CCTV(Closed Circuit Television) systems have become extremely popular over the last few decades as the technology has improved and become more affordable. The majority of CCTV cameras in use today are usually for surveillance and security purposes. CCTV systems can be found in almost every bank, casino, mall, and large department store. In fact, CCTV systems have become so affordable, smaller mom and pop stores also have CCTV systems in them for security purposes.
Types of CCTV Cameras
There are many types of CCTV cameras. They can be categorized by the types of images they are able to capture, the amount of frames they can take per minute, the type of connection to the monitor or video recording device, whether they are able to move position, and special functions they can provide.
Types of Images
CCTV cameras generally take both black and white or color video images. In addition, many CCTV cameras even have night vision capabilities that allow a CCTV camera to view and record low light images using special technology.
- Frames per Second
Frames per second is the amount of full frames that a video camera captures and sends to a recording device or monitor per second. While most CCTV camera systems easily capture 30 or more frames per second (30 fps is considered real time), the amount of video tape or digital storage would be enormous to record every moment of everyday. For most stores, speed of 1 to 6 frames per second are more than enough to catch and record a perpetrator committing a crime.
- Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras
These types of CCTV cameras allow a person controlling the surveillance of an area to move the camera remotely, usually with an RF or wired controller. Most movable cameras allow the person monitoring it to move the camera from right to left (pan), up and down (tilt), and from a tight angle to a wide angle (close up zoom).
- Cameras with Special Accessories
Certain CCTV cameras have special functions that are made for special purposes only. For instance, there are extremely small surveillance cameras that are used for spying (Nanny Cams), night viewing, are vandal resistant, and that are specifically made for indoor or outdoor uses.
Wired Vs. Wireless Connection
There are two main types of connections for CCTV cameras: a fixed cable or a wireless connection.
- Fixed Cable Connection
Fixed cable connection means that the camera is physically connected to the monitor or recording device via a cable. Coaxial cables that are similar to normal home TV cables are usually used. Lengths come in 25, 35, 50, 100, or 500 feet.
- Wireless Connection
Most wireless CCTV cameras use the 2.4 Gigahertz frequencies to transmit their video images to a monitor or DVR (digital video recorder). Usually, frequencies can be slightly changed to have more than one group of cameras in a specific space. Wireless CCTV cameras that use this frequency can easily transmit through most walls and obstacles. However, each individual location will have its own operating limits.
Advantages of CCTV Cameras
CCTV camera system is being widely employed as a security system for surveillance in offices as well as homes. It is used for monitoring purposes to keep a close vigil. Not only in closed or private places; CCTV camera system extends as a security system in public and crowded places like traffic intersections, malls, shops, etc.
As with the case of any technology or security system device, a CCTV camera system has its own pros and cons.
- Deters Crime
The presence of CCTV camera system for surveillance will reduce petty thefts and vandalism in shops, malls and other public places. Since the activities are being monitored, fewer nuisances are likely to be created. It also reduces the losses due to shoplifting.
- Helps Maintain Records
The images and videos captured by a CCTV camera system are often recorded and stored into a database. These are helpful in maintaining records so that they can be easily retrieved later, when needed.
- Protects Employees
This is particularly helpful in customer service centers. The employees providing customer service may sometimes be subjected to verbal abuse or physical attacks. CCTV camera system helps to identify such instances and act immediately. It is also helpful to keep a tab on the activities of the employees.
- Evidence in Lawsuits
In legal cases of thefts and other forms of crime, videos and images provided by the CCTV camera system can serve as a valid proof and evidence against the defaulter. This assists in making legal claims as well.