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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.

The complete A to Z ...
... on getting pictures from A to B!

CCTV Signal Transmission

Having selected the very best CCTV equipment that money can buy, the next obvious consideration is how to move the picture signals around. Standard copper cables traditionally either ‘co-axial’ (unbalanced) or to a much lesser degree ‘twisted pair’ (balanced), provide a relatively inexpensive and user friendly transmission medium. Just recently, renewed interest has been shown in integrating Closed Circuit Television into existing building computer networks and indeed the Internet, although in relative terma it’s still very much in its infancy.

Established high efficiency techniques such as fibre optic cable are already proven, albeit at a much higher cost than copper cable. Radio transmission has been around for an awfully long time, although unlike the much higher frequency ‘Microwave’ link, it is unfortunately not legal for video use in the United Kingdom. Transmission using Telephone circuits and mobile (cellular) phones, each present new and affordable opportunities for relaying images, whilst specialist techniques such as short range ‘Laser links’ and mains borne encrypted signals all have a specific role to play, in key situations.

To find out more about the various transmission options, read on :-

Copper Cable transmission - Unbalanced co-axial may well be a proven favourite, but what of balanced twisted pair as an alternative?
Fibre optic transmission - For long distance, highly secure and very high quality transmission, optical fibre cable takes a lot of beating.
Network and Internet transmission - Data network transmission and wider broadcast Internet - the shape of things to come?
Radio transmission - It may be prohibited from use in the U.K., but that doesn’t detract from its advantages elsewhere.
Microwave transmission - Short range, limited bandwidth but a highly useful technique none the less.
Telephone and mobile (cellphone) techniques - Transmitting down the ‘phone’ has been possible for around 30 years - what next?
Laser link wireless transmission - A very useful ‘line of site’ means of transmitting a relatively secure signal - bit pricey though!
Other miscellaneous techniques - Sending pictures over a buildings mains cables, or encrypting onto an alternative system....mmm, interesting.
Ten ‘ must know’ things about transmission systems - perhaps the most technical aspect of designing a CCTV system ... so not to be missed!

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