What Is Closed Circuit Television?
Closed circuit television, or CCTV, is a broad term that describes cameras that send video to a specific monitor or set of monitors,
To give you a better understanding of the definition and name of closed circuit television, you should understand that even movie theatres use a version of closed circuit television. Closed circuit television is simply named such because it is different from broadcast television, which is what you actually watch on television at home — footage that is sent to many televisions instead of a select few. In most cases, when people discuss closed circuit television, they are referring to using a CCTV for security and surveillance purposes, although this is not always the case.
What Is A Closed Circuit Security Camera?
Closed circuit security cameras are quite simply security cameras that are designed and used for video surveillance that is watched over a closed circuit television. Homeowners and business owners can choose to have the footage from their closed circuit security cameras to one monitor or a set of monitors in their office or other location, and with the proper equipment, can even have this footage sent to a PC, laptop or even a smartphone.
There are many different kinds of closed circuit security cameras available on the market today that are used for a wide variety of security uses. From casinos, bars and clubs to convenience stores, retail stores and simple insurance agencies, most businesses realize that closed circuit security cameras and systems are the best choice for security purposes. Many households also make use of CCTV to monitor what happens in their home or yard.
What Kinds of Closed Circuit Security Cameras Are Available for Surveillance?
The first type of closed circuit security footage you may have ever seen was probably shot with an analog security camera. Analog
closed circuit security cameras basically take frequent pictures to give a view of what is going on; often four frames per second. Although it seems that four pictures per second would provide an accurate view, analog security cameras often produce blurry an
d grainy pictures. An individual who is walking at a normal pace will often produce a blurry picture simply because of the movement. Analog cameras are still sometimes used for closed circuit security, but they are not the best choice, as it is often difficult to make sense of the footage and distinguish who is doing what.
Digital closed circuit security cameras are much more up-to-date and produce much higher quality footage than analog cameras. Digital security cameras record as digital files that can be viewed on a PC or standalone DVR security system. The footage from digital security cameras is often much clearer than analog cameras, especially with new technology making them even more advanced than before.
Of these cameras, there are many different security cameras with many different features. There are indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, vandal proof cameras, cameras with motion detectors, night vision cameras that record in full color and even infrared cameras that can detect heat. In many situations, a simple combination of a few of these different types of security cameras can offer the clearest picture of their surroundings and be the most effective in the security of your home or business.
How Do I View My Security Camera Surveillance Footage?
The footage recorded by your closed circuit security cameras obviously has to be viewed somewhere. Older security systems record
on VHS tapes to be viewed on a VCR, but VCR tapes often run out of tape at inappropriate moments, can easily be ruined when tapes get “eaten” by the VCR, and VCR tapes are simply not as clear as the DVD-quality picture that some security cameras can take. For digital footage, there are two main options for viewing and surveillance; there are PC-based and standalone units available for viewing this important footage.
PC-based systems allow you to watch your security camera surveillance footage from your computer. They use your hard drive to store all of your data. For smaller units, such as for a home or a small business, PC-based closed circuit security systems are often sufficient. For larger residences or businesses, a standalone DVR unit is usually a better choice.
A DVR, or digital video recorder, is basically a small computer in itself. It is a standalone unit that hooks up to a monitor and allows you to watch your security camera footage. You can rewind, fast forward and pause your footage at your discretion. Different digital video recorders are required for different sized closed circuit security systems. If you install additional cameras, your home or company may outgrow your original DVR unit.
Who Should Install Closed Circuit Security Cameras In Their Home or Business?
Every home, business and parking lot should have closed circuit security camera surveillance. Security cameras and related systems are more affordable now than they have ever been, and there are security camera options that fit any situation and any budget. There is simply no excuse to avoid taking necessary safety and security precautions; there is just too much crime and violence going on in this world to take an unnecessary chance at home or at the office without proper security camera surveillance.
When you are protecting your home, you are protecting the dearest and most important thing in your life: your family. You are also protecting all of your most treasured and personal belongings, as well as your home and vehicle, which are probably some of the most expensive investments that you have. You should never put your home and your family at risk because of the lack of a proper security system, since there are so many options available for you.
Businesses and parking lots require an even more extensive security camera surveillance system. Every inch of a retail store or company parking lot should be viewable through a security surveillance camera to optimize safety and security. Businesses who have adequate closed circuit security camera systems often see a decrease in theft, vandalism and other crime. They also have video evidence in the event that a crime or tragedy does take place.
How Much Do Closed Circuit Security Camera Systems Cost?
It is difficult to give a rough estimate on the cost of equipment and installation for a closed circuit security camera and compatible equipment. There are many factors that play into the cost and complexity of installing a closed circuit security camera system.
Even if you are unable to get a ballpark budget for your future security camera system, don’t dispair. Although in past years closed circuit security camera systems were a luxury for most homeowners and small business owners, the purchase and installation of this lifesaving equipment has dropped drastically. For small residential situations, small stores and other small businesses, the cost is usually minimal, and the benefits of your safety and security easily outweigh any costs.
Even for large retail and corporate scenarios, people are often pleasantly surprised at just how inexpensively they can purchase this peace of mind. In some situations, installing closed circuit security camera systems can be filed as a business-related expense, which could earn you a deduction on your taxes at the end of the year. Also be sure to alert your insurance company of your new installation, as they may be able to offer you a cheaper rate or a discount because of it.
How Can I Get The Best Results From My Closed Circuit Security Camera System?
Reading articles on closed circuit security cameras and their related systems is often helpful when choosing, installing and maintaining a security system. These articles can often give you tips and tricks for effective usage of security cameras that you may have never even thought about.
Some basic tips for home and business owners who want their own closed circuit security camera system:
1. Purchase the proper equipment the first time around. Although for most residential and small business cases, you won’t need the most expensive or extensive security system. However, skimping on the important things, such as purchasing the wrong security cameras for your needs or not installing enough to provide adequate surveillance are common mistakes.
2. Always keep your security camera system in good condition. If a small problem arises, be sure to resolve the issue immediately. You don’t want a robbery or other crime to occur on the one night that your security cameras were down, do you? Never turn off or unplug your security system, even if you feel secure.
3. Follow manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to the care and maintenance of your closed circuit security camera system.
4. Use other safety precautions to get the maximum effect of your closed circuit security camera system. Posting signs around your property alerting potential thieves of your security cameras and system can often be enough to deter most pesky or dangerous criminals. Always have proper lighting outdoors, to allow a clearer view of your video surveillance and to give wrongdoers less places to hide on your property.