A CCTV or closed-circuit television is a system of interconnected cameras that capture images that can be recorded or viewed on a monitor in real-time. Other components such as video storage and wireless transmitters are frequently linked directly or networked to adapt the system to the needs of each client, whether they are installed for security, surveillance, or service improvement.
Who Uses CCTV?
CCTV is employed by corporations, small businesses, governments, law enforcement agencies, and households as an essential element in a larger security system. CCTV is often installed in supermarkets, retail banks, parking lots, public and administrative buildings, airports, train stations, bus terminals, sports facilities, and more to monitor activities and maintain security.
Features of CCTV
Since its first use in 1949, CCTV has evolved, adding features that enhance this technology’s use in monitoring, recording, and surveillance.
- Motion detection: Motion detection facilitates on-demand recording. The camera can be configured to start recording only when a motion has been detected within its field of view by leveraging this feature. Therefore, only footage containing relevant data is stored.
- Infra-red lighting: Unlike most cameras, CCTV doesn’t only record using visible light. Infra-red CCTV is equipped with integrated infra-red LEDs to “see” and record in the night.
- ANPR—Automatic Number Plate Recognition: The ANPR is an advanced feature that enables automatic detection and reading of a vehicle’s plate number by the video analysis software. This is useful for controlling access to a building’s parking space.
- Facial recognition: This advanced and highly powerful security feature is to the human face what ANPR is to vehicle plate numbers. FR quickly analyzes the facial image and matches it with an internal database. Facial recognition’s use as a crime prevention tool has dramatically increased in the past decade. But because facial recognition can be used to capture the identities of private citizens who have not consented to being monitored, indiscriminate use of CCTV often comes under legal and ethical scrutiny.
- Real-time alerts: Also referred to as push notifications, CCTV systems that incorporate this feature can issue alerts to the users’ smartphones or tablets on detecting motion or in response to other events.
- Cloud storage: Most modern CCTV systems employ cloud-based storage. This facilitates data storage in a secure and redundant manner that also guarantees fast and efficient retrieval.
How Does CCTV work?
Advancement in surveillance technologies has led to different types of CCTV, including digital and wireless types. However, the equipment is the same and includes cameras, lenses, cables, and a monitor. The cameras record a sequence of images and send it via cable or wirelessly to the monitors, where it is viewed remotely in real-time. Modern equipment allows recording to start once a motion is detected. In addition, the camera can send notifications by email or SMS on detecting a motion.
Systems with an internet connection support remote access to images or data using mobile devices. Several cameras can share the monitors so that one monitor is not needed for each camera connected to the system. Users can divide the screen into parts to see the simultaneous images of all the cameras. Additionally, users can select which camera they want to monitor.
CCTV offers immense benefits to the user. Some of the core advantages are:
- Deterrence of potential intruders
- Evidence-based surveillance useful in judicial proceedings
- Monitoring, supervision, and control of industrial processes
- Remote private property or household monitoring