Thursday, May 31, 2018

What is the changing number on the bottom left caption line of the video?

Question: What is the changing number on the bottom left caption line of the video?

This number is the number of video kilobytes per second streaming onto the web from the camera. A good smooth video stream is usually under 1500.  With bright sun and small choppy waves, this number greatly increases and tends to bog the camera down. This number is constantly changing with the changing lighting conditions and the scene. That is why you will see this number usually increase as a boat approached and fills the screen.

There are many setting within the camera that I can use to control this number and every one is a compromise of image quality and streaming smoothness.  So, my job is to keep playing with the settings to find a compromise that works for that time of day and time of year. Some days will be better than others and often the issue is not with your device.

The second # is the frame rate, this also can be throttled to improve smoothness or quality.

Hope this helps you understand why this venture is like a dog chasing his tail -- never seems to catch it.


  1. Great. The older you get, the more you find out how much you don't know. Many times ,explanations may be over my head but I always appreciate new and in depth knowledge. Great job on that and all you do. Wisconsin cam is great! Only one problem. You come to expect an ability to observe boats all over the world with as many camera shots as this site.. We are spoiled but happy.

  2. Thank you Dennis

  3. Thanks Dennis, interesting info.

  4. Thanks for that description. JUst the other day, I w2as wondering what those numbers I know.


  5. Hi Dennis, thanks for all the work you do to keep the site up. I did notice the little numbers on the lower left corner that once they get above about 1200 I start to get a lot of freeze frames while the picture is being sent. Then when it drops below 1200 the video is good again. Is this normal or is there a setting to limit the number to 1200 without effecting the video quality? Thanks again!

  6. As I mentioned, when it comes to the cams, everything is a compromise, you end up giving up one thing to make another better. If the camera has a scene going on that is generating 5000kbs worth of data, and I force the camera to send 2000kbs instead, 3000kbs of image quality gets scrapped. that the way it goes until internet connections get much faster.
    Fortunately we have some very good cameras that do the best they cam for the situation.
    The other issue is that currently six of the cams stream through a 8Mbs internet connection at the Harbor Hub. If all the cams want to stream 2Mbs, then all get impacted somewhat. It's all a balancing act that changes minute by minute. The good thing is that technology is changing rapidly and the cams will only be getting better.