Average Storage Rate

Many people ask at what bitrate am I going to get the best image on a specific codec. The subject is quite debatable and you will get arguments from both sides of the aisle, as manufacturers would have you believe they are capable of providing the highest quality images at some incredibly low bitrates. A lot has to do with the amount of activity, quality of the data and a host of other variables.

This is why you need to be leery of estimates of bandwidth and storage calculation. Storage calculators are kind of like the MPG stickers on a new car; no one ever seems to get that mileage, even going downhill in neutral with a tailwind.

The bitrates below are a general average for “acceptable” quality video on a 4CIF image but actual could be significantly higher:

Again, a word of caution, the above bitrates DO NOT guarantee quality. In terms of storage, a good rule of thumb is at 30 frames per second (real-time) you can equate Mbps to Gigabits per hour. If you were using the above chart an H.264 stream at 30 frames per second (4CIF) would roughly require 1 - 2 GB per hour for very high quality video, while MJPEG might require as much as 10GB per hour. Again, this is very general and actual results will vary drastically. It is safe to theorize MJPEG at low bitrates will not produce a quality image. For more accurate information you can use our online calculator

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