CCTV or Closed Circuit Television is an in-demand security feature installed in establishments, commercial buildings and even private houses to improve security, prevent and detect crime and for monitoring and surveillance. The use of CCTV cameras in the UK is very extensive and for that, the country is said to be the most monitored nation in the world.
The Data Protection Act of 1998 specifies how CCTV images may be used and allotted in order to protect the rights of those captured in the images. In installing CCTV, it should be known beforehand that the installation does follow and adhere to the provisions of the Data Protection Act and in understanding the legal obligations, it is also important to ascertain the basic components of CCTV systems and how they work together which includes the cameras, cables, switchers, monitors, and multiplexers especially, the distinctions between analog and digital recording systems.
Legal Requirements for Installing CCTV
If CCTV system is installed in a business establishment or a public area, the proprietor must observe the requirements of the Data Protection Act and other guidelines related to the act. However, the Data Protection Act does not apply if the CCTV system is used for home and private purposes only. Yet, it is crucial to know that the owner must bear in mind that the protection of the privacy of neighbors must be kept. It should be done by angling the cameras top avoid intrusion. Though planning authorization is most of the time not obligatory when installing CCTV, checking it with your Local Authority is advised especially if you live in a listed building or a conservation space.
Basic Components of a CCTV System
A CCTV system is composed of simple components. The basic CCTV systems only contain a camera, cables, and monitor. More complex systems can consist of multiple cameras, monitors, controllers, cables, multiplexers, as well as analogue or digital recording devices.
Kinds of CCTV Cameras
- CCTV Cameras – These are the eyes of the system. It captures images in an array of indoor and outdoor situations. CCTV cameras can be bought in black and white or color models having an option wired or wireless.
- Waterproof CCTV Cameras- These types of CCTV cameras must have a special housing to protect them from the elements and are used on the outside of buildings.
- Covert CCTV Cameras- these are designed to be inconspicuous and are available housed in intruder alarm detectors or other unnoticeable covers.
- Internet Protocol CCTV Cameras- these are digital cameras that can send and receive data over a network or the internet, much like conventional webcams.
- Static CCTV cameras –these usually feature rings on the lenses that allow users to adjust the focus and are commonly used for household purposes.
- Pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras – can be controlled electronically with a system controller, allowing the operator to change the camera’s focus and viewing angle.
Wireless CCTV systems work with transmitters and receivers. They send and receive signals from the camera to the monitoring point while wired CCTV cameras are linked to the system using a coaxial cable and typical connectors.
Most television sets can serve as CCTV monitors. The only disparity between CCTV monitors and standard televisions is that monitors do not have tuners. Some monitors also feature built-in switchers.
CCTV Controllers, Switchers, and Multiplexers
CCTV controllers, matrix switchers, and multiplexers let operators to change between cameras when several cameras are installed. They can manipulate pan tilt zoom cameras in the system, and permit the recording of several cameras as one signal.