Axis introduces Zipstream for more compression

New technology reduces storage, bandwidth by half
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CHELMSFORD, Mass.—In what Axis’ Fredrik Nilsson called a “major innovation that will fuel the growth of the [network video] market” Axis Communications launched Zipstream, a new compression technology, that it says consumes half of the storage and bandwidth of H.264.

“We launched H.264 in 2008; people ask if Zipstream is as big of a deal? It’s a bigger deal,” Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Communications GM Americas told Security Systems News.

Why is it a bigger deal?

Zipstream “is fully compatible with the existing standard [H.264] and all the video management systems out there,” Nilsson said. Integrators “can upgrade most [Axis] cameras right away with a firmware update,” he said. Zipstream is optimized for video surveillance, he added.

When H.264 was launched in 2008, “we had one or two products [that could use the standard] it took a year-and-a-half before we had a decent portfolio [of H.264 products], and it was longer before we had the VMS [partners] to support it,” Nilsson explained.

The difference with this compression technology is that Zipstream is ready now. “We can start to install it with partners in Q2,” Nilsson said.

Zipstream works by filtering out details such as “blue sky or moving trees [for example] that are not very interesting,” Nilsson explained. “Then you can compress [the video] harder,” he said, for substantial savings “an average or 50 percent or more” in bandwidth consumption and storage requirements.

Nilsson noted that network cameras consume more bandwidth these days as the result of increased image quality “HDTV and low-light capabilities.”

Axis announced the launch of Zipstream on March 19. Nilsson said Axis wanted to give integrators an introduction to the technology in advance of ISC West, which will take place April 15-17.