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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.

Everything you need to
control a CCTV system


With the vast majority of Closed Circuit Television systems installed around the world, a simple control structure is centralised normally to a single, or possibly an additional secondary location. Described simply as the “CCTV Control Room”, the future of surveillance camera monitoring operations, is undoubtedly set to change in a very big way.

Now with the advent of the ‘Digital Age’ there are increasing moves towards using existing cable infrastructures particularly in commercial buildings, normally reserved for computer data networks.

Using this approach, it is relatively straightforward to plug in ‘network enabled’ surveillance cameras, that can then be monitored or controlled from any appropriate location, throughout the network.

Although this approach of Network based surveillance ( IP Video ) is rapidly gaining in popularity, it is perhaps not always for the right reasons.

As with many aspects of modern electronics, the functionality of the equipment may appear tempting at a superficial level, but then little thought is given to the wider picture (pun not intended). Naive acceptance of a salesmans assurances regarding network integrity and security, can come at a price.

The fundamental problem with network based systems is that it is for most people, an unknown quantity, a grey area between the disciplines of computer networks, and security surveillance.

In truth, few people fully understand the intricacies of using CCTV for general security work, and yet if you further complicate the issue by adopting a security code addressable open network structure, this can theoretically create a whole new set of problems.

At present there are a myriad of signal adaptors (servers) available, which can convert video (+audio and data) for transmission over telephone circuits, LAN / WAN, TCP / IP networks, allow internet access and display in standard ‘Explorer’ browsers, and yet little is said about the potential for problems in the great scheme of things.
When it works well it is hugely impressive, but when it doesn't you have to ask what price progress?

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