CCTV Surveillance Systems
what is CCTV and how does it work?
CCTV, or closed-circuit television, is a system that allows you to keep an eye on what’s going on in and around your business. Cameras and monitors enable you to view events live, and recorders archive footage for later reference. Don’t mistake a CCTV monitor for an ordinary television. It doesn’t receive publicly broadcasted content—only footage from security cameras installed on the premises.
CCTV technology has been around for decades, but improvements in recent years make it even more effective at capturing criminals in the act and bringing them to justice. Consider the various parts of a CCTV system and how they all work together.
COMMERCIAL SECURITY CAMERAS
The purpose of security cameras is to capture footage, especially in any vulnerable or high-crime places in and around your building. You have several basic security camera options to choose from:
- Wired security camerasuse cables to transmit footage and conduct video surveillance, but the signal can weaken when the transmission range exceeds 300 meters. Using the appropriate networking cables, switches, and signal boosters can help overcome this problem. Several cameras can be interconnected to a single monitor located in a security room.
- Analog camerashave been around for years and are still the most common type of CCTV camera installed today. They have basic functionality and store video onsite.
- IP (Internet protocol) camerascarry out the same functions as their analog counterparts, but with vastly greater capabilities. IP cameras boast sharper, higher resolution images and more flexible features like remote zoom and repositioning. They also give you the option to view footage on a web browser. This makes it possible to receive notifications regarding anything peculiar your cameras records—such as movement inside your business at 3:00 am—and view it live from anywhere via a computer or smartphone. The major drawback of IP cameras is their higher price tag.
STRUCTURED CABLING SERVICES
All CCTV systems require some amount of cabling, even those with wireless cameras. Cables link different pieces of equipment together, including monitors, recorders, modems, and wired cameras.
When a CCTV camera spots something of interest, a recorder ensures you can go back and view it later. You can set up your cameras to record everything they capture, but that takes up a lot of storage space. For this reason, you may want to program your cameras to record only during certain times of the day or when they detect movement. Your video recording options include DVR and NVR.
- DVRs, or digital video recorders, are the modern replacement for analog recorders that use videotapes. DVRs capture footage from analog cameras in a digital format at the desired resolution and frames per second. When the hard disk gets full, new images will record over the oldest footage first.
- NVRs, or network video recorders, work similarly to DVRs, but they’re compatible with IP cameras. Your cameras and NVR connect via a network switch or router. You can easily access footage on an NVR through a web browser or mobile app.
- A Note about hard disks:Make sure you select surveillance-grade hard disks for your DVR or NVR. These are built with more durable components than regular computer hard drives so they can run 24/7 if necessary.
To view live or recorded footage from your security cameras, you must hook up your DVR or NVR to a TV or monitor. The display unit for your CCTV system can range from a simple monochrome screen to an HD color monitor. If you have IP cameras, you can also view footage remotely from a smartphone or computer.