CCTV technology has been around since the 1940’s, and became a major player in the security industry around 1970. The technology is tried and true, and there are CCTV security camera models for virtually any surveillance application. The two main categories of CCTV cameras are fixed cameras and pan/tilt/zoom models which can rotate horizontally and vertically to cover more area.
There’s a lot that goes into a typical CCTV video surveillance system. While the cameras get most of the attention in the beginning, you also have other concerns, such as viewing, recording, and archiving the video footage, and the equipment required for carrying out those tasks. Here’s a look at the basic components of a typical CCTV system.
Security cameras are the starting point for most CCTV video surveillance systems. There are endless possibilities when choosing CCTV cameras and lenses – everything from fixed models designed for monitoring very specific locations, to day/night cameras, and powerful PTZ domes for patrolling large areas.
In a traditional CCTV security camera setup, operators view footage from a central location on a monitor very much like a TV, but with higher lines of resolution for better picture quality. Monitors can be dedicated (meaning they display video from a single camera), or call-up (meaning operators can access multiple cameras at the same time).
With an analog system, coaxial cable is required for transmitting video footage from the CCTV security cameras. This is one of the drawbacks of analog CCTV video surveillance, as the cable can be expensive and difficult to install, especially for larger camera networks, and those were cameras must be positioned in difficult locations.
Most modern CCTV video surveillance systems incorporate DVRs (digital video recorders) which enable operators to reap some of the benefits of a network-based surveillance setup. DVRs convert the analog footage to digital, which helps to extend storage capacity, makes it much easier to search archived footage, and also allows users to stream video over a network for remote viewing from multiple locations.