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What is Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)?
CCTV or Closed Circuit Television refers to a visible or covert video system intended for only a limited number of viewers. In Closed Circuit TV (CCTV), the picture is viewed or recorded, but not broadcast. It was initially developed as a means of security for banks and casinos; however, today it has been developed to the point where it is simple and inexpensive enough to be used with Home Security Systems, and for everyday surveillance.
More specifically, CCTV is a television transmission system in which live or prerecorded signals are sent over a closed loop to a finite and predetermined group of receivers, usually as scrambled radio waves that are unscrambled at the point of reception. CCTV takes numerous forms and performs a wide range of functions ranging from image enhancement for the partially sighted to the transmission of pay-per-view broadcasts. Although cable television is technically a form of Closed Circuit TV, the term is generally used to describe systems with more specialized applications than a standard broadcast or cable television. Such specialized systems are not subject to regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); however, Security Cameras using scrambled radio waves are in fact subject to common carrier tariffs and FCC conditions of service.
Why do I need CCTV?
CCTV helps to protect your business and staff; it is a visible deterrent against theft and vandalism. CCTV can also be useful in home security to monitor and protect the interior and exterior of properties. CCTV footage can be invaluable in the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators of crimes.
What are the features to be seen before buying a CCTV camera for home surveillance?
Firstly you need to check what location you need to cover from the security camera. This will give you an idea of indoor camera or outdoor camera and number of units. Then you have to see what features you wish to have in your camera. Then you can go for the camera.
What are the features of a CCTV system?
The main features of any CCTV system are surveillance, recording and playback. CCTV surveillance enables the viewing of footage from cameras via one or more CCTV monitors. CCTV recording is the process of storing footage from cameras on a Digital Video Recorder, PC or other storage media for instant or future playback and or back up.
What Types of CCTV Cameras are there?
CCTV cameras are available in monochrome (black and white) or colour. The different types of cameras are Board CCTV cameras, Bullet CCTV cameras, Fixed Dome cameras or Vandal Proof cameras, Fixed CCTV cameras (also known as Static cameras), Zoom cameras, PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras, High Speed Dome cameras and IP (Internet Protocol) Network Cameras.
What is IP-CCTV?
IP CCTV (Internet Protocol Closed Circuit Television), is a security surveillance system of IP Cameras and video servers which connects seamlessly with the Internet and Internet related digital services, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, 3G or GPRS Access connection.
What is IP-CCTV Cameras?
IP CCTV cameras are similar to analogue CCTV cameras in features and functions but offer far superior picture quality. They do not transmit their images and sounds as analogue signals but as data. They also offer remote configuration of their settings, and on some models even the image sensor of the camera can be configured as required. IP CCTV cameras incorporate built in web servers which allow for live monitoring, recording and configuration across a computer network or the internet.
What are the benefits of IP CCTV?
Existing network infrastructure can be used, no long distance cables required.
IP security cameras can be moved with minimum time & effort, and cabling does not need to be replaced.
IP security cameras can be installed at any location, no matter the distance.
The same camera could be viewed or recorded simultaneously at multiple locations, and controlled on multiple security levels.
Recording could take place anywhere. An existing PC or Server could be used for a few cameras.
Any amount of recordings per camera can take place at the same time, at multiple locations for redundancy or off-site storage.
Bandwidth could be controlled differently for each camera.
Hard drive space can be shared across many systems for recording of video or data.
Audio or alarms can be connected to the same encoders which transmit the video.
Existing alarm system could be monitored from remote locations.
How to choose a CCTV Camera?
Choosing the correct CCTV Camera for your digital surveillance system is very important. The Digital CCTV Camera, together with a CCTV Lens, uses a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) sensor that captures the image and turns it into a signal that is sent to the monitor or surveillance system.
You will need to decide the following when choosing a cctv camera & lens for a digital cctv system:
The Digital Camera Location: Will the camera be situated Indoors / Outdoors
The amount or variance of light conditions for the digital cctv camera: Will the camera have to record in low-light conditions such as at night?
The Field of View required for the camera: How wide or narrow an angle of vision is required
The Focal Length - How far away objects you wish to record will be from the camera
Should I use a low light true day/night CCTV camera or one with infrared for the best image at night?
It depends on the environment, where the security camera will be mounted, and how big an area you would like the camera to monitor.
If the entire area you want to monitor is well lit from multiple light sources then a low light CCTV camera will likely capture the best picture. In comparison, infrared illuminators (often built into the camera housing) may not have enough power to light the entire area. Using a standard high power illuminator can put out too much IR (infrared) light close up to the camera washing out the image or creating glare. Technology such as Hikvision’s Smart IR help alleviates this problem by reducing power to the IR illuminator as the subject approaches the camera. This dramatically reduces glare and allows the use of higher power illuminators.
If the area is relatively small or indoors IR illuminators often work well as the IR will reflect off the walls and floor lighting the room up.
How do I keep the CCTV cameras recording if there is a power cut?
A UPS or Uninterruptable Power Supply can be installed as part of the CCTV system. This battery back-up makes sure the security cameras can keep running if their is a power cut. It also acts as a surge protector and regulates power supply to the hardware reducing the risk of damage from electrical spikes. A UPS is a cost effective addition to your CCTV set-up.