Hikvision Recommended Video Settings

This article will cover all the recommended Hikvision video settings in the most typical scenarios, which will increase your camera’s efficiency and performance. Additionally, by changing the settings, you can optimize storage and get the best footage simultaneously.

Hikvision Video Settings

There are three types of Hikvision camera video settings:

Main Stream

This is all stored and recorded on the hard drive; thus, the values should be set higher.

Sub-Stream

This camera setting records solely based on events, and the default values can be applied.

Recommended Video Settings for Hikvision cameras

The recommended Hikvision video settings below are valid for any Hikvision cameras and OEM versions sold by other third-party brands or companies. 

Furthermore, these suggestions can be applied to other security cameras regardless of brand or manufacturer, as the recommendations are based on logic. Thus, the relationship between these settings is universal and can be applied to other surveillance systems.

Before starting the process of changing to recommended Hikvision video settings, you should be aware of their relationship with the space on your hard drive.

The higher the value of said settings, the bigger the space needed in the internal hard drive. This simply means it will reduce your total amount of recording days. To find the correct balance, open the video settings by going to Configurations, Video/Audio, then Video.

Wondering if Hikvision cameras are secure? Find out in the article.

Recommended Hikvision Video Settings for Main Stream

The Main Stream is the first video footage the camera transmits to your recorder. It provides you with the highest video quality and utilizes the DVR/ NVR to save footage to your internal hard drive.

Nevertheless, your Mainstream settings should be adequately adjusted to show you a high-quality image meanwhile optimizing the storage. Below you will find the balance that will work in most typical situations.

Settings for Mainstream can be adjusted to decrease or increase the FPS (Frames Per Second), the Bitrate and Bitrate Type, and the Recording Resolution.

These settings will then influence the recording file size and alter the available amount of recording days. It is not a perfect science, but the rule of thumb is the lower the settings, the lower the quality. But more recording time.

You don’t need to exaggerate the settings here just because you can. Remember to keep a balance.

Most of the time, FullHD video (1920×1080) and 15 FPS are enough.

You can also set the video quality to higher (avoid using highest) and for this configuration, 4096 Kbps (4Mbps) is enough.

See the picture below as an example of the most common Hikvisivison recording settings for the Main Stream.

Now, let me explain a little bit about the parameters we are talking about in this article.

Main Steam Recommended FPS (Frames Per Second)

FPS is a measure of the number of images a system will use to create a motion and turn it into a video. For example, 15 FPS signifies that the system uses 15 pictures per second to create one second of footage.

The higher the number, the more flowy and smooth the footage looks, which can be used to identify car plates and faces. The lower the FPS is, the more robotic and choppy the image will look. Thus, it depends on your needs.

Here’s a table that illustrates these settings

Most common settingsFPS
Home/Small Offices10 to 12
Business15 to 30
Banks30 to 60
License Plate Reading15 to 30

Please don’t set the Frame rate to high just because the option is available on your system.

Most of the time you don’t need them to be that higher. It’s a misconception among professionals with non-practical experience.

I’ve been in real situations where technicians were setting the FPS for LPR (License Plate Recognition) to 60 FPS which was way too high.

I often see people making some confusion about Frame Rate and Shutter Speed configuration for LPR.

Most of the time 15 to 30 FPS is good enough for LPR systems and then you have to work on other parameters.

Read the article: How LPR works to learn more about the setting for your camera/recorder.

Main Stream Recommended Bit Rate

Bit Rate measures the amount of bandwidth a system uses to create and then store the footage. The higher the bit rate, the more data transmitted.

Nevertheless, it will take a more significant chunk out of the hard drive; thus, you must balance the settings enough to fit your specific needs.

Megapixel/ResolutionRecommended Value
1MP (1280×720)1024
2MP (1920×1080)2048
3MP (2048×1536)4096
4MP (2560×1440)4096
5MP (2560×1440)6144
4K/ 8MP (3840×2160)8192

Please read the article: What is bitrate of CCTV camera to learn more about this topic.

Recommended Hikvision Video Settings for Sub Stream

A Sub Stream is used to view footage from a device such as a phone or a tablet. Because phones will struggle to display footage at the highest settings, the parameters of Substream are lower than Main.

An absence of footage or lagging can sometimes be seen when using Sub Stream on your smart devices. This indicates that you need to adjust the Frame Rate, Max Bitrate, and I-frame Rate accordingly to fix it.

Furthermore, the Sub Stream does not record and is used only for remote monitoring. Thus, you shouldn’t be concerned if it is not the clearest image. Sub Streams mostly rely on the system’s location and its upload speed.

The quicker the upload speed, the less lagging, and the better the Video will be for users remote monitoring their homes.

If said upload speed is not reliable and low, users will have issues trying to access the cameras. Another important factor is a good internet service that can handle your cameras. It would be best if you had an upload speed of around 2Mbps per camera.

As you can see in the previous picture, the Substream can use low values to keep the bandwidth and storage at low values.

You don’t need high resolution to send a video stream to a small screen on a mobile phone, right?

The same is true for the frame rate, so keep it low.

Sub Stream Recommended Bit Rate

Megapixel/ResolutionRecommended Value
320×240256
640×360512
640×480512

Final Thoughts

The video settings above are standard recommendations for most situations. Thus, at one point, increasing the Bitrate won’t enhance the image’s quality but actually waste the camera’s resources.

Thus it would help if you tried to follow the guidelines and recommended Hikvision video settings to balance your camera’s Bitrate and Resolution to match. This way, you get a good quality image without wasting away resources.

Moreover, consider FPS and its impacts. If your Frame Rates are too low, your image will be robotic-like and choppy, making it hard to identify faces or license plates. 

Older CCTV systems would run on 1-2 Frames Per second; modern ones don’t go lower than 15 Frames Per Second. Therefore, your footage should always be smooth and flowy.

Additionally, you should use your system’s compression codec. Specifically, the one that is more prone to saving you more bandwidth, such as H.265.

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