Years ago I bought Vitamin D Video software for videosurveillance, which doesn' support H.264, but only mpeg-4.

Currently I'm using two cheap analog cameras (RCA, PAL) connected to pc through 1 usb Easycap and another usb cheap pinnacle (I could't have 2 Easycap connected at the same time) and cameras transmit video at resolution of 640x480 pixels.

Now that one camera stopped working, I'm looking for a cheap but little better camera. Lot of the cameras I found have these specifications: Resolution: 1200 TV Lines, Pal: 960x860 pixels Video Compression Format: H.264

Some are cameras have Resolution: 2MP 1920*1080 (always PAL)

When I add a new camera in Vitamin D Video, I can choose between these resolutions: QVGA 320x240 VGA 640x480 XGA 1024x768 SXGA 1280x1024

My first doubt is: can also analog camera use H.264 codecs? Isn't it a codec for digital transmission?

Also, having an usb device in the middle, do I have to worry if usb devices support h.264 or do I have to check if Vitamin D Video supports it, or both?

Any links / tutorials are welcome.


  • h.264is a digital video codec . Analogue video must be digitised to use h.264. It's a little unclear what you're asking.
    – stib
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 0:44
  • if they are camera with rca connector, is it possible that they use h.264 codec? Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 8:11
  • The OP has camera(s) feeding an analog signal to a USB capture device which transcodes to MPEG-4 Part 2 video. That transcoded stream is ingested by the surveillance app and processed for security purposes. Apparently, their version doesn't support H.264.
    – Gyan
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 10:00
  • 1
    To the OP, looks like Vitamin D, since renamed to Sighthound, supports H.264 since version 2 (and many more cameras). H.264 is not an analog signal standard, so any camera which advertises H.264 will output over HDMI or possibly USB. In which case, the USB adapters aren't required.
    – Gyan
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 10:04
  • Thank you @Mulvya, you solved my doubt about H.264 over analog signals. Unlukily, I bought Vitamin D video licence and this isn't valid for Sighthound, for this reason I'm still using Vitamin. Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 12:55

2 Answers 2


Here is a good guide to help you understand the compression.

Go Digital, scrap analog. You won't need a computer to handle the cameras or a video encoder.

Buy a cheap Axis camera and download Axis Companion software, then the camera just needs access to the internet and you can view it from anywhere in your smartphone.

You could also buy any other IP camera and get their dedicated software.

I work at Axis, so I do recommend our product line for stability, availability and quality.


If you consider purchasing a new camera then you can buy an IP camera that has native mpeg-4 support. There are plenty of models around and prices are very low. This way you won't need the USB device and your overall configuration will be more robust (less components = less points of potential failure).

Another option of course is to buy an H.264 cam and move from Vitamin D to something that supports H.264. H.264 will usually provide much better video quality per bandwidth.

Yet another option, if the camera is not too far away from the computer and has a fixed lens, is to buy a good USB camera, AFAIU Vitamin D supports web cams, and this too can save you the need for a USB dongle.

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