How a Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) works?

Today, asset protection is a priority for businesses, gated communities, and homes alike. A closed-circuit TV is a comprehensive video surveillance system, which can be adapted to the needs of practically any place and has multiple applications in theft protection, in the control of production processes, in the monitoring of children, and many other functions. In this article, we tell you how a CCTV operates, what technological alternatives the market offers, and what you should do to ensure that the solution you implement gives you the results you need.

For a few years now, video surveillance has reached every aspect of our life. We began by seeing this architecture in the movies, as a distinctive element of science fiction, but today we are no longer amazed by its massive presence, both in public and private places. The decision to install a closed-circuit TV, or CCTV according to its acronym, is very common and is no longer limited to large companies, public bodies or residential complexes, but reaches private homes and small organizations in search of the long-awaited tranquility.

The name “closed-circuit” comes from the fact that the different components of the system are connected, linked together since the images that are collected and generated through it cannot be seen outside of it.

As we said before, the alternatives that this type of system offers are innumerable, making them adaptable to the requirements of different types of locations. They can be simply composed of one or more cameras connected to a television monitor that reproduces the captured images or linked to integrated security systems, which allow complete monitoring and vision in complex contexts.

Given this situation, the key to being successful on a project is to carefully plan for needs and work with a team of experienced and specialized security consultants like Defense Cybersecurity.

How does a closed circuit TV work?

A CCTV is basically made up of cameras, a transmission medium, monitors, recording systems, data recording, and some other complementary elements, such as lenses and devices for storing and processing the information collected.

The operation is simple: CCTV cameras capture the images of the areas that are being monitored, which are then transmitted to the monitors that reproduce them using different means, such as coaxial cable, fiber optic, UTP cables, or the most modern wireless systems, which do not need cables of any kind.

Starting from this basic scheme, current technology allows systems to become more complex, adapting to the available budget, the needs of the locations to be monitored and other factors. What you have to keep in mind is that an ideal closed circuit TV provides the following advantages:

  • Allow a facility with a large flow of public to be open and, at the same time, safe and secure.
  • Monitor the perimeters and places of access to your organization , urbanization, educational campus, or others, to detect the presence of unauthorized people and implement attack procedures if necessary.
  • See in real time what is happening in the monitored areas , both through specially dedicated monitors, as well as through tablets, computers or smartphones.
  • Provide the ability to record and access important events stored easily and quickly , choosing the desired programming of the video recorder.
  • Connect the CCTV with other alarm systems and make it possible to send notices from these teams to the surveillance monitors .

Choose the most appropriate technology for your need

What factors should you analyze to design the best closed-circuit TV? We will tell you about them below.


There is a very wide portfolio of cameras. It is not that one is better than the other, but that in each case their characteristics and applications have advantages and disadvantages. Your goal in selecting the right one should be to be clear about what you need. For example, what are the areas you want to monitor?

The appropriate alternative changes if your objective is to monitor the perimeters of your company, neighborhood or home to avoid intrusions or if you try to control a production process . Also, the camera to choose will be different depending on the climatic conditions of the place where you are going to install them and the available lighting. These factors may make it necessary to purchase a night vision camera or determine the minimum color and resolution to obtain sharp images.

If the dimensions of the place are extensive, you should choose lenses that allow you to have optimal ranges of vision and other technologies will be useful, such as motion detection and incident notification, which allows recordings to be activated when a need is detected, avoiding recording constant use of unusable images and saving space.

Another aspect that you have to evaluate is the management system and the resources you have. Both the monitoring and recording systems present suitable alternatives for the affected personnel and characteristics of the sector.

For example, modern systems allow cameras to be controlled remotely from centers of operation and monitoring, configuring remote zoom, pan, and tilt, among other functions. In addition, you can choose to have the monitors observed in real-time or accessed remotely using the internet and electronic devices, whenever you want or if you receive an incident alert.

Likewise, there are devices that allow the recording of a time sequence, capturing continuous images, while others allow the time interval to be filmed to be defined, obtaining partial recordings.

Recording and storage equipment

If before the occurrence of an event you need to analyze the recorded images, the quality and easy availability of the recordings is essential. In this sense, the most modern closed circuits of TV use Digital Video Recorder systems, known by its abbreviation “DVR”, which have many advantages over traditional tape recording devices (VCR). The main difference is in durability and ease of tracking as well as the image location.

These teams have multiple functionalities that allow, on the one hand, to store the video sequences on hard drives and, on the other, to manage and manipulate them as needed, thanks to modern software.

In these systems, multiple cameras can share the same monitor and storage hardware. There are teams that support from 6 to 64 cameras, with the possibility that each one records at a different speed, depending on the importance of the scenes. Technology also allows you to choose which camera you want to view on a monitor and alternate them as desired. However, the most modern equipment uses multiplexers, which are devices that allow images captured by different cameras to be viewed on the same screen.

A good IP server with a large storage capacity is also vital for accessing live and recorded images. On these devices, the images are often compressed to save space while making it possible to retrieve the videos to an acceptable quality.

Tips to keep in mind to implement a quality system

A good system guarantees the registration and supervision of the places to be protected. But on many occasions, in an effort to collect as many images as possible, the focus is on quantity and not quality, having an inverse result than expected.

Having quality data means that the images are sharp and useful. It is useless to have continuous video recording if the cameras do not have the necessary lighting or are in the correct focus. In general, more than half of the recordings do not serve as evidence in cases of incidents, due to their low quality. If systems of poor or standard design are installed, this situation usually occurs, so it is essential that you entrust the design and installation of the closed-circuit TV to a company that can demonstrate experience and success stories.

As we have analyzed in this article, installing a quality closed-circuit TV is possible by combining the appropriate technology with the strategic planning of our professional team. Contact us so that we can start outlining your solution.

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