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How to save on storage and bandwidth while getting the sharpest quality video with Region of Interest compression

Filed under: IP Cameras

As IP camera technology evolves, and ultra-high definition video becomes more commonplace, managing bandwidth and storage has become a full-time job, especially in large distributed video surveillance deployments.

Exceeding your bandwidth limitations can slow down your system and cost you money, both with your Internet service provider and by filling up precious hard drive space.

Various technologies exist to solve this problem, but the challenge is more complex than just compressing files. In many cases, it’s about finding the right balance. When all video is compressed, you may lose quality and the ability to zoom in on the things that you care about such as license plates, facial features and other important details. Ensuring certain parts of the scene remain sharp is key.

That’s why March Networks has introduced a new video compression technology called Region of Interest (ROI). With this new feature, you can maintain image quality in the specific areas you care about without breaking the storage bank.

ROI is available in March Networks’ new ME6 IR Dome and ME6 IR DuraBullet cameras, and the March Networks SE4 IR DuraBullet. When you take advantage of the feature, you can:

Focus on what matters most

With ROI compression, you can hone in on the parts of the video scene that are essential to your business. In the camera software, you simply draw a box around the items in the field of view that are less relevant. The technology automatically compresses details inside those boxes – to the degree you desire. For example, in a scene like below, the busy street in the background and foliage surrounding the parking lot are compressed so that unnecessary motion doesn’t increase data rates. The focus is placed on vehicles, license plates and people coming and going instead.

Computer monitor showing a parking lot with boxes drawn around the foliage to demonstrate Region of Interest compression being applied.

Increase flexibility

With ROI compression, you have the flexibility to change your mind about what is important. You can draw up to four square zones that vary in size to apply ROI, and those zones can be changed to suit your needs. For instance, if some parts of a scene are of interest to you today and won’t be of interest tomorrow, you can easily reapply the zones.

You also have the flexibility to draw a zone with the opposite effect, so instead of adding compression to the area, you can add compression all around the box and decrease compression inside it. In an indoor scene in a bank lobby, for example, you can draw boxes so the focus can be on the ATMs, rather than the blank walls surrounding the space.

Save money by reducing storage and bandwidth

When bandwidth-intense frames are transmitted less frequently, you’ll free up bandwidth and storage space, meaning you’ll have to purchase fewer hard drives. While you can use ROI compression with cameras that have variable bit rate (VBR) or constant bit rate (CBR) settings, the ROI compression feature pairs perfectly with the Low Bit Rate (LBR) setting on March Networks IP cameras.

The LBR setting optimizes the bit rate automatically for the best video quality based on scene complexity, decreasing your data rates by as much as 50% in most applications. Paired with LBR, the ROI compression feature decreases your data rates by an additional 15% for a total decrease of up to 65% compared to a standard VBR feature.

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