A few months ago I was given the assignment to write at least one article each month related to CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) or the security camera industry that people might find interesting. This month I spent a lot of time deciding what I am going to write about. I kept saying to myself, how many of these articles can I write that someone would really find entertaining?
Then I realized, these days almost everyone finds Closed Caption Television entertaining whether they know it or not. I mean it’s everywhere and we all see it almost every day. It could be a clip on the nightly news of the bank robbery in progress or the goofy kid on the internet that we laugh at because he was caught on tape doing something funny.
They even have entire television shows made completely from DVR security recordings, surveillance footage and police car dash cam video. You know “Amazing Police Chases Caught On Tape”, “When Animals Attack” or “Americas Dumbest Criminals 1, 2 ,3 and 4” and don’t forget the slew of Haunted / Paranormal TV shows and movies that have become so popular ever since “The Blair Witch Project”.
Without CCTV footage many of these shows wouldn’t have anything to show you. As a matter of fact one of the most popular horror franchises in recent years, “Paranormal Activity” ,absolutely depends on home video and security camera footage to tell the story and capture paranormal events.
It’s amazing that there is such controversy regarding privacy when people think they are being watched but we all love to spend hours each week watching others being watched.
Everyone knows that most of today’s “Reality TV” is not so real at all and in most cases is very much scripted, but they are still more popular than ever.
Even reality TV shows employ the use of “Closed Circuit Television” to give that viewer a sense of reality. Have you noticed that in recent years when you are watching the crazy group of people all locked up in one house trying to get along (by that I mean fighting like cats and dogs) that most of the show is taped with a very high quality audio and video recording but when a couple goes into the bedroom to speak in private, talk behind someone’s back or do what couples do in behind closed doors, all of a sudden you are watching and hearing them on a black and white, grainy surveillance video camera.
Of course the film crew could have just followed them and filmed with the same high quality video but when the viewer sees this on what appears to be CCTV footage it sub-consciously makes it more exciting to watch. It’s like they are hearing and seeing something they’re not supposed to.
So, the question is, have you realized how often you see CCTV used as entertainment? If not the reason may be that you don’t realize how often you see CCTV used for non-entertainment purposes every day.
When we think of uses for CCTV the first things that come to mind are security cameras and surveillance video or even the new traffic cameras that are popping up everywhere.
Believe it or not closed circuit television is being used all over the world for reasons you may have never even thought of.
Here are a few examples of other uses for CCTV beyond the standard applications mentioned above.
- Some food related industries use CCTV to record video inside baking ovens to ensure the quality of their product.
- Industrial plants also use it to monitor work flow, productivity and product constancy.
- In Germany, Grand Prix Racing has set up a system so cameras can watch areas around the track where cars may accidently get out of control and go off course. If motion is detected in these areas the system automatically alerts the track officials and safety crews to that specific area.
- CCTV is also used to monitor the flow of traffic in certain areas, in courtroom proceedings and in police interviews or interrogations.
- You might have seen or even have one of those new “Back-Up Cameras” in your car. That is a closed circuit television system.
Oddly enough some of non-entertainment CCTV applications have become a source of entertainment. Take courtroom coverage, criminal interviews and interrogation footage for instance. Entire TV Channels have been created to watch this stuff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just look at the ID and Courtroom TV Channels. I just wonder when the Vehicle Back-up Camera Channel is coming!
The Huffington Post, a website that offers News, blogs and original content has a whole section devoted to CCTV news, articles and videos based on events caught on Closed Circuit Television. You can take a look here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/cctv.
Here is something interesting I found while doing some research. It’s a CCTV Treasure Hunt.This is a game where people go around taking photos of places where they find CCTV cameras and then upload the location and photo to marker on Google Maps. The idea is to visually map the surveillance system around Europe. Looking at the map I do not see to many markers, so it doesn’t seem that it’s caught on so far but the idea is very interesting. Check it out at the following link. http://cctvtreasurehunt.wordpress.com/map/
If you search YouTube for “CCTV Video” you will get over one and a half million results. You will find videos that include earthquakes, hurricanes, robberies, hauntings, people getting undressed, people getting arrested, super human teleportation, physical abuse, car crashes, plane crashes, elevator footage, military strikes and people falling onto train tracks just to name a few, and that just the first page!
The point is this is all on YouTube which is now a form of entertainment. These videos were not recorded intentionally and without CCTV most of us would never have seen them. I don’t know if that’s necessarily good or bad but it is amazing when you think about it.