Welcome to the

"History of CCTV" Section
Doktor Jons

Guide to Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)

DJ looks back over the last 30 years of
Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) in the U.K.

A potted history of CCTV

When Doktor Jon first started working with Closed Circuit Television in the late 1970's, the world really was a very different place from what it is today.

In practice, there was no CCTV industry as such; just a limited number of manufacturers offering key products, supported by a handful of dedicated companies trying to provide a level of professionalism and service,which sadly appears somewhat lacking in this day and age.

Whilst the old technology may appear somewhat crude by modern standards, it was actually quite capable of providing very good quality images (almost exclusively in Black and White).

Although the camera equipment could generally satisfy the needs of most users, the lack of stability under different temperature conditions, coupled with the inherent problems associated with ageing (equipment that is, not the technicians!), meant that service engineers had to be able to ‘tickle’ the circuits in just the right places, to get the very best from the equipment.

Nowadays of course, with solid state electronics providing relatively stable self adjusting circuitry, the need for field service engineers with insightful technical abilities, is simply not as important as it was.

Now an engineer is far more likely to replace an entire piece of faulty equipment (and only later carry out a PCB board exchange), rather than trying to repair the faulty electrical circuit on site.
In fact, for many modern items of equipment, it simply isn't worth the time and effort to try repairing what is now effectively 'disposable kit'.

In the last thirty years, the equipment may have evolved almost beyond recognition, but then so too have many of the applications.

Because of the relatively high cost of installing CCTV, most early applications centred on very high security sites such as embassies, prisons, airports and docks, with only a relatively small take up in the commercial and industrial sectors (in particular process monitoring applications, such as in the nuclear and petroleum industries).


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