H.264 streaming 5MP CCTV camera from Arecont Vision

If you're partial to surreptitiously-acquired videos of amorous couples, bu have ever been frustrated at the poor quality of the dodgy CCTV footage currently available, Arecont Vision have some good news [pdf link] for you.  The video camera company have unveiled a new set of IP cameras that feature the company's own proprietary implementation of H.264 compression.  That means, for instance, that a 3-megapixel video stream at 20fps can need as little bandwidth as 2Mbps.

In fact, it lets Arecont compress the footage 25-times as much as with traditional MPEG video, yet with the same image quality.  They can even be scaled to 1920 x 1080, or 1280 x 720 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio for true HD voyeurism.  Rather cleverly, it's possible to stream the full field of view at a lower resolution while streaming regions of interest at full megapixel resolution.

Four models are available, with 1.3, 2, 3 and 5 megapixels on offer, and each can support multi-streaming capabilities for the transmission of up to 8 H.264 video streams at different video formats, frame rates, and/or resolutions.  They all support compliant Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) and auto-iris control, as well as direct streaming of H.264 video into third-party software players, such as Apple's QuickTime.  Arecont are yet to announce pricing for the new range.