The fith part of the case for H.264 by Mark Harraway, UK Country Manager
Q. Has the popularity of M-JPEG caused the CCTV sector to accept low frame rates as the norm? Is there any truth in the adage: “You don’t miss what you’ve never had.”?
I wouldn’t say that M-JPEG is more popular than MPEG4 or H.264. Rather, it’s just that it is an older and easier format and therefore more convenient to adopt. But then I think the key to this is that when MPEG-4 was introduced, the classic scenario occurred in that those who didn’t offer it tried to frighten the industry by saying that as the B or P frames in MPEG weren’t “complete” frames, this would render the footage inadmissible in court on the grounds that it had been “tampered” with. It’s a similar scenario to so many vendors at this year’s IFSEC saying “Go hybrid!” My contention is that they are only taking this position as they don’t have a comprehensive IP solution and are fudging the issue.
What this has meant is that since M-JPEG makes big demands in both storage and bandwidth, frame rates have been sacrificed meaning that you could miss the crucial shot of a human face. By contrast, with H.264 you can now offer both high frame rate and high resolution very easily over the same bandwidth. The issue of judicial admissibility of MPEG4 or H.264 has long been solved so I do see H.264 as the future of CCTV in general just as few would argue now that HD is the future of commercial television and movies.
Part 6 continues on Monday…