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Video format

What do these values mean?

MJPEG is an older standard for video compression. First used in the mid 1990s, it is less efficient and is likely the more common standard for lower resolution video.

H.264, also known as Advanced Video Coding (AVC), was introduced in 2003 and is an efficient video compression standard commonly used for HD video (720p and 1080p) and Blu-Ray discs.

H.265, also known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), was introduced in 2013 and is the latest video compression standard to be supported by newer NVRs, especially for 4K video support. Before selecting H.265, make sure that your DVR/NVR system supports this standard.

H.265+ is an enhancement of H.265 that slightly improves the compression effectiveness. Some systems offer a separate H.265+ setting. Before selecting H.265+, make sure that your DVR/NVR system supports this setting.

Video quality

What is this?

Video quality describes the level of visual detail (low, medium, high) for the video format selected. This setting can be configured on some cameras. If the setting is not available in your camera, select Medium.

Scene activity

What does this mean?

Scene activity describes the expected level of scene activity/movement in the video being captured (high/medium/low); higher activity will result in higher capacity needed. For example, low scene activity could include a street alley or hallway, and high scene activity could include a casino floor or busy highway.

Expected life span (in months) assuming continuous 24/7 recording

For cards with an endurance rating of 500
(WD Purple SC QD101/QD121 microSD):


For cards with an endurance rating of 1000
(WD Purple SC QD102 microSD):


For cards with an endurance rating of 3000
(WD Purple SC QD312/QD302 microSD):


* This Surveillance Card Capacity and Life Estimator tool is provided for illustrative purposes only. Total expected life of a card and minimum card size needed are calculated based on parameters selected in the tool, typical compression ratios determined solely by Western Digital for MJPEG, H.264, H.265, and H.265+ , video formats and color depth based on 30 bits for 4K resolution and higher and 16 bits for all other resolutions. Storage capacity needs may vary depending on video format, compression ratio, camera resolution, frames per second, color depth, system capabilities, components, hardware, configurations, settings, and software, and other factors. Any reliance on this tool and its output is at the third party’s own risk. As used for storage capacity, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes. Total accessible capacity on storage devices and total life of storage devices may vary depending on operating environment.

Larger than maximum card size required.
Please adjust parameters.

Minimum card size


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