CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television. It is a video system that consists of strategically placed video cameras around an area that records footage, and is then transmitted to a display monitor(s) for real-time viewing as well as footage playback.
A CCTV system therefore refers to all aspects and components that make up the system, such as the camera, wiring, video footage storage (via the cloud or digital video recorder), monitors, access control and general system management.
You would want to use a CCTV system to increase the security of your business premises and have surveillance on key areas at any one time. This would be particularly useful for large premises or one that holds valuable equipment, products or information.
As well as recording video footage, a CCTV system can also notify you if there is activity or movement on a certain camera at a set time. For instance, in the dead of night whilst the business premises in closed and employees have gone home. This notification could indicate that someone may be about or looking to break-in to your site.
Although a CCTV system can be used for the surveillance of on-site activity, during and out of working hours, it can also be used to help identify wanted criminals, as well as act as a deterrent to potential intruders.
Want to know the ins and outs of how a CCTV system works? It’s not complicated, but it does vary depending on the type of system you install and the components used. However, the overall process is the same.
Consisting of at least one camera, lens, monitor and recorder, a CCTV system can be scaled up or down depending on the size of area wanting surveillance. CCTV works by the camera or cameras taking a constant sequence of images that are then transmitted by cable or wirelessly (depending on the chosen system type) to the recording device and then on to the display monitor, which enables an individual to see the sequence of images as video footage. Depending on the type of cameras used, they may also have the ability to zoom in and out and rotate 360 degrees.
As mentioned previously, there are many types of CCTV systems with various cameras that have a number of uses, such as night vision, thermal imaging and number plate recognition.
The two main types of system are:
Wired: Cameras and the rest of the system is hard wired.
Wireless: No wires are needed as the system works via an internet connection.
For more information on all the different types of CCTV camera available, visit our Complete Guide to CCTV Camera Types.