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Image Quality Factors in CCTV Set-Ups

   This FAQ is under construction!

Please email us at sales@CCTVGold.com if you wish to contribute, comment or ask for clarification.

We are treating this FAQ as an ongoing discussion.

Last Updated Spt 08, 2008


1. The resolution that you have set the DVR software to run at.
 
Is it running at
CIF    352 X 240
CIF2   640 X 480
D1     720 X 480

The higher the resolution is set for, the greater details and image quality you will achieve. This setting however may effect performance, depending on the CPU speed, memory, and video card of the system in which you have the card installed..
 

2. Video card and amount of memory on the video card.

 Memory on the video card is especial important as opposed to motherboard onboard memory.

An PCI Express card will render more effectively than an AGP card
An AGP card will render more effectively than a PCI card
An AGP card will give better rendering than onboard video


and higher end nVideo cards or higher end ATI cards will most likely give better rendering than an Intel card.

The driver...is it updated....or is it the generic native Windows driver. It is best to always visit the video card or systems chip set manufacturer and download and install the latest driver developed by the manufacture.


3. The amount of memory on the Motherboard is a factor not only in systems with onboard video but also when there are AGP, PCI or PCI Express cards handling the video.
 
The more memory on the Motherboard the better the performance.

4. Camera resolution  380-420-480-530-550 TV lines as well as the refresh rate of the camera.


5. brightness, contrast, hue and saturation controls within the DVR program


6. The Resolution of the monitor 1024 X 768 or 1280 X 1024...The width of the monitor....19" monitors distort. The brightness, contrast, hue and saturation controls of the monitor


7. Type of light

The type of light will have a direct impact on color rendition.

indoor incandescent mostly blue spectrum
indoor fluorescent mostly red spectrum
outdoor daylight - full spectrum

 
8 Speed of moving subject - Frames per second of the DVR device will have the greatest impact on whether a moving object will appear to be blurry or crisp and focused.


9. Frames per second rate   recording or viewing.


10. Codec, Algorithm or Compression Method.

Indeo5
MPEG4
JPEG
MPEG2


11. The viewing program you are using will also have an effect on the quality of video. You may get the best results using Windows Media. There is a program that is free to download called Irfanview (Google it). Then there are viewing programs within the programs of most DVR capture cards.

Try a couple to see which results suit you best!

 

Discussion Taking Place at http://www.cctvforum.com/

DuncansOnline: I have been searching with Google to find any discussions about the quality of video produced by AVerMedia cards when compared to GeoVision cards.

I have not found much to read.

I am particularly interested in head to head comparisons....such as the AVernv3000 directly compared to the GV-600 and of the AVernv5000 directly compared to the GV-800.

Any comments would be most welcome. Especially discussing color depth, crispness, rendering of detail and crispness.

CollinR: From my experience Aver is better. lol

Okay I can shoot you some points on both sides!

Geovision Pros:
** Has active CCTVForum presence! < This is a biggie for me, they aren't shy or scared.
*Software Configurablity, its got tons of configuration options.
*Video quality, this is more related to configuration then anything else.
*Features, Geo has more features that in reality few actually use.
*Digital IO controls, Geo has more for less when it comes to digital IO.
**Dynamic load balancing on framerate.
**Multistreaming based on function in use.
*Looping output is an option and not too expensive either.

Avermedia Pros:
** Has mild CCTVForum presence, they are here.
*Hardware Configurability, most of the time you can upgrade without a total redo.
*Ease of use, I do not have to train my customers to use Aver.
*IP and Megapixel support, Aver has an open IP scheme.
*Integration, Geo preaches it Aver delivers it.
*Cost, Aver is usually cheaper, especially if you factor in #2.
*Ease of modification, Aver is easier to tweak much of it is flat file configuration.
*IP stream transcoding. (Dunno Geo may have this too, I'm not paying the license fee to find out.)
*All Aver cards have at least a mux TV output.
*More cameras per box if you desire, 32 compared to Geo 16.
*Quickly catching Geo on features.
*Quickly catching Geo on IO controls.
*OEM software available, SDK not readily available but more so then Geo.
*Aver seems more hardware tolerant, dunno if this is factual though.

Geo Cons:
*No upgrade path.
*IP license cost is crazy!!!
*More Geo pirated on eBay, makes it tough for legit dealers to compete.
*No OEM software available, SDK difficult/impossible to aquire.
*No easy means of integrating with higher control systems.
*TV out means you spend a grand.
*Cost

Aver Cons:
*Little to no compression controls, pick your codec and a slider.
*Basically no streaming controls at all.
*No dynamic load balancing, set it and forget it frame rate.
*Depending on hardware frame rate can be reduced by ports not in use.

DuncansOnline: This is comparison written by CollinR is obviously written from experience and is very valuable.

My immediate interests in comparing has to do with the quality of video produced.

I am starting to put together a FAQ on video quality, and I have identified 10 points to explore and discuss......really having to do with things other than the card.

Right now I am trying to understand the difference between MPEG4 and H2.64. I am learning that H2.64 is a relatively new version of MPEG4 and is sometimes referred to as MPEG4-10

I have not discovered if AVerMedia and GeoVision are using different codecs, or what the differences would be between codecs or between the images produced by either card.

Any contributions to this discussion would be really helpful, very welcome and certainly invited.

DuncansOnline wrote:

I have not discovered if AVerMedia and GeoVision are using different codecs, or what the differences would be between codecs or between the images produced by either card.

Any contributions to this discussion would be really helpful, very welcome and certainly invited.

1. The resolution that you have set the DVR software to run at.

Running at
CIF 352 X 240
CIF2 640 X 480
D1 720 X 480


The higher the resolution is set for, the greater details and image quality you will achieve. This setting however may effect performance, depending on the CPU speed, memory, and video card of the system in which you have the card installed..
 

CollinR: All are supported by both.

Both use custom codecs, this is as much for security and feature support as anything else.

DuncansOnline wrote:

2. Video card and amount of onboard memory (on the card)
especially as opposed to motherboard onboard memory.


An AGP Express card will render more effectively than an AGP card
An AGP card will render more effectively than a PCI card
An AGP card will give better rendering than onboard video

an higher end nVideo card or higher end ATI card will give better rendering than an Intel card.
The amount of memory on the video card is a factor

The driver...is it updated....native Windows driver or the chip sets manufacturer latest driver?

3. The amount of memory on the Motherboard is a factor not only in systems with onboard memory but also when there are AGP Express, AGP or PCI cards handling the video.

CollinR: This is highly debatable, and from my home theater experience I can tell you the top end of Nvidia is made for gaming not video playback. Really it makes little difference though as all CCTV systems use codecs not directly supported by basically anyone. So no matter how much you spend you will most likely not see hardware support for decoding the video from these systems.

I have no problems with on board Intel video from most modern systems.

All use their own drivers this is for copy protection of the software as much as anything else. Some cards also have generic Windows drivers but they will not function with the original software unless it's a pirated system.

DuncansOnline wrote:

4. Camera resolution 380-420-480-530-550 TVLs as well as the refresh rate of the camera.
 

CollinR: Don't forget 480p and the various megapixel formats.

DuncansOnline wrote:

5. brightness, contrast, hue and saturation controls within the DVR program
 

CollinR: Both are similar I can't say one stands above another.

DuncansOnline wrote:

6. resolution of the monitor 1024 X 768 or 1280 X 1024...The width of the monitor....19" monitors distort. The brightness, contrast, hue and saturation controls of the monitor.
 

CollinR: This is very important with all systems but crucially important in analog cameras where 480i is the maximum capture. IMHO the bigger issue is aspect ratio, analog cameras are all 4:3 aspect ratio and those displays are getting harder and harder to come by. Both companies have created interfaces that support 16:9 aspect ratio displays however when you full screen you will surely notice the distortion. With Avermedia you have an uncompressed TV output that can be used with conventional TVs, this is the highest quality live viewing available. With Geovison you have a loop output which can be combined with a mux for Aver like functionality or a quad processor. Again this will be uncompressed unadulterated video straight from the cam.

DuncansOnline wrote:

7. Type of light

indoor incandescent mostly blue spectrum
indoor fluorescent mostly red spectrum
outdoor daylight - full spectrum
 

CollinR: Both deal with this similarly.

DuncansOnline wrote:

8 Speed of moving subject - type of camera - refresh rate
 

CollinR: This is only an issue with IP cameras and cameras with adjustable shutter speeds. Be leary of the function called "DSS" or Digital Slow Shutter, it's supposed to help with night viewing but only works well for static scenes.

DuncansOnline wrote:

9. Frames per second rate recording or viewing.
 

CollinR: This depends on the device chosen from the lineup, Geo has dynamic balancing and Aver does not.

DuncansOnline wrote:

10. Compression

Indeo5
MPEG4
JPEG
 

CollinR: This is also not really comparable, got Dishnet HD at home? Guess what that's an MPEG4/H.264 stream. How is the quality there?

The problem is how do you like a 1TB HDD only holding a day or twos worth of video per cam?

DuncansOnline There is a fair amount to absorb in your last post! Thanks.

One question......I know and understand that the live TV image is superior.

What happens when a recorded video is played back through the TV? Does it have the same quality as when it is viewed live?

Would a person be well advised to locate their DVR computer close to a Wide Screen LCD or Plasma TV not only for viewing, but also for playback?

=======================================================

I can't say about Geo but here are some Avermedia complaints

1. The Remote software you can't add multi account
2. CMS alarm screen show up as primary instead of live or monitor screen
3. All Software are not integrated together for example you can't do remote setup with the remote software without having to install another program called remote setup which is a separate program from the remote software. Same goes for other programs like enhance etc...

It's like you have to install each program separately just to do one job.

4. The new remote version on live view doesn't have overlay time stamp on each camera (it does stamp when you export it to avi)

Everything else about Aver i like it.. the video quality is nice, support ip cams, free software, nice product lines and stable.

=======================================================

There could be a lot of reasons, the biggest I assume is that your looking at a flat pallette...Most compressions will compress ...like objects...or similar colored surfaces without great contour and will apply these areas with more compression....IE If I point a camera straight down at the carpet...more compression is applied to the picture, the reason is because the carpet is all similar. no detail no contours. no need to shave compression.....but if I lift it up...then it tends to see more detail and apply less compression.

You should be able to adjust this...there are a whole lot of other things to consider though..

Wide Dynamic Range...concrete is white - are the other areas of the picture dark...like shade etc or dark grass, flat surfaces reflect light...grass does not as much, so as far as the cam is concerned its getting a bright and dark in the same scene....better cameras handle this better.

Resolution......are you using the highest res...have you set your DVr to the larger resolution.

On an analog monitor the picture always looks great .. that's because its not compressed.  it's like comparing a movie in a cinema to a small file size one off the net (not that I would download movies of the net of course Cool )

Also the refresh rate of a CRT vrs a LCD is better....so it could be your video card or LCD that is the problem...most likely its compression

======================================================

Notes for further investigation
Stand Alone DVR versus DVR card.???

when you set the frames per second of the recording does that change the viewing simultaneously?

What happens when a recorded video is played back through the TV? Does it have the same quality as when it is viewed live?


Jamie 1-408-942-2118 tech support
Linda

 

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