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  1. I'm using a video surveillance software called Webcam Surveyor. I need help regarding its video quality settings. There are two video formats in its settings that it can save the videos in, which are .wmv and .avi.
    .wmv isn't that much customisable and saves the videos in 480p. So, I prefer .avi. When I select .avi, this is where all the confusion begins! There are numerous video codecs to choose from and each of them can be further customised. Each of those codecs have vast individual settings (makes me feel like I am lost in a forest without GPS!). There are countless combinations of video settings that can be made!
    When I select .avi, the default settings are as follows:
    [Attachment 45803 - Click to enlarge]

    [Attachment 45804 - Click to enlarge]

    [Attachment 45805 - Click to enlarge]

    [Attachment 45806 - Click to enlarge]

    The codec that is selected by default is ffdshow video codec, screenshots of the properties of which is also attached above.

    When captured on these settings, the size of the video file is is too high. For 1 hour of footage, it takes on an average of 1.5 GB of space (size varies between 1.1 GB to 1.9 GB, depending on the lighting; the lower the light, the lesser the size). I've tried many different settings but can't decide which is better as I'm kind of an intermediate to video formats, codecs and stuff. So I didn't change anything after choosing .avi.
    Now, I'd like to inform you that the webcam that I am using is of a really terrible quality. Although the resolution for both the videos and photos that it captures is 720p, they are too much noisy and grainy with washed out colours. For that quality of a video, the size that I mentioned above is too damn high.
    Recently, I recorded a 10 minute footage with the same software, same settings and same webcam and tried to convert it from .avi to mp4 with the following settings:
    [Attachment 45807 - Click to enlarge]

    And to my surprise, the size of the converted mp4 was almost the half of the original avi file.
    I compared the quality on both of them, and there was no change. I even took a screenshot from both the original and converted videos at exactly the same frame and compared both the frames. There was not even a slight change in the quality.
    Here are the details of the original .avi video:
    Format : AVI
    Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
    File size : 1.12 GiB
    Duration : 50 min 22 s
    Overall bit rate : 3 194 kb/s

    ID : 0
    Format : MPEG-4 Visual
    Format profile : Simple@L1
    Format settings, BVOP : No
    Format settings, QPel : No
    Format settings, GMC : No warppoints
    Format settings, Matrix : Default (MPEG)
    Codec ID : XVID
    Codec ID/Hint : XviD
    Duration : 50 min 22 s
    Bit rate : 1 770 kb/s
    Width : 1 280 pixels
    Height : 720 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 16:9
    Frame rate : 10.214 FPS
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Compression mode : Lossy
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.188
    Stream size : 638 MiB (55%)
    Writing library : Lavc52.41.0

    ID : 1
    Format : PCM
    Format settings : Little / Signed
    Codec ID : 1
    Duration : 50 min 22 s
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 1 411.2 kb/s
    Channel(s) : 2 channels
    Sampling rate : 44.1 kHz
    Bit depth : 16 bits
    Stream size : 508 MiB (44%)
    Alignment : Aligned on interleaves
    Interleave, duration : 20 ms (0.20 video frame)
    The half size of the converted file is an evidence that the settings can be configured for videos to consume much less space while preserving the same quality!

    I am forced to review each and every footage daily and delete the unnecessary ones as it's becoming difficult to store all the footage because of the space it consumes. 1.1 GB - 1.9 GB of size is way too high for just an hour of 10fps 720p video that has washed out colours, and is too much grainy and noisy. .
    Can anyone help me out choosing the best settings that consumes the least space with the same (or better) quality?
    You can download the software for free from here to have a better look at the settings:
    I'd be really grateful if anyone can help me out.
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  2. Member
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    Mar 2008
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    Almost half of the total stream size is the audio. Can't you choose anything except uncompressed PCM?
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  3. Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    Almost half of the total stream size is the audio. Can't you choose anything except uncompressed PCM?
    Yeah, I noticed that just a while before your reply, when I read carefully the video details that I posted above. As I said, I'm not an expert in video and audio formats, codecs and stuff and therefore, I left every setting on default.
    I checked the details for all the stored video files and saw that on every of them, the size of the audio stream is around 40% that I don't even need! Didn't even realise this all these months! 🤦🏻*♂️
    I used avidemux to completely remove the audio streams from them and saved so much of space! The size of the video that I posted above the details of reduced from 1.12 GB to 638 MB.
    I have now unchecked the option to record audio in the software settings for future videos.
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  4. Member
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    If you want to reduce the video size also, lower the quality (see the top of the encoder settings box)
    You might have to experiment with it to find the right trade off, size/quality
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    First, that noise & grain is likely a function of THAT CAMERA when faced with LOW LIGHT, so there is very little you can do about it besides simply adding more lights.

    Next, IIWY, I would make sure to update your ffdshow to the most recent version. Then use the h264/AVC video codec in your AVI container (along with, say, aac audio codec). I'm confident that it would be one of the most efficient in terms of quality per filesize, EVEN if you avoid some of the more optimizing options (such long GOP, open GOP, CRF, etc) which might make your file a bit more difficult to use in certain situations like editing. And you could even keep the bitrate higher than normal (normal for Avc) to accommodate the noise, while still being more efficient that most alternatives.

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