What is a substream in a Hikvision camera?

In this article, I answer the question, "What is a substream in a Hikvision camera?"

This is a very common question among security camera installers and DIYers.

It's essential to understand the difference between the different streams available in the camera or recorder so that you can optimize the use of resources.

The Mainstream and Sub-stream

OK, you are looking for an answer about the Hikvision sub-stream. I'm glad to inform you that a mainstream and sub-stream are standard terms also used by a bunch of different security camera manufacturers.

Mainstream is the primary video feed available in the device to provide the highest video quality. It's usually used to record footage into a recorder (NVR).

You can change the mainstream parameters to reduce or improve the quality and the need for more bandwidth and storage space. Still, it's recommended to adjust the mainstream parameters to give you the highest quality possible.

Sub-stream is the secondary video feed available to provide a lower quality video stream for remote device access. A Hikvksion camera or recorder can send a video stream to smartphones, tablets, and laptops on the Internet. The subs-stream is useful for such a situation because it reduces the use of the bandwidth in a congested network.

The picture below shows the Sub-stream coniguration on a Hivision camera.

Hikvision substream configuration

Hikvision camera Sub-stream configuration menu

You can adjust the parameters such as resolution, bitrate, video quality, etc., to have the best quality with the least use of bandwidth. That's the basic idea.

I hope this article can help you; please share it with your friends.

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