Compare Reliability and CPU load of IP Cam methods

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Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:06 pm

Compare Reliability and CPU load of IP Cam methods

Post by mabene » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:28 pm


with the availability of libvlc capture method on 1.27.0 I decided to have a short look at the different capture methods available for an IP camera. The test used a trivisopn NC-336PW network Camera - FullHD Resulution @ 18fps and lots of available formats for capturing images:

RTSP H.264 stream: rtsp://
RTSP MPEG4 stream: rtsp://
RTSP MJPEG stream: rtsp://
HTTP MJPEG stream:
HTTP snapshot image:

I tried all formats using remote/ffmpeg/libvlc. for ffmpeg rtsp I forced tcp with ?tcp url parameter - udp resulted in smeared images. System was Ubuntu 12.04 LTS w/ Zoneminder 1.27.0 branch compiled from source.

  • * I ended up using mjpeg with remote/http. This setting provided best combination of reliability and CPU usage.
    * ffmpeg rtsp failed because it doesn't recover nicely from network failures
    * no idea why ffmpeg http mjpeg stream didn't work; successfully using it with several other cams on this server
    * libvlc is extremely CPU hungry compared to other options
    * libvlc does not reduce CPU usage when limiting fps on the zoneminder side

Code: Select all

Encoding    method  protocol    status          CPU usage           
 FPS Cam                                   15        15        5    
 FPS ZM                                    unlimited  5       unlimited 
jpeg        remote  http        OK         10,0%      6,0%    n/a       *1
jpeg        ffmpeg  http        n/a             
jpeg        libvlc  http        n/a             
mjpeg       remote  http        OK         17,6%      5,5%     6,0% 
mjpeg       ffmpeg  http        error               
mjpeg       libvlc  http        OK         32,2%     31,5%    27,0% 
mjpeg       remote  rtsp        error               
mjpeg       ffmpeg  rtsp        error               
mjpeg       libvlc  rtsp        OK         34,0%     34,0%    28,0% 
h.264       remote  rtsp        unusable                                *2
h.264       ffmpeg  rtsp        OK         12,7%      5,3%     5,6%     *5
h.264       libvlc  rtsp        OK         26,0%     25,5%    25,6% 
mpeg4       remote  rtsp        not stable 5,1%       3,3%     3,2%     *3,*4
mpeg4       ffmpeg  rtsp        OK         5,1%       3,2%     3,1%     *3,*5
mpeg4       libvlc  rtsp        error               
*1  frame rate maxes out at about 8 fps                     
*2  most frames smeared, frequent zmc restarts                      
*3  Cam maxes out at about 9,5 fpsd                     
*4  connection to camera not stable, loss of image after some minutes                       
*5  Stream does not recover after network disconnect
Hope someone else finds this interesting

Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: Compare Reliability and CPU load of IP Cam methods

Post by patpend » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:33 pm

Very interesting, thanks for doing this.

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