Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific, limited set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it may employ point to point wireless links. CCTV is often used for surveillance in areas which need monitoring, such as banks, casinos, airports, military installations and convenience stores. Increasing use of CCTV in public places has caused debate over public surveillance versus privacy. In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process that are remote from a control room, or where the environment is not comfortable for humans. CCTV systems may operate continuously or only as required to monitor a particular event.
CCTV for use outside government special facilities was developed as a means of increasing security in banks. Today it has developed to the point where it is simple and inexpensive enough to be used in home security systems, and for surveillance. Claims that they reduce or deter crime have not been clearly borne out by independent studies, though the government claims that when properly used they do result in deterrence, rather than displacement. One clear effect that has been noted is a reduction of car crime when used in car parks. Cameras have also been installed in taxis to deter violence against drivers, and also in mobile police surveillance vans.
The most measurable effect of CCTV is not on crime prevention, but on detection and prosecution. Several notable murder cases have been solved with the use of CCTV evidence,
Monitoring for safety
A CCTV system may be installed where an operator of a machine cannot directly observe people who may be injured by unexpected machine operation. For example, on a subway train, CCTV cameras may allow the operator to confirm that people are clear of doors before closing them and starting the train. Operators of an amusement park ride may use a CCTV system to observe that people are not endangered by starting the ride. A CCTV camera and dashboard monitor can make reversing a vehicle safer, if it allows the driver to observe objects or people not otherwise visible.
Closed Circuit Digital Photography (CCDP)
See also: Closed-circuit television camera
A development in the world of CCTV (October 2005) is in the use of megapixel digital still cameras that can take 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution images of the camera scene either on a time lapse or motion detection basis. Images taken with a digital still camera have higher resolution than those taken with a typical video camera.Relatively low-cost digital still cameras can be used for CCTV purposes, using CCDP software that controls the camera from the PC.
Images of the camera scene are transferred automatically to a computer every few seconds. Images may be monitored remotely if the computer is connected to a network.
Closed Circuit Digital Photography (CCDP) is more suited for capturing and saving recorded photographs, whereas Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is more suitable for live monitoring purposes.
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