H.265 Turned Out, HD Security Surveillance Goes Better
September 2014, the worldwide leader in semiconductor solutions for video surveillance Hisilcon announced the launch of the first high-definition network camera processor Hi3516A based H.265/HEVC standard. Hisilcon Hi3516A will solve problems plagued the development of HD video surveillance, and contribute to the new value of video surveillance.
How does the H.265/HEVC standard come out? Will it mean that the network cameras go to a new level, and what are new challenges?
After 10 years, H.265 technology eventually emerges
When iPhone 5S came onto to the market, everyone is waiting for iPhone 6. People look forward to endless technological progress. So, when H.264 came out, H.265 is already turned into a conceptual thing and gradually becomes a reality. But the process took ten years.
. In 2003, ITU-T VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group) started the "explore" project called NGVC (Next-Generation Video Coding). After several efforts, there was little success.
. Around 2005, various improvement programs based on the H.264 / AVC were collected together and composed an encoder called KTA (Key Technical Areas). Within the next few years, algorithms were continuous to be improved.
. June 2009, for high-resolution video sources, KTA can increase the compression performance of H.264 / AVC by about 30%.
. January 2010, the members were finally announced the formation of a joint working group. The name is JCT-VC (Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding). They also collected the coding schemes all around the world.
. April 2010, JCT-VC held its first working group meeting. Total 27 copies of the encoding schemes involved in a fierce competition. In order to fully evaluate these coding schemes, JCT-VC totally specified five categories of test video source, covering a variety of images resolution from WQVGA to 720P / 1080P HD until the Ultra HD and including various typical image frame rate and bit rate. In addition, all test sequences were divided into two categories: one was Random Access, allowed the assessed coding schemes to use GOP image arrangement with a length of 8. Its typical scenario is digital television broadcasting applications. Another was Low Delay, to prohibit image coding sequence rearranged. The typical scenario was real-time conversation business applications with a strictly limited delay.
After careful evaluation and analysis, the new coding proposal, compared to the existing H.264/AVC, can increase double compression efficiency. Then, the "next-generation video coding" was officially launched. At the same time, the corresponding coding proposals were fitted into TmuC (Test Model under Consideration), that was the candidate of HEVC final plan. And in the subsequent period of time, TmuC has been continuously tested, improved and challenged.
. February 2013, the HEVC / H.265 standard was formally approved by the ITU. The standard called High Efficiency Video Coding. China's Huawei owns the most core patents, and is the leader of the standard.
H.265 VS H.264 VS H.263
H.265 is designed to transmit higher quality video under limited network bandwidth, and play the same quality video with only half of the original bandwidth. It means that our smart phones, tablet and other mobile devices will be able to play 1080p full HD video online directly. H.265 standard also supports 4K (4096 × 2160) and 8K (8192 × 4320) ultra-high-definition video. H.265 standard makes the network video keep up the pace of "high resolution" display. This makes the 4K security video surveillance even better.
Take Hi3516A as example, the processor opts Hisilcon advanced H.265/HEVC algorithm, improves the H.265/HEVC standard’s inherent image ringing effect, reduces 50% code stream when have the same image quality as the H.264/AVC. Meanwhile, Hi3516A with flexible high-performance ARM Cortex-A7 processor and the second generation of intelligent analysis co-processor unit IVE2.0, provides license plate recognition, perimeter guard, face identification as many as 40 kinds of intelligence analysis applications. Its true multi-frame WDR and Hisilcon’s third generation 3D noise reduction technology can also provide excellent image quality even in harsh lighting conditions. Hi3516A supports up to 5 million pixels in real-time video encoding. Advanced Hisilcon network transmission technology, enables the network transmission delay of less than 100ms.
H.265/HEVC encoding architecture is similar to H.264/AVC's architecture. It also mainly includes intra prediction, inter prediction, conversion (transform), quantization, deblocking filter, entropy coding and other modules. But in HEVC encoding architecture, the overall is divided into three basic units, namely: coding unit, CU, predict unit, PU and transform unit, TU. Compared to H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC provides more different tools to reduce the bit rate. The coding unit of H.264 in each macroblock/MB is the fixed size of 16x16 pixels, and H.265 encoding unit can choose from the smallest 8x8 to the largest 64x64.
Cautious optimism to H.265
Currently HD network cameras can provide 1.0MP, 2.0MP, 5.0MP or higher pixels of video images. Take 1080P as example, the stream is about 6 ~ 8Mbit with smooth screen and good quality. If a system includes hundreds or thousands of high-definition surveillance points, then the entire network data flow will be quite large. During the network transmission coming at one time, there may include video streaming used for storage, real-time and playback viewing and a third-party system to call. It is bound to cause great pressure on network switching equipment and servers, even lead to network down and affect the stability of the entire network. So, how to meet the huge data streams transmission under limited network bandwidth and plan the trend of video streams reasonably, has become the primary problem to solve for high-definition monitor.
The usage of more advanced video coding technology H.265/HEVC let these difficulties solved easily. Compared with H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC’s greatest skill is to reduce data transfer bandwidth to half of the H.264/AVC basically under the premise of maintaining the quality unchanged. At the same time, it also supports up to 7680 × 4320 resolution. Therefore, whether future 4K or higher levels of ultra-high definition video, we can also be encoded by H.265 / HEVC format.
Another big problem is the game console’s support for the H.265 standard. Sony s PS2 and PS3 console promote the development of DVD and Blu-ray standard. And the upcoming release of PS4 will probably theoretically support 4K resolution content. But how to transmit the 4K resolution video, and which standards to be supported, these still remain under discussion.
As the leader of security video surveillance, Safer (site: safer.net.cn ) has already been developing cameras with H.265 solution. It is estimated that the products will be released on Jan 2015.