A closed-circuit television (CCTV) system employs one or more cameras to send video and sometimes (in limited situations) audio images to recording devices and one or more monitors.
While in in the past, a CCTV video was similar to a traditional TV setup, with coaxial cable run between cameras and a recording device, CCTV has now moved away from this sort of design. “Closed Circuit” still refers to the “closed” nature of a CCTV system. Where in a “TV” set-up, video signals are broadcast openly to anyone with a device capable of picking up the signal, a CCTV system is not transmitted openly. Used mainly for surveillance, these systems are “internal” and only people with proper access and authority can view the images.
CCTV systems have shifted away from these coaxial set-ups, which would be considered analog and similar to an old tube television with similar video resolutions. Instead, like many other things in today’s world, CCTV video cameras have gone digital, transmitting video via IP connections and CAT5 internet cable.
The key component of a CCTV video system is the CCTV camera. These are the devices which actually capture the events that are in front of them. There are many different types of cameras, and we’ll provide a close look at the differences between them so that you can find the best one for your needs.
Types Of Cameras
When it comes to CCTV camera systems, there are different kinds of cameras you should be familiar with. Understanding what each type of camera is will help you make the best decision in purchasing CCTV equipment.
- Dome CCTV Camera
Contained in a dome-shaped application, dome CCTV cameras are traditionally used inside and outside. The housings that the cameras are embedded in make them unobtrusive — visible but not in the way. Dome cameras can come in vandal proof housing, making them resistant to physical damage, and also against the elements.
- High-Definition HD CCTV Camera
These higher-end cameras, previously only used in specific environments, like financial services institutions and casinos, are becoming more and more prevalent and cost effective for all sorts of applications, large and small. These HD CCTV cameras provide the operator with an ideal way to zoom in to get clear images after the fact.
- Bullet CCTV Camera
These types of cameras usually have an extended, tapered form, and they are particularly used by operators that need long-distance viewing features. They typically come in an “all in one” type of format, so when you’re buying them there are no “extra pieces” you need to consider.
- Wireless CCTV Camera
These devices, given that they are wireless, provide installation flexibility since there won’t be installation limits that might apply with wired CCTV cameras. There are issues with wireless cameras, which we have outlined in this blog post.
- Box CCTV Camera
Containing detachable lenses, these types of cameras allow operators to change the lenses to meet their different surveillance needs.
- Pan-Tilt-Zoom Camera
Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras are able to move in a 360 degree fashion and zoom in and out on objects. These cameras can be manually operated by a person, and can also be set to do a “tour” which automatically moves the camera from place to place in a pre-determined fashion. They are best used in areas where you need to have the ability to track activities as they happen.
- Day/Night CCTV Camera Options
These cameras can be used not only in normal environments, but also in inadequately-lit areas. They are mostly used outdoors where they are equipped to deal with conditions like direct sunlight. These cameras will record in colour when there is adequate light, and will switch to black and white when the light is diminished. Day/Night cameras can be found in Dome, Box, and Bullet forms of CCTV Camera.
- Infrared/Night Vision CCTV Options
With these types of cameras, operators can capture images even in pitch dark environments. They do this by employing infrared LEDs which only the camera can see.
Importance Of Cameras
When considering the type of camera you are looking to install, you need to think strategically when installing cameras. The purpose of installing a CCTV system is to monitor some sort of activity, so you need to put your cameras where they’re likely to pick up any activity, and have their design meet the environment and area where they will be installed. CCTV camera systems can be used to do, among other things, the following:
- Provide perimeter security
- Keep tabs on areas of your facility that contain confidential information
- Deter criminal activity
The type of CCTV camera you choose is important when it comes to CCTV system design. The right camera can help you to safeguard your business interests and can keep would-be criminals away since unmonitored businesses make easier targets. There are quite a few options for cameras, so consider what you need, and then seek the CCTV camera system(s) that make the most sense for your intended usage.