CCTV Focus of the Video Surveillance Industry

CCTV General Questions

CCTV Focus features software evaluations, assessments of services, and examination of IP camera vendors

CCTV General Questions

CCTV Systems vs. Video Surveillance Systems (VSS)

Video surveillance is a broad domain that encompasses various technologies and systems designed to monitor and record activities in a specified area. CCTV and VSS are terms often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between them.

1. CCTV Systems (Closed-Circuit Television Systems):
CCTV stands for Closed-Circuit Television. This term refers to a private video system where the broadcast is not publicly distributed but instead, is shown on private monitors for surveillance and security purposes. Traditional CCTV systems were analog and required direct cable connections from the camera to the monitor or recording device.

2. Video Surveillance Systems (VSS):
VSS is a broader term that encompasses various surveillance technologies, including modern digital systems and traditional CCTV. It refers to any setup where cameras capture and transmit video for monitoring or recording purposes.
Modern VSS, especially IP-based systems, transmit video over the internet, allowing for remote access and monitoring. Footage can be stored on-site (on NVRs or Network Video Recorders) or off-site in cloud-based storage solutions. Highly scalable as new cameras can be added to the network with relative ease. Comes with advanced features like motion detection, facial recognition, and analytics.

Differences Between CCTV and VSS:
СCTV can be considered a subset of video surveillance systems, VSS is a broader term that includes a wider variety of technologies, including modern IP-based solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions on Video Surveillance

Choosing the Right CCTV:
There are many new CCTV features now. People might get confused about which one to buy for safety. Some companies only pick the cheapest options which may not be the best for security. Before buying or upgrading, it's important to know what you really need.

What is CCTV?
CCTV is just a tool. It needs security guards to use it properly. CCTV can be used to scare off bad people, watch areas in real-time, or look at something that happened in the past. A basic CCTV system has:
  • Camera
  • Wires and power
  • A screen to watch
  • Good lighting
  • A way to record and play back videos

Purpose of video surveillance/CCTV

Deterrence: If people know about the CCTV and think they'll get caught, they might not do bad things. But someone who doesn't care, like a person who wants to harm themselves and others, might not be scared off by the camera.
Live Monitoring: CCTV can be watched in real time. But, staff needs to be alert and trained. Some systems can spot changes and help staff, but nothing is perfect.
After Something Happens:
CCTV is very useful to look back at what happened. Moving cameras sometimes don't capture useful info, but cameras that don't move and are placed in the right spots do. It's important for the picture to be clear and not too grainy.
CCTV Quality: There are guidelines to help use CCTV properly. But not everyone knows these rules. When setting up a CCTV system, think about what it will mostly be used for, like spotting a car or a person, and set it up the right way.

What are the most common issues with video surveillance systems?

  • Signal Loss or Interruption: Often due to cable damage or connection issues.
  • Poor Image Quality: Resulting from bad camera lenses, low resolution, or inadequate lighting.
  • Limited Storage: Older systems might have insufficient storage capacity, requiring frequent data overwriting.
  • Blind Spots: Areas not covered by cameras, often due to incorrect placement or insufficient number of cameras.
  • System Hacking: Unauthorized access to the video feed or data, especially in IP-based systems.
How are video surveillance systems structured and what are their main components?

  • Cameras: The primary devices capturing video footage. They vary in resolution, field of view, and special features like night vision or motion detection.
  • Recording Devices: These include Digital Video Recorders (DVR) or Network Video Recorders (NVR) to store the footage.
  • Monitors: Screens that display the live or recorded footage.
  • Cables and Connectors: Essential for transmitting the signal and connecting the various components.
  • Control Devices: Such as switches, keypads, or software that allow users to operate the system.
  • Storage: Hard drives or cloud storage solutions where the footage is saved.
  • Power Supply Units: To ensure continuous power to cameras and other components.

When was the term CCTV coined and what does it mean?

  • CCTV stands for Closed-Circuit Television. It's a term that dates back to the early days of television and refers to a private video system where the broadcast is not publicly distributed but monitored mainly for surveillance and security purposes

What should one pay attention to when setting up a video surveillance system?

  • Purpose of the System: Understanding whether it's for security, monitoring, or another specific reason will dictate the type and number of cameras needed.
  • Camera Placement: Ensuring there are no blind spots and that cameras cover all critical areas.
  • Storage Needs: Depending on how long you need to retain footage, ensuring adequate storage is essential.
  • Camera Quality: Considering the resolution, low-light capabilities, and other specific features relevant to the environment.
  • Network Security: Especially for IP-based systems, it's crucial to secure the network against potential hacking attempts.
  • Local Laws and Regulations: Making sure you are in compliance with privacy laws and other regulations pertaining to video surveillance in your area.
  • Maintenance: Regularly checking and maintaining the equipment to ensure it's always functioning correctly

Video Surveillance Systems: Common Scams to Watch Out For When Buying

Choosing the right video surveillance system usually involves advice from professionals on format, megapixel count, IR illumination, lens types, and more. While we will touch upon these aspects in this article, we begin by focusing on common scams to help you avoid blatant rip-offs.
In Focus: