What Does CCTV Stand for and Why do You Need it?

In this article, we are exploring the subject of CCTV, answering the question what does CCTV stand for, and sharing advice on how to install CCTV.


What does CCTV stand for?


CCTV stands for closed circuit television. It is also known as video surveillance. Closed circuit means that the cameras transmit footage to a closed audience, as opposed to regular television, which broadcasts to the public.


The footage that’s transmitted by CCTV security cameras is either stored on a local hard drive, an SD card or other type of portable storage device, or in the cloud. With smart CCTV systems, footage is relayed to smart devices in real time, alerting premises owners to security breaches so that immediate action can be taken.


CCTV technology was first created in 1942 by German scientists to monitor the launch of V2 rockets, and was later used by American scientists during the testing of the atomic bomb.


Nowadays, CCTV is mostly used as a security measure. Linked to motion, noise or thermal sensors, or set to record continuously, the cameras record footage which can be used to identify criminals and detect in-house criminal behaviour. But there are other uses too.


The uses of CCTV and security cameras


As well as crime management, CCTV security cameras act as a highly effective deterrent. Criminals are far less likely to target premises with visible cameras than those without.


CCTV surveillance can also be used to monitor for health and safety breaches. Health and safety compliance is one of the biggest challenges for business owners, and keeping track of whether your policies and processes are being followed can be a major undertaking.


CCTV monitoring is cost effective and non-disruptive. Providing data protection rules are followed, and employees are notified that they are being monitored and the reason why, closed circuit television can provide the ideal solution when it comes to avoiding the risks of health and safety breaches.


When combined with artificial intelligence (AI), CCTV becomes very powerful. It can be used to detect certain behaviours and body language, such as an intention to steal, or incite violence.


CCTV security cameras can also be combined with access control, presenting even further benefits. It can be used to identify unauthorised entrants who may be using lost or stolen entry cards, as well as to spot tailgaters getting in behind authorised entrants.


How to install CCTV cameras?


There are various types of CCTV security cameras, some with special features that will serve particular purposes.


From dome and pan, tilt and zoom CCTV cameras that rotate 360 degrees to monitor the widest possible scope, to highly visible, weather resistant bullet cameras that act as a clear deterrent, and from infra-red and night vision cameras that pick up footage in lower light and night time conditions, to IP security cameras and wireless CCTV for anytime, anyplace footage viewing, there is something to suit every need and level of risk.


So those are the types of CCTV security cameras, but how to install CCTV?


Firstly, and most importantly, CCTV should only be installed by an expert. The correct positioning of cameras and sensors is vital if you are going to get the most out of the system. What’s more, cabling, and connecting the security cameras into your IP or WiFi network, need to be done properly so that you don’t lose your connection when you need it most.


You will also need to consider whether permission is required for CCTV installation. If your property is located in a Conservation Area, or is a listed building, you will likely need permission from your local planning department or Conservation Officer.


You will also have certain responsibilities. These will vary depending on where you plan to install the CCTV, the type of system, and the nature of the property.


You are wise to consult Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s regulatory body for public interest and information rights which is in charge of enforcing UK data laws.


If you are siting security cameras so that they capture footage outside the boundary of your property, such as neighbouring properties or public footpaths, then data protection laws will apply. Whilst capturing footage from beyond the boundary is not illegal, it does mean that you will become a registered data controller. This means that you take on certain legal obligations concerning the footage you are recording, and that you will need to register with the ICO. You’ll also need to have a justifiable reason for capturing the footage, and will need to protect the rights of anyone in it.


Looking for professional CCTV installation in London?


At PC Docs, we offer a professional CCTV and door entry installation service across London, Hertfordshire and Essex.


Whether you need a single hardwired camera to monitor a main entrance, or a set of internet-connected smart CCTV cameras and sensors to keep a range of access points under surveillance, we’ll tailor a package to suit your specific needs and level of risk.


To learn more, and for a free site survey and quotation, you are welcome to get in touch.

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