Surveillance Video Cameras

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Closed circuit television (CCTV) is a system that broadcasts TV signals to a limited number of monitors rather than sending signals through the air or through cable lines to the general public. CCTV requires several components of which a surveillance video camera is one. The camera produces a video signal which is then sent by a transmitter to a monitor. Thus the three major components of CCTV are the camera, the transmitter, and the monitor. A video recorder is often added to save the video signal produced by the camera.

Surveillance video cameras come in a variety of sizes and shapes and with a number of different purposes in mind. They can be hidden (in a warehouse, for example) to observe suspected theft. They can be very visible (at an ATM) to deter theft. They can be outside (on a parking lot light pole) to support the safety of employees and visitors to a site.

Types of Cameras

Covert video surveillance systems can include cameras that are hard wired and send a signal through existing wires. They can also be wireless, transmitting a signal to a monitor. Wireless cameras have the advantage of being portable, and many of them are so tiny they would fit on a fingertip. There are significant differences in the cost of surveillance cameras, depending generally on the complexity of the product and the manufacturer.

Whatever camera you choose, you will need a transmit method, a monitor, and, in most applications, a way to record the video as noted above. The more complex your application, the more you are likely to need professional advice about what will work best and regarding installation. Note that you can now purchase a password-protected system that will allow you to monitor your surveillance sites from any computer, giving you the flexibility to pop in and take a look at any time, day or night..


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