Before we start with an explanation of what is CCTV let's take a look at a popular definition.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is the use of CCTV video cameras to transmit a video signal to a monitor for live viewing, or to a recording device for viewing at a later date.
Even though almost all CCTV video cameras fit this definition, the term CCTV is most often applied to those CCTV Systems used for high surveillance areas that may need live and constant monitoring such as banks, malls, casinos, airports, military installations, and court houses.
But many CCTV systems are not constantly monitored as they utilize digital video recorders (DVRs), to provide a recording that will last for possibly weeks, months or even years.
Lower quality and lower cost CCTV recording kits and cameras have become more popular and are often used to record customer movements typically in a retail environment, such as convenience and clothing stores.
An alternative and more sophisticated use of CCTV is in industrial plants. CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room, for example when the environment is not suitable for people so the industrial process can be observed from a distance.
CCTV surveillance of public spaces is also growing, using CCTV cameras in public areas on the streets and outside public buildings, office blocks, apartment buildings and stadiums has become particularly common in many areas around the world, and these conventional CCTV systems may operate continuously, or only as required to monitor a particular event.
More recently there have been many advances over the conventional CCTV technology with a variety of video quality and performance options and extra features such as verified video and audio detection. Decentralized IP cameras are now available, some equipped with megapixel sensors, night vision and infrared, support recording directly to computer network-attached storage devices, or internal flash for completely stand-alone operation.
History of CCTV
The first CCTV system was installed by Siemens AG at Test Stand VII in Peenemünde, Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V-2 rockets. The noted German engineer Walter Bruch was responsible for the technological design and installation of the system. And in the U.S. the first commercial CCTV system became available in 1949, called Vericon.
Evolving CCTV Technology
The earliest CCTV systems required constant monitoring because there was no way to record and store the information. CCTV recording systems were introduced later, when primitive reel-to-reel media was used to preserve the data.
These early video systems required magnetic tapes to be changed manually. It was time consuming, expensive and unreliable process and the operator had to manually thread the tape from the tape reel through the recorder onto an empty take-up reel.
Due to these short-comings, CCTV video camera surveillance was rare. It was only when VCR technology became available in the 1970s, making it easier to record and erase information, did video surveillance start to become more common.
During the 1990s, digital multiplexing was developed, which allowed several cameras to record at once, as well as time lapse and motion-only recording. This increased the use of CCTV and increased the savings of time and money.
Most recently CCTV has been transformed by the shift towards internet-based products and systems, and other technological developments such as Sonitrol's verified SonaVision security system which integrates CCTV cameras with audio detection and other motion detection technologies.
CCTV Is Here To Stay
CCTV cameras when properly installed and integrated with other technologies can really help our police convict the guilty. We all know that today's police work is much to do about evidence gathering and CCTV cameras do just that; they quietly, discreetly, unobtrusively gather evidence for professional police work.
Do you remember the Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver? I would wager a bet that many of the Stanley Cup rioters who confessed did so because of incriminating CCTV video pictures from downtown Vancouver. The hundreds of rioters who are getting away free of conviction had no CCTV video evidence to implicate them.
There's a wide range of CCTV technologies available, from conventional record-only devices, to advanced security systems with integrated verified CCTV technologies.
If you're looking at installing a CCTV security system for your business we can help you navigate through the many choices. Our Sonitrol Security Consultants are experts in recommending and planning the best CCTV security system for you site.
In our next blog we'll take a look at the many applications CCTV has.
About Sonitrol Western Canada:
We're so confident in our technology and responsive service, that no one else in the industry can match our guarantee. Our unique verified audio and video business security solutions enable our operators to hear and see what is happening in your business before the criminals gain entry!! We verify the actual source of the alarm, and we get the police to attend the scene immediately. FOR A FREE RETAIL SECURITY AUDIT, click here, or call 1-866-766-4876.
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