Most of us have heard of CCTV security systems at some point, however there are those who are not quite certain as to the benefits, or for that matter, what CCTV actually stands for. CCTV means "closed circuit television" which, as the name implies, is a camera that has been hooked up to a TV screen on a closed circuit type system. Today the most commonly used CCTV camera is in black and white and for several reasons. The first is cost, as they are much cheaper to produce. Secondly, maintenance costs are much lower than the colour versions, and finally the black and white system transmits a much sharper and clearer image.
The very first systems were installed way back in the early 1940's in New York. They are now used worldwide for monitoring; in fact just about every major retail business is utilizing this technology. Other institutions using CCTV will of course include just about every bank in the world, for obvious reasons. They are mainly used to deter crime and also employee theft. However, in many cases they also record crimes in progress. CCTV technology has put many a crook behind bars as this type of evidence is hard to refute.
Some companies that are quite large use these systems to observe what is going on inside their organization and for monitoring staff members. Many also install the cameras outside the premises as additional security. But it is not just businesses that have CCTV installed. They are also used by homeowners as protection, as well as city governments and in some instances, by law enforcement. Many sting operations have been carried out via this technology, as many types of these cameras have become very tiny and easy to hide.
There are also models that will work regardless of whether it is day or night, and with today's technology many are operated as wireless devices. Because of the fact that you can get miniature versions, they are commonly used to survey and monitor care workers or babysitters who look after children or the elderly. Some daycare centers utilize CCTV and give parents the ability to access the rooms via the internet.
Another really big advantage over other types of security systems is the fact that CCTV is live coverage, yet at the same time it can be recording everything, depending on the type that is used. In the UK for example, this technology and its usage has greatly proliferated over the past ten years. In fact governments in UK have the distinction of being one of the biggest users of CCTV surveillance in the world. Studies have clearly shown that they are a deterrent to criminal activity.
We have all seen the live shows of high speed chases involving law enforcement on television from the point of view of the officer involved. This is a perfect example of CCTV at work, steadfastly recording in real time. Another prime example would be a casino, the cameras are commonly referred to as the "eye in the sky". And for good reason, as these units can focus in and observe even the slightest movements that could be deemed as suspicious. Many a casino cheat has been busted thinking that they were going to outsmart the cameras that stealthily are beaming down on them and taping everything.
As for home usage, you can purchase units that are very reasonably priced and many come with outstanding features. Depending on what type of setup you want, there are systems that can monitor one room or an entire household. Some higher end models give you the ability to view in very low light, different zooms and audio. If desired you can also get CCTV setup as a network of IP cameras, broadcasting over the internet in varying resolutions dependent on the model and price range.
This technology is here to stay, and with crime rates the way they are we will see more of these installed in public. Many taxis, buses, civic centers, public and private parking lots, airports, hospitals and many others are taking advantage of the protection these CCTV cameras offer. It should also be noted that CCTV is used more frequently to monitor school property so as to discourage unruly or violent behavior. Because of this technology, students are less likely to commit acts that are deemed against the rules for fear of being recorded.
High spec CCTV images are sharp and this type of advanced security is there to give governments, businesses, homeowners and even private citizens the benefits of full camera coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the fight against crime, to protect properties and ensure public safety. From the smallest inexpensive to the most sophisticated, CCTV security system is available to suit every needs.