Did you know that nearly 70% of burglaries can be prevented simply by installing a security camera? With a wide range of applications, commercial security camera installation can serve businesses, hospitals, communities, and more. But what is a CCTV security system and how can it benefit your business?
In this article, we will address basic CCTV camera installations Frequently Asked Questions you might have if you’re curious about getting a CCTV security system for your business.
What Is a CCTV Security System?
The initialism CCTV stands for “Closed-Circuit Television” but is sometimes colloquially called “video surveillance.” This refers to a camera or multiple cameras which transmit video to a set of monitors with limited access, thus creating a “closed circuit.”
How Do CCTV Security Systems Work?
CCTV camera installations relies on more than just a few cameras to make a complete CCTV security system. Conventionally, CCTV security systems are composed of the following:
- At least one camera for picking up images
- Cables for transmitting images, unless the cameras are wireless
- Some kind of video recording system (generally Direct Video Recorders, Network Video Recorders, or video tape recorders)
- Computer monitors for viewing the video input
In a standard CCTV system, a camera or series of cameras will record video images and transmit these to a recording system, either wirelessly or by RJ45 or coaxial cables. The recording system stores video input while transmitting the feed to a monitor for human observation.
There are three main kinds of CCTV camera installations: digital, analog, and network. Digital CCTV systems store video in a computer directly whereas analog systems require some other form of storing data, like a video capture card or a tape recorder. Network CCTV security systems stream live video content via the internet.
What Are the Uses for a CCTV Security System?
While today CCTV systems are frequently used to deter and detect crime, they were originally designed by German scientists in 1942 to help them test and create rockets. It has since been used for a variety of functions, including:
- Crime Prevention: It’s been proven that just commercial security camera installation alone can dramatically reduce theft, vandalism, illegal dumping, and other illicit activities. By connecting your business’ cameras to a CCTV system, you can ensure that, should any crimes be committed on company territory, justice will be served.
- Community Monitoring: There’s all kind of information security cameras can provide in addition to deterring theft. CCTV cameras can be installed at busy intersections to gather evidence for cars that speed or run a red light. Some CCTV systems even gather information on the surrounding environmental and weather conditions and record data for the benefit of the public.
- Psychological and Behavioral Research: With high-definition cameras capable of picking up great detail, researchers are able to spot and interrupt suicidal behavior in public places; CCTV cameras can even put a stop to bullying on a school playground, or other anti-social behaviors.
- Catastrophe Response: In some cases, CCTV cameras can help first responders make an informed strategy to respond to both natural and man-made disasters.
- Clinical Diagnosis: Did you know that we have developed software capable of analyzing the 43 human facial muscles and inferring sensations like anxiety or surprise based on these interpretations? The same cameras used for this kind of application can also be useful in monitoring patients in danger of stroke, epilepsy, and other conditions.
What Are the Different Kinds of Security Cameras?
If you’re looking for security cameras for your home or business, there are many different kinds which may be best suited to your circumstances. Most CCTV camera installation experts will recommend a variety of camera types based on your needs, to ensure maximum coverage of your business. Here are some of the common kinds of security cameras:
- Fisheye: These cameras rely on a particular lens for their iconic “fishbowl” vantage point, which makes them less inclined to mechanical failure than cameras that include more involved parts to make a complete 360° view. What fisheye cameras lack in resolution, they make up for in overall field of view, which makes them a great choice for large spaces like warehouses or parking lots.
- Multi-sensor: The visual from this kind of camera comes from a variety of different sources to create a panoramic or 360° view, offering higher resolution than fisheye cameras. These are great for creating overlap of images for maximum coverage of an area, and work great with infrared. By diversifying where the image comes from, if one camera is out of commission, the bulk of the image still comes through.
- Doorbell: Doorbell cameras combine the functions of an intercom with a security camera for two-way communication with one-way monitoring. These are a natural choice for homes, perhaps why they’ve gained popularity in recent years—though they are just applicable for certain kinds of businesses.
- Dome: One of the more durable security cameras on the market, dome cameras also offer a subtlety which is unachievable with other kinds of cameras, like the bullet. Dome cameras are capable of monitoring a wide panoramic view, which makes them excellent for observing businesses, hotels, restaurants, etc.
- Turret: Similar in design to the dome camera, turret cameras, sometimes called “eyeball” cameras, come with a lens on a ball-and-socket joint which can be repositioned without moving the physical camera. One benefit to this kind of camera is it’s often difficult to tell where the lens is aimed, lending it the appearance of a wider frame of view. These cameras are great for infrared and low-light applications.
- Wireless: While wireless cameras are typically easier to install with straightforward remote access, they don’t always offer the best picture resolution in larger areas or when zoomed in. As such, they are better for monitoring small rooms or storage areas.
- Bullet: One of the more aggressive-looking cameras available today, the bullet camera is a long, cylindrical camera ranging in size from a soda bottle to a shotgun shell. Some common pitfalls of the bullet camera include they are relatively easy to vandalize, and birds often build their nests on the platform of the camera; in terms of benefits, bullet cameras tend to have superior zoom properties than other camera models, with improved infrared and night vision features.
- Pan Tilt Zoom, or PTZ: These cameras are known for being able to follow an object of interest across a 360° panorama, and can be remotely aimed using software and a joystick. These cameras are powerful enough to focus on finer details in real time all while being controlled from a remote location, making them ideal for crime prevention and detection purposes.
How Is Security Camera Footage Stored?
In order to be properly utilized, it is necessary to find some way to store your security camera footage. This ensures you will be able to go back over the material within a certain time frame to access older footage, typically a 30-day window.
There are two primary ways security camera footage is stored: via a hard drive or via the cloud. Many modern CCTV security systems rely on the cloud for video storage, as content is easily accessed anywhere the user has internet versus relying on a physical container for the data.
How Much Does a CCTV Security System Cost?
While the cost for CCTV camera installations varies according to type and number of cameras used, a good baseline cost is $125 or so per camera per month (plus more for cameras with advanced features), with installation charges spanning from $80-$200 per camera. The annual price for your camera depends on a lot of things: the amount of data you want to keep on hand at any given time, the amount of storage you need, your monitoring software, etc.
CCTV Camera Installations
CCTV security systems have come a long way since their invention in the 1940s. From scientific and medical applications to community data and security purposes, CCTV camera systems have long served people looking to better understand their needs or the needs of others. With so many more applications than simply deterring crime, there are many reasons to install a video surveillance system to monitor your home or business.
Interested in learning more about what it would cost for CCTV camera installations in your area? Contact Sentry Surveillance today to get started!