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How Does a CCTV System Work?

Safety is a need. CCTV Systems are a solution.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety is the second highest need for human beings, after water, food and air. When our physiological needs are satisfied, we desperately seek safety.

The importance of safety is clear in our modern societies. I’m sure that you have seen, on more than a few occasions, signs advertising CCTV cameras in operation. How many times have you seen camera systems on buildings, businesses, main roads, on private and public areas? Almost everywhere you look, you can find CCTV.

A CCTV System (Closed Circuit Television) allows us to capture images and transmit them privately to a specific place to be monitored. This is a vital part of the solution in satisfying our basic safety needs.

But how does a CCTV system work?

A very basic Analogue CCTV installation may include six components:

Video cameras. They are the starting point for any CCTV system, capturing and creating the footage, an analogue signal, that will be transferred to the control position. Before choosing a CCTV camera, we should consider aspects including outdoor or indoor, the field of view, image quality and the night vision distance. You can find a wide range of CCTV cameras in our catalogue: bullet cameras, dome cameras, PTZ cameras, which allow you to pan, tilt and zoom.

The digital video recorder (DVR). This component will receive the video footage, convert the analogue signal to digital, compress and store it on a disk drive, a USB flash drive, or even a networked storage. We can find DVRs with up to 32 channels video input which allow us to connect 32 CCTV cameras and create complex security circuits.

The Cameras-DVRs coax cables. Depending on the security cameras and DVRs, we use various kinds of cable, for example Cat 5 or Cat 6.

The TV or monitor. Using a CCTV System, we can view what our cameras are capturing in real time or what our DVRs record.

The DVR-Monitor connectors. Can include BNC/Scart connectors and HDMI connectors.

The power supply. The cameras can be powered by connecting the power supply directly to the camera or by using a RG59 Siamese which allows the running of both the video and power to security cameras using a single cable.

Over recent years, the new wireless camera systems and IP CCTV solutions have improved on this simple process, offering greater flexibility, easier installation and better system integration. We will see more in following posts on how CCTV systems work.

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