Surveillance is the latest video market segment to move towards high-definition (HD) and demand correspondingly high performance video processing capabilities. HD surveillance cameras need to directly encode the image with a high-quality H.264 Encoder, so the image can be realistically transmitted over a standard Ethernet connection.

A main profile H.264 Encoder that can encode an HD video stream in real time requires a silicon platform that combines a high-performance signal processing fabric with low-cost and also low-power—making the latest generation low-cost FPGAs an ideal choice for implementation.

This article describes the architecture of a HD surveillance camera and shows how the entire system is built using a low-cost FPGA.