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H.264 not just for IP camera security

The H.264 codec has revolutionised professional security recording. But it has also made possible a raft of additional uses perhaps not originally intended in the specification.

The H.264 codec is now embedded in most new IP cameras on the market, and in particular makes the monitoring and recording of HD video over the network possible with its highly efficient compression, significantly reducing bandwidth use and storage.

H.264 (also known as MPEG-4 part 10) has been around for a while in the general entertainment and online video sectors, only in the last couple of years appearing en-mass in network video products. It is now the most widely used codec for the compression and distribution of HD video both in security and elsewhere. It’s the video format that YouTube use.

In addition, most IP cameras with H.264 also have a real time streaming protocol (RTSP) interface, which can be used to pull a video stream from the camera to be re-broadcast over the Internet. This feature has resulted in IP cameras with embedded H.264 to become the option of choice for streaming video on the web. Our live webcam streaming service Streamdays is a good example of the great results that can be achieved.

A camera’s RTSP interface to H.264 also means easy video retrieval on multiple devices including iPad and iPhones.

Other new capabilities afforded nowadays through H.264 include video conferencing, industrial process monitoring, TV broadcasts, long-haul aircraft installs, and more.

H.264 is a huge improvement over MPEG-4 and we can’t wait to see what’s next for IP video.

Published on March 26th, 2012 by Jessica Brooks

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