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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.

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Radio Transmission of CCTV signals

Taking the time to describe the basics of radio transmission for video signals, is a somewhat academic exercise, considering it’s significantly illegal to operate the equipment, here in the UK.

Well perhaps that statement needs to be qualified somewhat.

The regulatory authorities have allocated specific licence exempt frequencies for commercial use, although unfortunately, these are actually limited to the much higher microwave spectrum, rather than VHF/UHF.

There are a number of specialist companies that manufacture wireless radio frequency video transmission equipment, which may legally be purchased, but quite obviously cannot be used except in certain other countries.

If you operate illegal equipment in the U.K., then the authorities will regard you as a 'pirate' station, with the obligatory slapped wrist and gargantuan fine for breaking the rules.

Should the need ever arise, wireless radio transmission is actually extremely straightforward to set up, with a healthy achievable range and relatively stable, if not always totally predictable results.

There is the possibility of climatic and environmental effects on the received signal, but overall it doesn’t hold that many surprises.

One interesting thought though, is that with the advent of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), the M-PEG4 video compression codec can be successfully transmitted using radio equipment, which if developed appropiriately in coming years, could provide significant benefits as a cheap and reliable platform for CCTV transmission.

In particular, as a method of distributing video signals to a localised community, perhaps as part of a 'Safety Net' type installation, digital radio could be the ideal solution, to an age old problem.

Likewise, the TETRA (Trans European Trunked Radio) system being adopted by law enforcement and civil defence authorities, will also open up new opportunities for video/data transmission.

In the meantime, for cable free links it's probably going to be Microwave Video Transmission > or nowt.

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