H.264 is the latest video compression standard, H.264 (also known as MPEG-4 Part 10/AVC for Advanced Video Coding), is expected to become the video standard of choice in the coming years.
H.264 has already been introduced in new electronic gadgets such as mobile phones and digital video
players, and has gained fast acceptance by end users. Service providers such as online video storage and
telecommunications companies are also beginning to adopt H.264.
In the video surveillance industry, H.264 will most likely find the quickest traction in applications where
there are demands for high frame rates and high resolution, such as in the surveillance of highways,
airports and casinos, where the use of 30/25 (NTSC/PAL) frames per second is the norm. This is where
the economies of reduced bandwidth and storage needs will deliver the biggest savings.
H.264 is also expected to accelerate the adoption of megapixel cameras since the highly efficient
compression technology can reduce the large file sizes and bit rates generated without compromising
image quality. There are tradeoffs, however. While H.264 provides savings in network bandwidth and
storage costs, it will require higher performance network cameras and monitoring stations.
H.264 presents a huge step forward in video compression technology. It offers techniques that enable
better compression efficiencies due to more accurate prediction capabilities, as well as improved
resilience to errors. It provides new possibilities for creating better video encoders that enable higher
quality video streams, higher frame rates and higher resolutions at maintained bit rates (compared with
previous standards), or, conversely, the same quality video at lower bit rates.
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