides a separate local area network primarily for IP video surveillance cameras and other associated IoT devices.
Appropriate bandwidth is maintained throughout this separate network to run high-resolution cameras, avoid bandwidth bottlenecks, and facilitate health monitoring of the IP video surveillance system.
Separating out the IP video surveillance system will significantly reduce bandwidth demands on the customer’s network. The design uses a Network Video Recorder (NVR), such as Razberi’s ServerSwitchIQ™ integrated NVR and more, to bridge the camera network and customer’s network.
The NVR reduces customer network bandwidth demands by avoiding direct network feeds and allowing streaming video recordings to the main network only when the client requests it.
Razberi’s distributed video surveillance solution involves multiple IP surveillance cameras and IoT devices connected to secured subnetworks. The network segmentation boosts the performance of the distributed network and allows data to flow faster, resulting in a 95 percent reduction in bandwidth.
Both designs allow IT departments to retrieve higher quality video for faster review and preserve already limited customer network resources such as IP addresses, at-capacity switches on local area networks, and server space on wide area networks.
Razberi’s Point of Entry Protection
Razberi’s EndpointDefender™ provides a point of entry and a secure Ethernet connection to third-party video cameras and IoT devices on local area networks and for distributed video surveillance configuration.
EndpointDefender™ also uses Razberi Monitor™ to easily observe and support customer network systems. Monitor™ provides a top-down view of the remote client security and responds with solutions to address security breaches and network problems, such as bandwidth bottlenecks quickly.
In addition, the software predicts and prevents problems for security professionals while providing a centralized location for IT departments to view the video data.
Razberi’s Capable Ethernet Switches
Razberi’s ServerSwitchIQ™ Pro is an intelligent IP video surveillance appliance that provides a scalable and secure solution to IP video surveillance requirements and bandwidth issues.
ServerSwitchIQ™ Pro combines managed switch, point of entry, storage, cybersecurity, and health monitoring in an integrated system. ServerSwitchIQ™ Pro supports 4K camera resolutions and can maintain bandwidth integrity for high-resolution transmission and recordings.
ServerSwitchIQ™ Pro is compatible with Monitor™ for on-premises or cloud-based continuous health monitoring and cyber threat alerts.
Razberi products solve key bandwidth issues and make deploying, managing, and securing IP video surveillance systems easy. Better yet, they’re quick and easy to install, enabling any technician to deliver advanced network protections, increase customer resiliency against cyber threats, and create a considerable bandwidth benefit.
Want to Learn More About IP Surveillance Camera Security and Architecture?
If you’re interested in learning more about solutions that address current and future challenges of video surveillance, you can visit our blog, Razberi Pulse, or access our free on-demand webinar.