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What Does CCTV Mean?

Published 06/15/2020 by General Security


Since its inception 50 years ago, closed-circuit television (CCTV) has evolved from resource-consuming, 24/7 manual monitoring to state-of-the-art Internet Protocol (IP) network cameras capturing and transmitting real-time audio and video to users’ private monitors and smartphones. 

Newer models feature sharp, high-resolution video; crisp, crystal-clear audio; motion detection; video analytics; night vision; and remote access.

With the advent of cloud-based platforms, CCTVs are also sometimes referred to as video systems

Widely utilized by law enforcement agencies, schools, businesses, and private residences, CCTV can deter crimes, record and view daily activities, and even monitor employee productivity.

Here’s a breakdown of CCTV’s beginnings, features, benefits, applications, and more. 



Also known as video surveillance, CCTV technology premiered in the United States in 1949.

These early systems required 24/7 monitoring because they couldn’t capture or store information. This was followed by time-consuming and costly reel-to-reel surveillance, whereby an operator would manually thread and change magnetic tapes. 

VCRs were slowly introduced during the 1970s, yet it would be another 20 years until digital multiplexing arrived to equip camera models with time-lapse and motion-recording capabilities. 

CCTV advancements include analog and IP cameras, accompanying digital video recorders (DVR), network video recorders (NVR), so-called ‘smart’ interconnectivity, and 24/7 remote alerts. 

Most commonly used for indoor/outdoor security monitoring and surveillance, every CCTV system consists of cameras, recording equipment, monitors, and video management software. It’s important to note that monitors might not always be required due to remote viewing capabilities.

As aforementioned, cameras and recording systems comprise this technology’s core. Analog systems are compatible with DVRs, while newer IP cameras are matched with NVRs. 

CCTV footage is only viewable through a private, wired or wireless connection by authorized users, hence its “closed-circuit” designation.


Features & Benefits

The following features can be added to your home or business CCTV security system, and when incorporated with the security platform app, utilized through any mobile device. 

Motion Detection Sensors

Available through smart security providers such as, these sense movement and trigger an alarm in real time.

Video Analytics

This discerns motions between humans, animals, or vehicles. It also analyzes specific patterns to eliminate false notifications and identify what should be recorded or ignored.

Night Vision

Compatible cameras with color night vision capture images in the dark or bad weather.

Instant, Remote Replays
DVR and NVR technology facilitate remote alerts and footage playbacks.

Widely utilized by law enforcement agencies, schools, businesses, and private residences, CCTV can deter crimes, record and view daily activities, and even monitor employee productivity.


These can be utilized within homes, commercial and public safety settings for detection, monitoring, and surveillance. 


CCTV cameras monitor storefronts, offices, parking garages, casinos, and hotels to protect against intrusions, theft, and burglary. 

Stadiums and other public venues utilize this technology for crowd control, and enhanced security and surveillance. 

Public Safety

CCTV footage can assist law enforcement during criminal investigations, and aid municipalities in special projects such as conducting traffic studies.

Outdoor CCTV cameras can deter trespassers and would-be intruders, and alert homeowners to unusual sounds without requiring them to leave the security of their residences. 


The CCTV Difference

 If you’re still grappling with whether or not to install CCTV at your home or business, consult an experienced services provider, such as General Security.

General Security provides advanced commercial and residential CCTV systems to protect your home and office. Request a free, contactless quote from us today. 

Request a Quote with General Security

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