What is CCTV? CCTV Explained

2nd December, 2019

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    What is CCTV? CCTV Explained


    1. What does CCTV stand for?


    You all probably know what CCTV is, but what does CCTV Stand for?

    CCTV stands for Closed-Circuit Television. This is a closed-circuit system because the signal is not openly transmitted as it is with broadcast television. The video cameras transmit the footage back to a set number of monitors.


    Television in CCTV is the video camera which acts as the telecommunication medium which transmits moving images to the surveillance monitors.



    2. What is CCTV?

    CCTV is a video system in which specifically placed cameras record video images and transmit these to a monitor/monitors, with only a small number of people being able to access it.


    3. What is CCTV used for?

    CCTV systems are primarily used for security, monitoring and surveillance purposes.


    In terms of security, CCTV can be used to monitor both public and property security.


    For monitoring and surveillance purposes, CCTV can be used to for investigation or crime prevention.

    4. How does CCTV Work? 


    How does CCTV work? To put it as simply as possible, CCTV, works by using cameras to capture video footage in a specific area. These cameras are connected to a monitoring system, which can be viewed by authorized personnel in real-time or recorded for later review. The cameras send the video signals through cables or wirelessly to a central location where the footage is processed and stored. CCTV systems are commonly used for security purposes in various settings, such as homes, businesses, and public spaces, providing a way to monitor and enhance safety and security.

    5. Is CCTV legal?


    CCTV is legal when it complies with guidelines set out by the law.


    If you own the home property, you do not require permission to install CCTV, but do need to alert neighbours. If you do not own the property, you will have to speak to the landlord.


    According to the government, if your business requires CCTV, people must be told that they are being recorded.


    5. Do I need a CCTV Licence?

    You must get a license from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) if you work as an operative (or supply operatives under a contract for services) who uses closed-circuit television (CCTV) equipment to:


    6. How much is a CCTV Licence?

    The application for a SIA licence costs £220, including £49 VAT. Find out if you need a SIA licence. 


    7. Why is it important to have CCTV?

    CCTV is important because:

    – It can deter crime

    – It can be used as evidence, and therefore acts as a force of law enforcement

    – It can monitor employers, and encourage greater work productivity

    – It can lower costs by preventing burglary

    – It can be used for the safety of others; e.g helping track lost people, monitoring workers operating in dangerous conditions.


    8. How do CCTV systems work?

    A CCTV system consists of a camera, lens, monitor and recorder.

    The camera/cameras pick up the images, which are then transmitted then to a recording device and then a monitor.


    9. What are the types of CCTV cameras?



    10. Who invented CCTV?

    Walter Bruch invented the first CCTV in 1942 during WW2 in Germany. The purpose of the CCTV was to monitor the V-2 rockets. CCTV technology became a commercial product from 1949 onwards.


    11. What is IR in CCTV camera?

    Infrared (IR) cameras detect heat (infrared energy). This is converted into an electrical signal which then produces a thermal image. Infrared light is emitted from the IR LEDs which are positioned around then lens of the camera.


    12. What is an IR bullet camera?


    An Infrared bullet camera with inbuilt infrared Lights


    13. What are IP cameras?


    An Internet protocol camera is a digital video camera that sends and receives data via a computer network. This differs from a CCTV camera, which can only send and receive signals through a cable connected to a DVR.


    14. How much does it cost to have CCTV installed?

    This varies according to the number of CCTV units installed, and the type of CCTV installed.


    15. How much does home CCTV cost?


    It all depends on the size of the house and number of cameras. we would always recommend a full site survey.


    16. How much does it cost to run a security camera?


    Depending on system type and number of cameras it can vary from approximately £20 a year for a domestic to hundreds for a very large commercial system.


    17. Does CCTV camera need power supply?

    Yes, all CCTV cameras require a power supply. CCTV systems are normally powered by a power box or power adaptor. IP Cameras are normally power over Ethernet (PoE) technology using Cat5 or Cat6 cables.


    Some CCTVs might be battery operated or even solar


    18. How does CCTV camera work?


    A sequence of images is picked up on by the camera, which is transmitted as a signal that passes on to recording device and display device. The camera itself captures the video source. At the front of the camera is an opened aperture, and this is what captures the light stream through the lens. The light stream is captured by a digital chip inside the camera and turned into a sequence of images. This camera records this sequence of image and transmits either by cable or wirelessly.


    19. Do I need a CCTV sign?


    Data protection rules do not apply if you install a camera on your own home to protect it from Burglary


    If you have a CCTV installed at commercial property, you are required to install appropriate signage .


    Find out more by reading about CCTV data protection on the government website.


    20. Do CCTV cameras record audio?


    Most CCTV cameras do not record audio, but some have the ability too.


    21. Is it illegal to record sound on CCTV?

    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has declared that recording audio on CCTV is intrusive and unnecessary.


    Read more on the ICO website.


    22. Is CCTV footage personal data?

    CCTV is personal data according to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and therefore those installing it must give a sound reason for having it installed.


    23. How long does it take to install security cameras?

    This depends on the number of cameras you would like to have installed.


    The location and accessibility to them. We always recommend a full site survey be undertaken


    24. How far can you run security camera cable?


    This depends on the camera cable you choose.


    An RG59 coax cable can extend up 600 ft and an RG6 cable can extend up to 1000 ft.


    Huge distances can be covered by Fibre transmission


    25. How long does a company have to keep CCTV?

    31 days is still recommended by the police. But in reality you should make your own decision on retention times


    26. What kind of cable is used for CCTV?


    Coaxial cable for analogue and HDCVI.

    Choose Cat5 and Cat6 for an IP surveillance camera system.


    27. Which cable is best for CCTV camera?


    Not all coaxial cable should be used for CCTV camera installations. RG59 coax cable is the industry standard and best choice for CCTV systems and HD over coax systems.
    But more commonly Cat5 and Cat6 is now used for IP cameras.y


    28. Can I use cat5 cable for CCTV?

    Yes, this can be used to connect cameras for both IP systems and analogue via Balan’s.


    29. What is the maximum length for coaxial cable for CCTV?


    An RG59 coax ca can run up to 600 feet other larger cables can run longer distances


    30. Do all security cameras need wifi?


    No. not all security systems need WIFI. Most are directly cabled


    31. Do wireless security cameras slow down internet?


    Yes, wireless cameras can slow down a network but not significantly.


    32. Do wireless security cameras need to be plugged in?


    Wireless cameras are no different to wired cameras, they still need to be plugged into an electrical outlet.


    33. What is Pan in CCTV camera?


    Pan is the physical movement of the camera from side to side. Short for panning


    34. What is camera PTZ?


    A pan-tilt-zoom camera, which allows the camera to be remotely controlled to move or zoom in.


    35. What is DVR in CCTV?


    DVR is short for digital video recorder, which is where video footage from the CCTV is stored.


    36. What does a DVR do?

    The DVR is the computer that saves footage onto the hard drive, USB drive, SD memory card or SSD.


    37. Can a DVR work without a hard drive?


    A CCTV system can continue to work, but playback will not be possible


    38. Can we connect DVR with WIFI?

    There are lots of ways to connect your recording device to either Wifi or the internet, each method will depend largely on the recording device you have.


    39. What is an NVR recorder?


    A Network Video Recorder records video in digital format. Unlike a DVR, the input if from a network instead of a video capture card. Video is encoded and processed at the camera, and then streamed to the NVR.


    40. Does NVR require Internet?


    NVR can work without internet.


    41. What is better NVR or DVR?


    A Network Video Recorder records IP cameras whilst an Digital Video Recorder are known for recording analogue video from coax cameras. The image quality is normally higher on the IP cameras.


    42. How much does it cost to buy a DVR?

    This all depends on how many cameras you will have connected and how long you wish to record for.


    43. Which is better rg59 or rg6?

    RG6 can be run a longer distance without video loss.
    RG59 is a thinner cable in comparison, and easier to work with.


    44. Do CCTV cameras need planning permission?

    You do not require planning permission, unless you are installing CCTV in a listed building or conservation area.


    45. Are CCTV images personal data?


    Yes. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) sate that CCTV cameras can only be used when it is a necessity and should be ‘proportionate response to a real and pressing problem.”


    46. Can CCTV be used to monitor staff?


    The Data Protection Act (DPA) does not state that employers are not allowed to monitor employees with CCTV. However, staff must be alerted to the fact that they are being recorded.


    47. How many days can CCTV record?


    This would depend on the type of camera and storage specified


    48. How many hours of video is 500 GB?

    This will depend on the image rate and size of the video files but on a low setting you could expect 18 days


    49. Can you ask to see CCTV footage?


    This is covered under the data protection act of 1998, it will only apply to businesses and organisations and not domestic homes.


    50. Do security cameras use a lot of electricity?


    Security cameras use on average between 4 to 6 watts a day.


    51. Does CCTV work without electricity?

    CCTV cameras rely on a power supply, therefore no. Unless it is a battery-operated CCTV camera.


    52. Can CCTV work without Internet?

    Yes, providing that the CCTV camera has a means of transmitting a signal to the DVR or NVR, it can work without an internet connection.


    53. How long can CCTV footage be kept?

    31 days is recommended still by the police .


    54. Do pubs have to have CCTV by law?


    No, the new Code states:


    “1.15 When a relevant authority has licensing functions and considers the use of surveillance camera systems as part of the conditions attached to a licence or certificate, it must in particular have regard to guiding principle one in this code. Any proposed imposition of a blanket requirement to attach surveillance camera conditions as part of the conditions attached to a licence or certificate is likely to give rise to concerns about the proportionality of such an approach and will require an appropriately strong justification and must be kept under regular review. Applications in relation to licensed premises must take into account the circumstances surrounding that application and whether a requirement to have a surveillance camera system is appropriate in that particular case. For example, it is unlikely that a trouble-free community pub would present a pressing need such that a surveillance camera condition would be justified. In such circumstances where a licence or certificate is granted subject to surveillance camera system conditions, the consideration of all other guiding principles in this code is a matter for the licensee as the system operator.”


    Read the document here.



    55. Can CCTV footage be used in a disciplinary?



    56. Can surveillance cameras be used in court?

    Certain essentials in the law of evidence must always be considered when utilizing digital video images:


    57. How can I connect my CCTV to my smartphone?

    There are many approved manufacturer APPs that allow you to view your CCTV footage on portable devices


    58. How many CCTV cameras are there in the UK?

    The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) estimated there to be 4-5.8 million cameras in 2015


    59. What voltage are CCTV cameras?

    Generally CCTV cameras are low voltage often 12 – 24 volt.


    60. What is the work of CCTV operator?

    A CCTV operator is responsible for watching the monitors linked to the surveillance cameras installed around the premises. Their duty is to watch out for and report suspicious behaviour from and recorded footage.


    61. How long does CCTV footage last?


    This depends on how long the company chooses to keep the footage.
    If the footage is being used in a criminal case it may be archived indefinitely


    62. Can you ask to see CCTV footage?


    Yes, you can. Find out more by visiting the government website.


    63. Can you put CCTV in the workplace?


    Yes, providing the employees are aware of it. There is no law which states that surveillance cannot be used within the workplace.


    64. Does an IP camera work without Internet?


    Yes, it can be directly connect to a recording device without any internet connection


    65. What country has the most CCTV cameras?


    It is generally believed to be the UK. With 1% of the worlds population but 20% of it CCTV Cameras


    66. How many days can CCTV record?


    This depends on the storage capacity of the DVR/NVR, which is the choice of the purchaser.


    67. How can I access my CCTV on mobile?


    There are many approved manufacturer APPs that allow you to view your CCTV footage on portable devices.


    68. Do you need WIFI for security cameras?




    69. Which CCTV camera is best?

    This depends on the purpose of the CCTV.


    70. What is the best brand for security cameras?


    There are many good quality CCTV manufactures with exceptional products.

    71. Does CCTV work in darkness?


    CCTV with night time capabilities can. These cameras can pick up infrared light and convert this into an image.


    72. What is difference between IP camera and CCTV camera?


    The main difference is the way the signal is sent Analogue systems turn the signal into a format a Video recorder or tv screen can receive. The IP camera digitises the signal and sends it out via packets over a network connection.


    73. Are IP cameras better than analogue?


    IP Cameras offer superior video quality, video analytic features and scalability.


    74. What is the difference between analog and IP cameras?


    The main difference is that the IP camera will have more features and a higher image quality than the IP camera


    75. Is CCTV analogue or digital?


    It all depends on the type of camera installed


    76. What is AHD in CCTV?


    Analogue High Definition which uses a coax cable to transmit HD video footage from CCTV to DVRs. It supports 720P AND 1080p HD video resolutions.


    77. Is 960h better than 720p?



    78. Is 720p or 1080p better?



    79. How do I connect my CCTV to the Internet?

    First assign the DVR an IP address, and then connect it to the Local Area network (LAN). Set up port forwarding on your router, then set up a static DHCP Ip address for the DVR. Configure a dynamic DNS account, set up a dynamic dns on your router, then set up remote internet connection.
    Some newer systems are equipped with P2P that only requires the scanning of a QR code to connect to the system.


    80. Can we connect DVR with WIFI?

    Some DVR’s have built in WIFI some do not. You would need to check your specific model.


    81. Do wireless security cameras need Internet?


    No, they only need to be connected to a power supply.


    82. How do I connect my DVR box to my TV?


    There are several ways in which this can be done.
    A DVR box can be connected to a TV set by a HDMI Cable, DVI Cable, component cables and s-video cable.

    HDMI – Turn off TV and DVR. Connect the DMI cable to HDMI out port of the DVR Box. Turn on DVR and TV, and these will no be connected. On the TV screen you should have option to select HDMI.

    DVI Cable – Turn of TV and DRVR. Plug in the DVI end of HDMI-to-DVI cable the DVI port at the side or back of your TV. Connect the audio cables to the TV and the DVR. Switch on TV and DRVR, and select “HDMI 1” as input source.

    Component Cables – ensure TV and DVR are turned off. Connect the component cable’s green, blue and red connectors into the matching ports of the TV. Connect the other colour coded component cable’s connectors into the DVRs matching out ports. Next step – connect the audio cable into the TV using an audio cable. Plug the other end of the audio cable into the DVR. Switch on the TV and DVR and select HDMI 1 as an option.

    S-Video Cable – turn off TV and DVR. Connect S-video cable to TV into the S-video in port, then connect the other end of cable into the S-video out port on the back of DVR. Next step – connect the audio cable to the TV and then attach the other end of audio cable into the DVR. Select HDMI 1.


    83. What does TVI mean in CCTV?


    TVI allows for the transition of high quality video footage over traditional cabling (Cat5, Cat5, RG59, UTP).


    84. What is CVI in CCTV?


    High Definition Composite Video Interface.

    85. What is TVI?


    TVI stands for Transport video interface


    86. What is CVBS in CCTV?


    CVBS stands for Composite Video Blanking and Sync, which is the traditional analogue signal delivered to the DVR.


    87. What is RCA cable?

    An RCA connector carries audio and video signals.


    88. Is RCA analogue or digital?




    89. What is CVBS video output?


    CVBS stands for Composite Video Blanking Sync. Often referred to as SD Video or standard definition


    90. What is HD camera?


    A high definition camera


    91. What is Hdtvi?

    High Definition transport video Interface


    92. How can I watch CCTV Online on Android


    There are many APPS available and your NVR/DVR instructions will explain the best one to use or even give you a link to their own APP.
    This is simply installed and then configured as per the manufacturer’s instructions


    93. What is an SDI signal?


    Serial Digital Interface is the standard for digital video transmission over coaxial cable.


    94. What is camera PTZ?


    Pan tilt and zoom. The ability of the camera to move around and zoom in and out.


    95. What does Cvbs stand for?

    Composite Video Blanking and Sync often simply referred to as SD (standard definition)


    96. What is AHD Camera?


    Analogue High Definition.


    97. What is the difference between AHD camera and HD camera?


    AHD Cameras use coax cable for the transmission of HD videos to DVRs.


    98. What is CVI camera?


    High Definition Composite Video Interface. This technology allows for a higher resolution.


    99. What is a SDI camera?

    An HD-SDI camera captures 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080) video footage


    100. How do I choose a CCTV camera?



    101. What is focal length in CCTV camera?


    Focal length is expressed in millimetres and is the distance of the lens from the image sensor. The smaller the number the wider the field of view will be. A zoom lens will have 2 numbers a lower number and an upper number.


    Related topics: Best CCTV camera for office CCTV camera types and features CCTV employee rights  Wireless CCTV camera types Fibre cabling and termination Questions to ask about CCTV Videos 

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