Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is a term used to describe a system of surveillance cameras used exclusively for security purposes. Unlike broadcast television—which consists of television signals broadcast publicly, for anyone to receive—the signals from a closed-circuit television system are broadcast locally, for viewing only by authorized individuals. In practice, it usually involves two or more security cameras, connected by coaxial cable to a central monitoring/recording station. Alternatively, modern cameras may simply broadcast their feeds wirelessly, to a local monitoring/recording device, such as a Network Video Recorder (NVR).
Updated CCTV Technology
Old CCTV systems consisted of strategically placed, static video cameras capable of delivering fuzzy, indistinct, black-and-white images. These low-resolution systems seldom featured any interactive capabilities. Cameras pointed at one thing, and that was that. Modern CCTV systems are now capable of featuring multiple inputs from a variety of cameras capable of broadcasting high-definition images in full color. Signals may be delivered either wirelessly or through cables, depending on the type of system that’s implemented. And depending on the types of cameras deployed, it’s now possible to remotely operate cameras within the system. This allows an operator to change a camera’s angle of view, or zoom in or out for greater detail.
While the term CCTV is somewhat dated, modern home or business surveillance systems are still, basically, CCTV networks. Signals are still only available for monitoring or review by authorized personnel within the home or office. Of course, modern surveillance systems have advanced so far in terms of image detail and sophistication, and flexibility of operator control, that they bear little resemblance to the old CCTV systems of yesteryear.
CCTV systems still provide excellent security for vulnerable properties, including homes and businesses. Residential applications usually involve monitoring of the home’s perimeter to protect against burglary. Businesses may wish to add interior surveillance as well, to help deter shoplifting and employee misconduct or theft. Interior surveillance can even protect against costly “slip and fall” insurance scams on your property.