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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.

If you need basic technical information
on the range of CCTV equipment available ....

A General Guide to CCTV Cameras

Before Doktor Jon guides you serenely through the minefield of CCTV camera technical specifications, it might be worth having a quick look at all the different types that are actually available.

As you will see in later sections, trying to categorise a myriad of differing camera designs can be somewhat awkward, to put it mildly!!

So, let’s start with the easiest ... Domestic CCTV cameras.

Their are a number of very low cost units specifically manufactured for the home market, which generally comprise of basic grade PCB camera boards, enclosed in varying styles and designs of housing (most of which are well sealed against the elements).

These are generally manufactured using basic performance CCD chips with Monochrome (380 - 400 lines resolution) or colour (330 lines resolution) board modules, fitted with fixed 'no iris' lenses. As such, it’s left to the cameras circuitry to compensate (as best it can) for any changes in the ambient lighting.

Although these cameras are highly affordable, with high street availability at prices around the £ 25 - 75.00 mark, ($ 35 - 80.00 and Euro 35 - 100.00), their technical limitations mean that they are generally only ideally suited to short range applications, such as monitoring a front door or garage, or simply producing general views around the property, such as watching a parked car, or keeping an eye on the front or back garden areas.

Most domestic cameras are built as an affordable 'plug and play' entry into the world of CCTV.

If detailed evidential quality images are required, it's generally preferable to use the much higher cost, and higher performance, industrial grade cameras which are explained in more detail, on the following pages.


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