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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 it's video switchers
that really turn you on...

Manual Video Switchers

Thirty years ago, video switchers were the norm, and anything remotely resembling an automatic switcher, was at that time considered to be “State of the Art”.

Hardly surprisingly, manual switchers are rarely used nowadays, not because there is no practical requirement, but simply due to the fact that auto switchers which can also work manually, actually cost pretty much the same in overall terms, to manufacture.

So what can you do with a manual switching unit?

Well, if you have a large enough CCTV control room with a significant number of cameras, it can be very useful to break them down into manageable blocks.

Although multiplexers and matrix switchers are packed with loads of features, they are by implication relatively complex pieces of equipment, which if they fail can seriously compromise the entire CCTV system.

As a basic example of a 'low tech' alternative, if groups of four 'local' cameras are each fed to a seperate quad unit, the outputs can then be manually selected for display on a target location monitor, giving an operator a quick area search facility, at relatively low cost.

At an even more basic level, another common application could see the looping camera inputs at the back of a multiplexer, being linked to a manual switcher, so that basic output selection can be effected remotely, without having to touch any of the multiplexers controls.

Likewise, if a number of video recorders are in use, it’s generally easier and cheaper to manually select an individual signal for playback, rather than having to use a seperate monitor for each recorder.

In practice, only a very few basic switchers can handle audio signals, alongside the video feeds.

Sequential (Auto) Video Switchers >>

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