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"History of CCTV" Section
Doktor Jons

Guide to Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)

Philips N1500 Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) - circa 1975

A potted history of CCTV - continued


There was a brief period when recorders using the emerging Philips videocassette format were custom modified for Time Lapse recording, and subsequent models from NEC (3/4” U-Matic cassette - c.1982), Grundig SVR, and VHS and Betamax variants came and went almost with the changing seasons.

Eventually, VHS and later the higher resolution Super VHS (S-VHS) won through as the standard analogue Time Lapse video recorder formats, which of course still continue to dominate the marketplace, to this day

Only very recently has this supremacy been challenged by the latest emerging ‘Digital’ hard disc and (to a much lesser degree) tape based formats.

Whatever your application, there’s bound to be a digital recorder suitable for you - or at least that’s what the manufacturers would like us to believe.

In practice Digital recorders, stand alone units and PC based, are still quite expensive for some key areas of use, and it will be a couple of years yet before we see the ruling analogue tape formats, yield their crown to the sophisticated young pretenders.

Throughout the recent history of Closed Circuit TV development, one simple principle has remained constant.

To send a video signal from the camera to a monitor quite close by, a simple unbalanced length of co-axial cable has always been, and continues to be .... the cheapest and easiest option.

That’s not to say that there aren’t a variety of alternatives.

Balanced twisted pair cables were briefly popular for larger systems in the ‘70’s, and it has to be said are likely to enjoy something of a resurgence in the very near future, with the increasing use of Cat 5e.

On a more high tech note, long distance monomode and short range multi mode fibre optic transmission, has offered many advantages since its introduction in the early ‘80’s, but at a premium cost.


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