WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Well unless you are an Internet Service Provider you should worry about H.264 or MPEG 4 AVC as today most, not to say all, communications go via an IP Network and, in order to have the quality of communication you need at an affordable price you need to ensure your solution is compatible to this protocol. Within the standard there are a number of different profile requirements on how the codec function should work depending on the nature of usage. This can be from very low-end applications where reduction of bandwidth demand is key (such as video to mobile phones) right through to high-definition Ultra High-Quality broadcasting.
It is important to note that H.264 and IP give you the flexibility to tailor the system to meet on-the-ground needs. By contrast, in an analogue or DVR-based system, it is the hardware that dictates matters through supported frame rates or recording space in the box. The beauty of an IP / H.264 system is that you can be dynamic in the offering. After all, why record at a high frame rate or resolution when nothing is happening? The way forward must be to move to event or alarm-driven recording. And if you really do need 24/7 recording then use the power of H.264 to reduce your bandwidth and thus your storage requirements.
In Video Media Collaboration using the latest H.264 High-Profile codec technology will give you the best image and audio quality at any bandwidth.
In Multimedia Streaming and Distribution using H.264 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) a common video encoding standard algorithm used by most of the major players in the industry, will also facilitates automatic discovery, control, monitoring, and distribution.
Furthermore using H.264 should improve network latency as you are reducing the bandwidth on the network by pushing the work to the edge device. If the concern is image delay (perhaps moving one’s hand in front of a camera and then seeing this on the screen), the issue comes down again to the truism that you get what you pay for. Higher build standard encoders or cameras will give quicker response times as they have faster processors and the manufacturers are likely to have implemented the profile better. Again this can all be adjusted in the individual codec settings.