Compression Methods for 1080p HD Webcams
1080p HD webcams are the next generation in video streaming technology. This is because the stream is made up of a series of digital signals, which are compressed and delivered to the end-user in compressed file formats. Compressed file formats make the video streams easier to stream because it reduces bandwidth use. Compression also improves video quality as well as data transfer speed.
Compression methodologies vary depending on the quality of the source. Compressed video is generally useful for streaming purposes when the end-user does not have sufficient bandwidth to play back a high-quality video. For this purpose, it has become common to compress videos using the xVA or lab techniques. However, if the source material is of a superior quality then the source should be compressed using the Standard Definition format.
The xVA compression technique is the oldest and the most widely used method. It is based on the principle of the "lossless compression" wherein no information is lost during compression. Unlike the other two compression methods, xVA does not lose the quality of the original video stream. In fact, it is also capable of encoding the full HD resolution content in just one compression format. The compression method has several advantages including high compatibility and low transfer cost.
Compression methodologies based on xVA are capable of reducing bandwidth use significantly. This feature makes the streaming of HD webcams more efficient than the standard VGA or DVI streaming methods. As a result, the quality of the video streams produced by the cameras can be comparable to conventional broadcast standards. Furthermore, there is no significant loss of quality through the compression.
Another compression format that is widely used is the Advanced Video Compression (AVC) method. Although it is capable of reducing bandwidth usage, this method suffers from slow encoding speed and poor streaming performance. Compression of video streams using AVC requires larger storage capacity as well as slower processing speeds. As a result, it is unsuitable for low-bandwidth streaming applications.
The compression algorithm used by ACR is based on the principle of the "lossless compression" which dictates that there is no loss of quality of video or information during the transfer of data. ACR is highly suitable for large streaming data, but the disadvantages include slower streaming speed and poorer visual results. ACR employs the Deflate algorithm to compress the source file while decompressing the data before sending it to the network. This method guarantees that all data will be compressed to the same size irrespective of how much data is being sent to the source device. ACR is capable of reducing data transfer costs for all types of HD webcams regardless of the source.
A newer type of compression algorithm called the BLE (built on Layer 2) can also reduce bandwidth usage. It works on the principle that different web streams use different amounts of bandwidth. The ACR algorithm makes the source stream uncompressible while leaving relevant information such as video codecs and bitrates. The BLE algorithm compresses the source to very small sizes before sending it to the network. For this reason, BLE is not suitable for networks that use large bitrate, streaming video, and other media. The downside of BLE is that it can cause a significant slowdown in network connection.
A new compression technology known as HDCP is emerging in the market. HDCP ensures that only the video streams are transmitted. Therefore, the quality of the web camera will be higher. In addition, HDCP guarantees security as both the video stream and the user's privacy is protected. The availability of high-definition cameras in the market has caused a significant shift in the way business is conducted. More businesses are turning to HDCP for secure video transmission.