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What Is CCTV and How Does It Work? Your Questions, Answered

Published December 8th, 2020 by Secure IT Securities Corp

You run a small business on Main Street. There is plenty of foot traffic, especially at odd hours of the night.

You can't sleep and turn on the news at 3 am. The anchor mentions a "breaking and entering" from looters at your shop. You cannot believe your eyes, your heart sinks.

Do you wonder what could you have done? You should have installed a CCTV.

You may be wondering what is CCTV and how does it work. In this guide, we will cover all you need to know about Closed Circuit Television Systems. You and your business will be glad you did.

To learn about this security system, keep reading.

What Is CCTV and How Does It Work?

CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television. Unlike traditional television, This type of surveillance system is a closed-loop system where everything being broadcasted stays in-house. Nothing that is recorded with this system gets broadcasted over public airwaves.

The main use case for a surveillance system is for security purposes. Many businesses, bars, schools, restaurants, banks, country clubs, and homes rely on camera systems for protection. While the security system may not stop the bad guy, it will prevent criminal activity to occur in the first place.

Live footage was the primary feature for this new technology when it first popped onto the security scene but not long after, the technology emerged into a recording device. By having it this way, we take advantage of securing the premises in real-time as well as reviewing archived footage.

There are many reasons we will want to keep an eye out for our surroundings. Many homes utilize a security camera to ensure the safety of their loved ones. Installing a camera on the outside of your home in multiple ways can drastically reduce the chances of something bad occurring.

You can also think to install IP security cameras inside your home as well. The purpose here is to extend footage of unwanted intruders. If you ever have strangers doing work on your house or have a babysitter, a security camera is essential for securing your home when you're not around.

Now that we know what CCTV is, we can now ask how does CCTV work? First, we need to be aware of the two types of security camera systems—analog and digital (IP).

Closed Circuit Television Types

We have three CCTV systems: simple, grid powered, and systems with recording. Let's first break down analog vs digital surveillance cameras system and how they work.


With a traditional analog video camera, we connect to our digital video recorder, DVR. The information from the DVR is received, stored, and compressed on a hard drive. This is very beneficial because we can go back and watch stored footage.

Digital (IP)

A digital system brings us up to date with IP camera systems. The system itself is a bit more involved and costly, but well worth it in the end. It works similarly as analog, but instead of a DVR, we have an NVR, network video recorder.

This streamlines our security process, as the camera takes the place of the DVR. Now we can remotely monitor our footage live via an internet connection. If an emergency should occur our smartphone will alert us.

Simple Camera Systems

A simple CCTV system is a camera and a monitor. We can one or many cameras hooked up to a monitor with a coax cable. The power comes from the monitor and feeds it to the camera.

Grid Powered Surveillance Systems

If power is your concern, consider a grid powered surveillance system. With a grid powered surveillance system, we no longer rely on the monitor to provide power. Both the camera(s) and monitor have their power coming from the grid.

Recording IP Camera Systems

A recording CCTV system takes advantage of today's technology with the ability to record and view later via DVR or NVR. We can now archive our footage on hard drives for later use. This comes in handy, especially with authorities.

Video Camera Benefits

Unfortunately, crime is not going away anytime soon. We need to remain safe and secure at all times. Having the right surveillance system provides us with a safety net from criminals and fishy activity.

camera system units range in price, but the cost outweighs what damage may occur without. If you run any type of business, you will be glad you installed a surveillance system for you and your employees. Digital camera systems provide us with a piece of mind knowing we can access our homes at any time if need be.

Safe and Secure

You are now well versed in all things CCTV. Your home and/or business will remain secure. No longer will you need to ask what is CCTV and how does it work.

To learn all things security with video monitoring—Sign up to get 30% off.

Watch the video below to learn about the inventor of home security.

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