The Basics of CCTV Surveillance Beginners Should Know


CCTV surveillance systems can be complicated irrespective of whether it is home-based or intended for a commercial property. If you don’t choose the right one, it can bring a lot of inconvenience, which reflects on the additional costs. CCTV systems should do best what they are meant to and prevent security breach. For beginners, here’s a brief guide to understanding CCTV system and what exactly to look for in one.

High Resolution

With the advent of technology, CCTV systems have tweaked their specifications and video resolution is perhaps the most basic of them all. The security system proves to be the ultimate proof when settling any feud, nabbing criminal, and monitoring day-to-day activities. High definition videos can capture finer details, which are important in police investigation in case there is any theft. The camera resolution is also a determinant of the hard drive space needed to store the footage. The higher the resolution, the greater is the data storage space that is needed.

The Different Types of CCTV Cameras

  • Dome –A dome shaped camera that is characterized by IR features, vandal resistance, easy installation, and weatherproofed is the most widely used camera in commercial spaces.
  • Bullet – They are essentially outdoor cameras that offer long distance viewing and capture images in high resolution. They are cylindrical in shape and often installed with protective covering for weather proofing.
  • C-Mount – Bulky in size with detachable lens, these are often used for indoor surveillance. They cover a distance of up to 40-feet.
  • Day/Night- These are equipped with extra sensitive imaging chips and hence can capture clear images in day and night both without infrared illuminators. They are available in multiple sizes and mostly installed outdoors.
  • Pan Tilt and Zoom – With a 200m IR night vision, X36 optical zoom, these cameras can be panned left and right or up and down by a surveillance guard in the security room.
  • Box Camera-This type of camera offers a certain degree of flexibility as the lens of the camera is detachable and can be purchased separately.

Wired and Wireless

Wired security cameras are traditional and require cables to facilitate internet connectivity and video transmission. The cable runs from the camera to a recorder and connects to the router. The wired system is powered by a POE cable or a power cord. The POE requires only one cable that gives both power and internet connection. Wired systems are a reliable option for people who have a permanent location. However, they are susceptible to power outages.  Wireless cameras, on the other hand, facilitate easier installation and are ideal for small business and home as it is limited to four cameras only.


The area that is not in the vision of the CCTV camera is referred to as blind-spot. Most cameras have a blind spot as they have a limited range. For a camera offering 120-degree range of view, anything beyond 120 degree would be a bind spot for that camera. Hence, strategic positioning of the CCTV system becomes crucial so that the blind spots aren’t high risk areas or are vulnerable to vandalism.

Beginners must also be up-to date with the security researchers’ finding as it can provide crucial insights into the surveillance industry.

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