Understanding Jumbo Frames and IP Megapixel Video

IP Video, Networking

IP video surveillance professionals need to understand the impact of jumbo IP video frames.  As the transition of video surveillance systems from analog to digital has been rapid and predictable, most security professionals have ignored the impact of jumbo frames on their installations. 

As camera manufacturers rush to leapfrog each other with the latest resolution increase, most of the industry has ignored the fact that networking requirements for IP Video are not the same as those used for data networks and most IP switch manufacturers cannot handle jumbo IP video frames at 10/100 speeds..

Nowhere is that more prevalent than in IP network switches. The IP video surveillance industry had adopted 2MP (1080p) as the new “standard resolution” several years ago. 4MP and 5MP surveillance cameras are now quickly becoming industry standards. This presents a challenge for almost every switch manufacturer in the market, especially when it concerns jumbo IP video frames.

What are jumbo frames?

Let’s start at the switch port. In networking, information is transmitted in the form of packets. For most network switches, when the port is set at 100Mbps the packet size is limited to 1518 bytes. This is equivalent to about 2MP or 3MP depending on camera settings, codec, and scene complexity. Once a camera generates over 1518 bytes at any time, those frames are considered Jumbo Frames which is defined as any frame greater than 1518 bytes. Jumbo frames have packet sizes ranging between 1518 and 9600 bytes.

The problem with jumbo frames

Most Gigabit (GB) switches can handle Jumbo Frames provided the port speed and the output speed of the camera are matched. If the camera has a 1GB output, most GB switches can handle the jumbo frames. But what about most cameras that output 10/100Mbps? Most IP switches require each connection to be matched, so most switches will simply just default back to 10/100 and limit packet sizes to 1518 bytes.  The result is major frame drop resulting from packet loss.

Although frame drop occurs in other scenarios (like exceeding the total switch fabric), the usual culprit is jumbo frame support.

What does packet loss or frame drop look like?

When dropped frames occur, the video from that frame is not transmitted. This is where you might see a person or a vehicle at one point when it disappears and then reappears elsewhere giving the video a jittery effect. Another symptom of frame drop is pixelized video that could be partially or totally pixelated.

Unfortunately, the IP video surveillance market has accepted this as the norm. All too often we write-off the frame drops as just being a function of IP video.


Vigitron IP switches are designed for megapixel video surveillance applications and is the only manufacturer that designs and builds switches exclusively for megapixel video applications.

Vigitron GB switches are jumbo frame compliant (JFC) and allow for each port to be programmed to handle jumbo frames at 10/100Mbps speeds.  This is a game changer for manufacturers of cameras and security professionals.

In addition, Vigitron provides FREE, no Obligation, system design.

If you are experiencing choppy or pixelated video, give Vigitron a try. You will quickly find out why the major manufacturers of IP video surveillance cameras recommend Vigitron for megapixel video switching applications.

What makes Vigitron network switches unique?

For managed 1GB switches – At 100Mbps, ports can be programmed to process Jumbo Frames up to 9600 bytes.

Vigitron’s lineup of switches is unique in its ability to process Jumbo Frames at 100Mbps network speeds. Even if your application does require 1000Mbps (1G) bandwidth you should consider using our Jumbo Frame @ 100Mbps switches to assure quality transmission and maximum picture quality. Vigitron provides free and without obligation Design Center Services to bill of materials for the most cost-effective and reliable infrastructure designs. Request design center services by filling out the form on our website at www.vigitron.com or emailing us at support@vigitron.com.

Vigitron Inc. Phone: (858) 484-5209

Southeast Security Products ( Representatives of Vigitron in the SE US) www.sesproducts.com

Email: support@vigitron.com

Vigitron website: www.vigitron.com | Design Center