An Essential Glossary Of CCTV Terms

Author: William - | | Categories: CCTV Camera Installation, CCTV Cameras, Security System Installation

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Every industry has its own language and terms. These words and phrases can be confusing to anyone who is not part of the daily operations of a specific industry, and the surveillance business is no exception.

To help you understand the terms, acronyms, and phrases regularly used when purchasing CCTV cameras, Imperial Communications has created this handy reference guide. Here you’ll find valuable information allowing you to comprehend and communicate your surveillance needs effectively.

CCTV (closed-circuit television): is a TV system in which signals are not publicly distributed but are monitored, primarily for surveillance and security purposes.

Night Vision: Compatible cameras with color or low-light black and white night vision that capture HD images and recordings in darkness or inclement weather conditions.

High-Level Resolution: Resolution plays a pivotal role in CCTV technology, as it indicates the level of detail and how well intruders would be effectively identified via still images and recordings. (1080p or 720p resolution is the most common). Deciding on either is dependent on usage, budget, storage, bandwidth, and what you’re trying to achieve.

Analog: In CCTV, analog refers to a Camera Video Format. It relates to systems and components using the standard NTSC/PAL composite video formats. New technology has allowed analog to attain high resolutions, referred to as HD Analog or HDCCTV. Current HD Resolutions are up to 8MP as of 2019.

IP Cameras: These are IP-based video cameras using IP networking rather than the traditional video signal used in broadcast and closed circuit systems. Migration to IP Cameras increased due to higher resolution capabilities. However, HD Analog Cameras have bridged the gap in resolution dramatically (Currently up to 8MP).

LAN: An acronym for Local Area Network. It could be as small as a two-computer system, or it could incorporate hundreds of users in a campus environment. It’s considered local as there is a direct wire connection between all parts of the network.

Optical Zoom: It’s used to describe a method where the camera’s lens enhances and enlarges the image rather than doing it digitally. Pixelation doesn’t come into play with this method, as it’s utterly dependent on the camera itself. Optical Zoom allows for the full use of pixels available.

PTZ Dome: Refers to a fully contained PTZ mechanism and camera installed in the same dome housing.

RAID: An acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Drives. There are several different levels of RAID devices. If one of the drives fails, the information from that device gets retained in the remaining drives. The various RAID levels range from storing all information in two separate locations to using software gymnastics to share information on all the drives so that if any of them fail, it will not allow any data loss.

RG-59: A video coaxial cable with 75 Ohm characteristic impedance. A type of coaxial cable that is most common in use in small to medium-sized CCTV systems. It has an outer diameter of approx. 6 mm and is a nice compromise between maximum distances achievable (up to 266m) and clear transmission.

SATA: It’s an acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment and consists of a thin round cable providing serial communication. It’s the cable that connects a PC motherboard to a disk drive or optical drive. It’s a newer technology than traditional parallel connections (ribbon cables). So you must know what type of drive each DVR requires.

SDI (HD-SDI) Serial Digital Interface: It was the first HD Analog format introduced to the video security market. HD–SDI solutions can transmit 720p or 1080p resolution video over standard coaxial cable.

Siamese Cable: Refers to a Coaxial Video Cable coupled with a Power Cable. AKA: RG59 Siamese. A standard configuration is RG59 Coax with 18/2 Power Cable.

Static IP Address: This is the name given to a manually entered IP address. In large networks, IP addresses are usually automatically assigned by DHCP.

TVI: High Definition Transport Video Interface. It’s a digital signal processing and transport technology that transmits video in HD security cameras and DVRs. HDTV technology was developed by a company named Techpoint. They released the TVI video standard in 2014.

Get in touch with us today!

If you’re looking for CCTV cameras, contact the experts at Imperial Communications. With many years of experience in the security camera and communication system installation industry, we offer a comprehensive range of services in Hackensack, NJ. We specialize in Security/ Access Control System Installations, alarms, and CCTV cameras.

We serve clients across Hackensack, New Jersey, Manhattan, New York, and the surrounding areas. View our complete list of services here, read customer reviews here, or get in touch with us by calling (646) 246-2215. Alternatively, you can email