Quality Questions - Re-encoding

General discussion about Blue Iris
speedyrazor
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 07, 2020 2:15 pm

Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by speedyrazor » Thu May 07, 2020 2:30 pm

Hi, I am new to BI, purchased a license a few months ago, coming from Synology Surveillance Station, so using that as my reference.
The main question I have is around the quality of the Camera feeds. It is my understanding that using Web UI3 for previewing cameras, BI re-encodes all the cameras feeds and thus (for me) the quality is quite low. For Surveillance Station, I don't think anything is re-encoded, in the mosaic view (multiple cameras in single view), the application takes the lower sub-stream from each camera and displays this as full FPS, when clicking a camera to go full view, it then switches to the main-stream at full FPS (meaning whatever the cmaera has been set to in the cameras settings outside of BI, and thus maintains full camera capability quality and FPS at all times, no re-encoding is taking place.
With BI, my observation is, and this may be incorrect and I apologise if thats the case, is that except for direct to disc recording, all viewing in the UI3 is re-encoding, and thus loosing quality and fps, etc.
I have read a few guides on turning up the quality, but is there anywhere to actually turn off re-encoding altogether and display either sub-stream for mosaic view and main-stream for full screen?
I apologies if any assumptions are incorrect here.
Many thanks.
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TimG
Posts: 1114
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:45 am
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK.

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by TimG » Sat May 09, 2020 9:43 am

Hi,

I think most of us use "direct to disc" to reduce cpu loading. BI5 will then record to disc at whatever resolution and fps you have chosen for that camera. UI3 can then be set to use various resolutions to view the feeds, but it doesn't affect the quality of the original source/recording. I think that rather than use the alternative feed from the camera, UI3 can change/reduce the overall resolution to the chosen value.
BI5 v54904 x64 | Win10 21H1 | Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-ZE, Foscam R2, Ertech 4MP, Neos2, 2 SD cams | BI5:1 i5-3330, 16GB Ram, Multiple SSD and HD, Homeseer 2 HSPhone, TVMosaic | BI5:2 Ryzen 1800X, 16GB Ram, Multiple SSD and HD, Homeseer 4, Emby, DVBViewer.
bp2008
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:31 pm

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by bp2008 » Tue May 12, 2020 3:32 pm

You are right, all streams sent to UI3 are re-encoded by Blue Iris and therefore lower quality than the source. Blue Iris does not offer a way for a remote client to pull an original (not re-encoded) stream. The one exception to this is when exporting clips without re-encoding, but this isn't a realtime viewing method and doesn't work for live video.
HeneryH
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:50 pm

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by HeneryH » Wed May 13, 2020 7:00 pm

You can set viewing FPS and Resolution though can't you?

I can't imagine why someone would want a dashboard of 12 thumbnails running at 30fps UHD streams though. Even browse one camera for that matter.

If you want to get to the ultra fine resolution and frame rate then you need to export.

Out of curiosity, is there a use-case where that level of real time monitoring is needed? You're not running in a casino are you?
speedyrazor
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 07, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by speedyrazor » Wed May 13, 2020 8:48 pm

HeneryH wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:00 pm You can set viewing FPS and Resolution though can't you?

I can't imagine why someone would want a dashboard of 12 thumbnails running at 30fps UHD streams though. Even browse one camera for that matter.

If you want to get to the ultra fine resolution and frame rate then you need to export.

Out of curiosity, is there a use-case where that level of real time monitoring is needed? You're not running in a casino are you?
I work in the Encoding / Transcoding business, so unfortunately any lowering of quality is quite noticeable (I know quality is subjectional, and one persons 'good quality' is another persons 'poor quality'). I have the raw camera RTSP feeds in another application (Home Assistant), so am exposed to the 'full camera quality' regularly, quite a noticeable difference.
The main issue I have with BI is that on the main mosaic screen, FPS is only about 5 FPS (CPU is only about 30%), is there anyway to get this FPS up to 15 FPS, for example (as all my cameras are at 15 FPS). The quality of the mosaic screen is ok'sh (would like FPS higher), but when clicking on a camera to view just that single stream, there should be the option to view at full camera quality without re-encoding.
HeneryH
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:50 pm

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by HeneryH » Thu May 14, 2020 4:34 pm

You can tweak your view settings in the (App Settings - Web Server - Encoding - Advanced) and the (App Settings - Cameras - Limit Preview Rate) and maybe elsewhere.
speedyrazor
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 07, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by speedyrazor » Thu May 14, 2020 5:19 pm

Yes, I already set those, but the where is there a fps setting for the main webserver mosaic view? Ill attach my current setting, which I believe is maximum quality (still not great).
Screenshot 2020-05-14 at 18.16.27.png
Screenshot 2020-05-14 at 18.16.27.png (46.83 KiB) Viewed 7409 times
HeneryH
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:50 pm

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by HeneryH » Fri May 15, 2020 12:57 pm

You might need to go with a more pro solution to satisfy your discerning eye.
speedyrazor
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 07, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by speedyrazor » Fri May 15, 2020 1:26 pm

I didn't mean to belittle the product, it does an awful lot for the money, but was more asking is there any 'hidden' settings anywhere which I am missing.
thinggiebob
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:38 am

Re: Quality Questions - Re-encoding

Post by thinggiebob » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:51 am

I didn't mean to belittle the product, it does an awful lot for the money, but was more asking is there any 'hidden' settings anywhere which I am missing.
I am a bit late to the party here but, same as speedyrazor, product is great and I appreciate it very much.
The quality difference is noticeable however, and it doesn't make sense when you account for the bandwidth required to play either a live stream or recording.

The thing is, its recording at lets say 680KB/sec directly from the camera, streaming the same feed or recording results in 1500-1600KB/sec if you leave it uncapped, which is not ideal for when out and about on phone, and 680KB/sec would maybe work much better and have the original camera stream quality.
Basically what I wish, and I am guessing I am not alone is stream direct from recording/live stream instead of re-encoding which is both taxing on the bandwidth used as well as CPU (CPU not important at all, its minor hit, but still..)

Maybe, I may write a support email and see if a direct stream without encoding would be possible.
I urge anyone else to do the same as generally feature requests are processed via how many people express interest, regardless how good of an idea it is sadly.

Cheers!
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