How Deep Learning & GPUs Make Video Surveillance Smarter

GPUs have long been useful when it comes to running high-quality videos on PCs, laptops, or other systems. However, deep learning is pushing the limits of video processing.

HD video streams require the decoding of compressed data to produce high-resolution images, demanding an amount of processing power that many CPUs could not cope with. For example, the next time you’re watching Netflix in 4K on your computer, you can thank GPUs. They are the process responsible for your excellent viewing quality.


The Central Processing Unit, or CPU, is the beating heart of all computing systems. This general-purpose processor provides the computational power for most of the tasks a system undertakes.

However, CPUs are restricted to conducting certain basic mathematical calculations because they’re typically designed to deal with calculations in sequential order. As a result, more complex tasks may bog a CPU down and make it less efficient.

Also known as GPUs, graphics cards are specialist processors. Once upon a time, Gamers were the only audience who viewed GPUs and their enhanced processing powers as important. However, today most PCs, laptops, and other systems contain dedicated graphics cards to render 2D and 3D graphics.

The additional power is derived from the thousands of cores within a GPU, allowing the processor to perform complex calculations in parallel. And this latent power is now being leveraged in a wide variety of different ways beyond gaming.

GPUs and video analysis

GPUs are best-suited when transcoding video from one graphics format to another. This process uses a large amount of processing power. For example, to burn a digital video onto DVD, the video data must be re-rendered into an entirely new format.

However, the possibilities introduced by GPUs for video analysis are very exciting. When it comes to GPUs and video analysis, deep learning is key. If you’re not exactly sure what the term deep learning involves, our partner NVIDIA has an excellent guide you can view here.

What is deep learning?

Deep learning is an advanced machine-learning technique related to artificial intelligence (AI). In the case of GPUs and video analysis, many data crunchers use deep learning to empower AI cameras with enhanced processing power. It allows them to analyze video and deliver insights in real-time.

Deep learning involves extremely complicated mathematical and statistical computations, which are beyond the scope of this post (and author). Suffice it to say, GPUs are the only processors with the power and capabilities to handle those computations. Their ability to perform parallel calculations lets them process massive amounts of data, and this has some exciting real-world applications in terms of video analysis.

Real-world applications of GPUs, deep learning, and video analysis

By leveraging the power of GPUs, users can train AI cameras to perform a variety of invaluable tasks. By way of deep learning, they are able to monitor and understand video footage at phenomenal speeds. They can then pull together massive data sets and deliver rapid insights far more quickly than traditional methods of video processing could accomplish.

This opens up a multitude of possibilities for video analysis. It means that users can instruct cameras to recognize certain objects or to identify patterns of movement and interactions. They can train cameras immediately recognize a gun or other weapon, or track and classify objects like vehicles and pedestrians. That makes them effective in traffic management, or even for identifying illegal traffic maneuvers.

High-end applications for AI cameras powered by GPUs are even more impressive, including facial recognition and crowd behavior analysis. The parallel processors of the humble GPU make all of this made possible. Gamers have long known the importance of GPUs, but they now offer truly remarkable technological advances. It’ becoming transparent that GPUs will surely play a vital role in our society going forward.

Empowering parallel processing

THG Hosting now offers GPU servers to help our clients crunch data at unbelievable speeds. We’ve partnered with NVIDIA to bring you industry-leading hardware combined with the largest global network in the industry. Simply choose your GPU server, select a location, and start training in no time. Learn more by completing the form below to instantly reach our expert sales team.