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What does CCTV stand for?

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CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television. It’s a simple enough concept – video footage is transmitted to a television monitor or recording device through a single channel, via a set of wires or ‘circuit’. It’s generally accepted that when we refer to CCTV, we refer to cameras which have been installed to monitor the inside or outside of a premises, in order to detect crime or other suspicious activities.

There are two main types of CCTV system:

Analogue – Analogue systems are a more ‘traditional’ form of CCTV, and can be more reliable because they make use of fixed coaxial cables. They do, however, record lower resolution images and may under-perform in low light or other adverse conditions. They can also lack some of the capabilities of more modern systems.

IP-Based – IP-based systems make use of Internet Protocol (IP) and local networks, so they do not actually run on a ‘closed circuit’ as such. While they’re not hardwired and on occasion may be less reliable, they are quickly becoming the most common form of security cameras as many businesses adopt more digital systems.

As more IP systems are being installed, the technology and what they’re capable of is improving. Image quality is much clearer on IP-based CCTV cameras, sometimes recording in 4K, and they perform far better than their hardwired counterparts in low light.

They can also be compatible with facial recognition software, video analytics and video verification, as well as keeping images for a set period of time before they are erased or condensed to save storage space.

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