Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About CCTV Systems

The final section of this guide is dedicated to answering all of the frequently asked questions that people have about CCTV systems. Below, you will find our CCTV FAQ section with a lot of the common questions and answers that you might have.

  1. What does CCTV stand for?

    CCTV stands for Closed-Circuit Television and is basically a closed-circuit system which does not transmit signals openly (like with broadcast television). Instead, the video cameras transmit the footage to a set of monitors. The television (TV) in CCTV is actually a video camera which acts as a medium that transmits the moving images to the surveillance monitors.

  2. What is CCTV?

    The best way to describe CCTV is as a system in which strategically placed cameras record video images and transmit these images to a monitor or a group of monitors which only a small number of people can access.

  3. What is CCTV used for?

    The primary uses for CCTV are security, surveillance and monitoring. When it comes to security, however, CCTV systems can be used to record footage of both public and private areas or properties. For monitoring and surveillance, CCTV systems are commonly used to investigate or prevent crime from happening.

  4. Is CCTV legal?

    The general guidelines set out by the law make CCTV completely legal. So, if you own the home property which is under CCTV surveillance, you don’t require a special permit to install this system – but need to let your neighbours know.

    If you don’t own the property, you need to speak to the landlord. According to most government laws, businesses that need to use CCTV systems must notify their employees that they are being recorded.

  5. Do you need a license to use a CCTV in the United States?

    Yes. If you are based in the United States, the licensing varies from state to state. There aren’t many federal laws prohibiting video surveillance in public, in the workplace and elsewhere. And while most states allow this surveillance to occur, there are some small exceptions, and some circumstances that require monitoring on a case-by-case basis.

    You can get information about this topic at the following link.

  6. How much does a CCTV license cost?

    The license that is needed for you to operate a CCTV system comes at different prices in every state. For more information, visit this link.

  7. What are the main benefits of CCTV systems?

    CCTV systems excel when it comes to the following:

    • Deterring and preventing crime
    • Detecting evidence and using it in law enforcement
    • Monitoring employees and encouraging greater work productivity
    • Lowering the costs by preventing burglary
    • Extending the safety of others (helping track lost people, monitoring workers in dangerous conditions etc.)
  8. How do CCTV systems work?

    The main components of a CCTV system include a camera, lens, monitor and a recorder.

    While the lens records the images or video, the camera transmits them to a recording device and then the monitor.

  9. What are the types of CCTV cameras?

    There are many different types of CCTV cameras nowadays. Some of the commonly used include the Dome CCTV Cameras, Bullet CCTV units, Infrared CCTV cameras, IP CCTV cameras, Wireless CCTV cameras, High-Definition (HD) CCTV camera units, Thermal Heat detection CCTV cameras and others.

  10. Who invented CCTV?

    The person which invented the first CCTV was a German named Walter Bruch. In 1942, he built a CCTV system to monitor the V-2 rockets. With this, he set the benchmark for a technology that after several years of development, was finally used as a commercial product (from 1949).

  11. What is IR in a CCTV camera?

    IR are basically infrared cameras which detect heat (infrared energy) and convert it into an electrical signal which then produces the thermal image. Infrared lights is emitted from the IR LEDs which are positioned around the lens of the camera.

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

    The cost of CCTV varies due to several factors such as the size of the project, number of cameras included and the type of CCTV installed.

  13. How much does home CCTV cost?

    A full site survey is needed in order to establish a sound quote for the CCTV system.

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

    The rough estimate of running a CCTV camera system is from around $50 per year for domestic use – to hundreds of pounds for large commercial CCTV systems.

  15. Do security and CCTV cameras need power supply?

    Yes. Every CCTV camera needs a power supply. CCTV systems are powered by either power boxes or power adaptors, while IP cameras get power over Ethernet (PoE) technology using Cat5 or Cat6 cables.

    There are some CCTV cameras that are battery operated – as well as solar CCTV units.

  16. How does a CCTV camera work?

    The CCTV camera picks up a sequence of the image and transmits it as a signal that passes on to a recording device and a display device, accordingly.

    The camera captures the video source. Its front features an opened aperture which captures the light stream through the lens. The light stream is captured and by a digital chip that is located inside the camera and turns into a sequence of images. The camera records this sequence of image(s) and redirects it either by cable or wirelessly.

  17. Does one need a CCTV sign to operate this system?

    If you install a camera in your home, you don’t need a CCTV sign.
    However, if your CCTV Systems are installed in a commercial property, you need a proper CCTV signage.

  18. Do CCTV cameras record audio?

    Most of the CCTV cameras don’t feature audio recording, but there are some models that are able to.

  19. Is it illegal to record sound on CCTV systems?

    Recording sound (audio) on CCTV is intrusive, unnecessary and illegal, according to the official laws. More details can be found on this link.

  20. Is CCTV footage personal data?

    The footage caught by a CCTV is seen as personal data, according to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Therefore, the individual or company installing it must provide a sound reason for having it installed.

  21. How long it takes for CCTV systems to be installed?

    The time to install CCTV surveillance systems varies from one unit to another, mostly due to the number of needed cameras, their location, as well as the accessibility to them. Experts recommend a full site survey before installing such systems.

  22. How far can you run the CCTV system cables?

    This mostly depends on the type of camera that you choose. For example, an RG59 coax cable can extend up to 600 ft, while a RG6 cable can reach 1000 ft without a problem. For greater distances, fibre transmission is the best.

  23. What kind of cable is used for CCTV surveillance systems?

    Coaxial cables (coax cables) are perfect for analogue and HDCVI units, while Cat5 and Cat6 are perfect for IP CCTV systems.

  24. Does every security camera need WiFi to work?

    Not all security systems need WiFi to work. Most of them are directly cabled.

  25. Do wireless security cameras slow down the Internet?

    Yes. Wireless cameras can slow down the network – but the change in speed won’t be significant.

  26. What is DVR recorder in CCTV and what does it do?

    DVR is short for Digital Video Recorder which is the unit where video footage from the CCTV is stored. It is basically the computer that saves footage onto the hard drive, USB drive, SD memory card or SSD.

  27. What is a NVR recorder in CCTV and what does it do?

    NVR is short for Network Video Recorder – a device that records video in digital format. Unlike the DVR, this recorder works with an input from a network instead of a video capture card. The video footage in it is encoded and processed at the camera and then streamed to the NVR.

  28. Which is better – NVR or DVR?

    A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is used for IP cameras while a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is known for recording analogue video from coax (analog) cameras. The image quality is higher on the IP cameras.

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