If you’ve ever taken a look up at a bank, casino, or airport and seen a bulky, retro looking security camera, you were likely glancing at a CCTV (closed circuit television and analog) product.

CCTV cameras have been used for many years for business, home, public surveillance, and you’ll see the product sitting atop traffic lights. The technology was one of the first introduced into the market.

The early versions of the technology, and some commercial options still used today required constant monitoring since they lacked high tech options. These systems were incapable of storing or holding information.

Most current models transmit video recordings as voltage and analog signals are sent to a digital video recorder (DVR). From there, the DVR translates what it receives from the camera into a digital video output. The communication is one way, from CCTV to DVR, which means that footage can only be viewed, and you can’t communicate with persons on the other end of the network.

They are usually a system of cameras linked to one monitoring system and require constant video monitoring. They aren’t capable of storing or recording information. Cameras transmit signals to a specific place on a limited set of monitors.

Their fixed location and viewership, means they are often monitored—control room style.

CCTV is the old archaic way of monitoring and protecting your surroundings, some of them even operate via cassette tapes. They’re cheaper than other options, which keeps them valuable for those that need numerous cameras (casinos, airports, et cetera) but for home security, there’s much more efficient, reliable, and user-friendly options. 

The Industry has Changed

CCTV cameras were once the top of the industry, but technology has changed, and better options are available on the market. 

The trend has shifted towards IP (internet protocol and digital) cameras. 

Since these record in digital, their transmission does not need to be converted or translated. Unlike CCTV, they can also record and send out data via 2-way communication, which means you can communicate back and forth between within the network, and the tool can automatically store useful information (based on your recording settings).

Explaining the technology gets a little tricky, but our recent blog post on IP cameras summarizes what they’re all about.

The main attraction of digital cameras is that they can be viewed from anywhere. They operate through WiFi and aren’t limited in their access.

Since these cameras are digital rather than analog, they have greater capacity for high resolution videos than CCTV.

IP cameras might be more expensive than CCTV offerings, but CCTV requires a lot of storage to hold recordings, whereas digital have the capability to only selectively upload footage to the cloud. The cost comes because IP’s record in higher resolution, and feature newer and more powerful technology. 

There are some, rare CCTV offerings that link to smartphones, tablets, or other WiFi-enabled technologies, but most do not.

IP cameras have bigger picture quality, higher resolution, and a larger coverage area. Going digital means the peace of mind that you have the best product on the market. 

If you’re inquiring about home security technologies, digital is the way to go.