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Guide to Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)

So would you like to play "Spot the CCTV Camera?". Eagle eyed visitors may recognise the profusion of street furniture, surrounding a single heritage dome camera keeping watch over part  of Londons' prestigious Oxford Street shopping area.

Time Lapse, VCR's, DVR's, NVR's ...
it's time to go on the record...

How to get the best from a record system

Now where do we begin? First up, let’s address some aspects of video recording which apply equally to both analogue and digital technologies.

The main purpose for any CCTV video recorder is to obtain Evidential Quality Recordings (EQR) which are legally compliant and as best as possible ‘fit for purpose’.

Now the legal bits are actually quite straightforward; as long as the recorder (plus ancillary equipment like the multiplexer) are kept under restricted access, in other words only two or three nominated individuals are to be allowed to use or access the equipment, then that minimises the risk of anyone compromising the systems operation.

Next up, make absolutely certain that all time, date and caption settings are spot on; if there is any error in any aspect of the recorded data, it may well render the recordings as ‘tainted’ and therefore inadmissable in court.

Finally, make sure that a detailed log is kept of every tape operation (witnessed if possible), reflecting when tapes are changed (cassette ident, date, time, and by whom), and also when recordings are reviewed.

With the legal bits taken care of, we now have to consider what an analogue recorder is capable of, and how best to exploit some of the key features.

In terms of record duration, the golden rule is do not set the unit to record for any longer than you absolutely need; so for example, if on a Saturday you are unable to change a tape until Monday morning, set the record speed to 48 Hour.

Continued >>

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