When it comes to building security, everyone wants to get their hands on the best surveillance solution available. At Building Security Services & Systems, we can provide you with various security solutions. One of the most preferred options in the current market is CCTV surveillance systems.

This post will tell you all you need to know about CCTV surveillance, including what it is, how it works, the different types available, and whether it is the right solution for your office building.

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What Is CCTV?

CCTV (closed-circuit television) is a system that allows you to keep an eye on everything happening in your office building through the use of cameras. It is one of the most popular types of video surveillance technology.

CCTV Tech Terms You Should Know

Though the technology is pretty straightforward, a few technical terms might be a bit confusing. Since we want to help you better understand this video surveillance technology, we felt it vital to explain briefly some of the tech terms you should know.

Image Sensors

Image sensors are used in cameras to convert light into electronic signals. They contain multiple pixels that register the amount of exposed light, transforming it into electrons. Though cameras use different types of sensors, two of the most popular formats include CCD and CMOS.

CCD stands for charged coupled device. They have a higher light sensitivity than CMOS and are often preferred for inclement light conditions.

CMOS stands for complementary metal oxide semiconductor. They are the more cost-effective option. Though they are noisier than CCD sensors, opting for the megapixel CMOS sensor could give you better quality than that of CCD sensors.

Video Encoders

Video encoders make it possible for analog CCTV systems to migrate to some network systems. This migration allows you to capitalize on modern features and cheaper hardware. The encoders allow a wired connection and digitize video signals, sending them to a wireless IP-based or wired system.


There are two types of recorders; digital video recorders and network video recorders. Digital video recorders process footage themselves and are often used with analog cameras. Network video recorders encode and process the footage at the camera level, then stream it for storage and remote monitoring. Network video recorders are used with IP cameras.

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How Do CCTV Security Systems Work?

A standard CCTV system has:

  • Analog or digital surveillance cameras with lenses that have image sensors
  • A recorder
  • Cables
  • Monitors that display the transmitted image

A CCTV system can be digital or analog. Analog systems have a traditional videotape recorder and coaxial cables. On the other hand, digital systems have a network video recorder or direct video recorder and RJ45 cables.

Here is how CCTV works:

  • The cameras record images using image sensors.
  • The images are transmitted, either by cable or wirelessly, to the tape or recorder.
  • Monitors are used to keep track of real-time footage, either actively by people or passively through software.

If you have a digital CCTV system, the recorder might include smart technologies like analytical software to scan the data and transmit automated alerts to other devices and systems. The software can record, store, and analyze video feeds. It might also utilize machine learning algorithms that have functionalities like face recognition and motion detection.

Types of CCTV Systems

There are different types of CCTV systems based on the technology they use and how they transmit footage. Here are the three types of CCTV surveillance systems.

Analog CCTV Systems

These systems transmit continuous video signals using Bayonet Neill-Concelman connectors on coaxial cables. Though they are cheap and effective, analog CCTV systems have relatively low resolution. The systems need a video capture card for the images, storing them on a tape recorder or a PC.

Fortunately, you have the option of digitizing these systems. You could also opt for an analog HD system, which offers increased resolution and is backward compatible with Bayonet Neill-Concelman connectors and analog cameras.

Digital CCTV Systems

Though their operation is similar to analog systems, they digitize signals at the camera level. Also, digital CCTV systems do not need a video capture card because they store images directly on a computer. However, the systems are heavily compressed because they need more significant amounts of space to store recordings.

IP or Network CCTV Systems

IP CCTV systems use a video server to stream the feed over the internet. They can use digital or analog HD security cameras to capture the footage. If you use IP cameras, however, you can contain multiple cameras in one. This option would allow you to cover wider angles—something that would take several cameras or camera systems to accomplish.

Some of the advantages these systems offer include:

  • The possibility of remote monitoring
  • Better resolution
  • They do not need network cabling
  • You can use Distributed Artificial Intelligence to analyze images and footage, enabling the automation of the surveillance process
  • You can get Power Over Ethernet
  • They are highly mobile

Read more: CCTV vs IP Cameras – The Difference

The Benefits of CCTV

CCTV surveillance offers many advantages. The technology enables you to:

  • Always Keep an Eye on Your Property: With the cameras constantly running, you will always be able to monitor your property even when no one is in the building.
  • Protect Your Employees: The system can help inform you if a threat or an emergency is happening in your building, helping you keep your employees safe.
  • Deter Crimes: While the technology cannot stop an ongoing crime, criminals are less likely to break in and rob your building if there is the presence of heavy video surveillance.
  • Have Peace of Mind: If you have a large facility, you will need a large team of guards to patrol it. Setting up CCTV cameras around your property offers you peace of mind knowing that the area is under continuous surveillance.

CCTV Drawbacks

Though CCTV surveillance promises to offer many benefits, the technology still has potential drawbacks. The surveillance could be hampered by:

  • Ineffective system configurations
  • Old or faulty equipment
  • Low-quality video footage
  • Ineffective setups (blind spots)
  • Insufficient communication between stakeholders
  • Inadequate monitoring
  • Background noise
  • Hackers, especially with network CCTV systems

The technology has also received criticism because it could intrude on an individual’s privacy, making employees or customers feel uneasy with the thought of constantly being monitored.

CCTV Application Areas

German scientists developed the technology in 1942, intending to monitor the launch of V2 rockets. American scientists also used it during the testing of the atomic bomb. Today, CCTV is used in various application areas.

Crime Management

The presence of CCTV surveillance in your office building can deter potential criminals. It can also identify and monitor possible in-house criminal activities. Should you use it with other types of sensors, such as thermal and audio, it can alert you and officials to events that are out of the ordinary.

If a crime does occur, the CCTV footage can help law enforcement in the investigation, providing the prosecution with crucial evidence.

Prisons might also use CCTV surveillance to monitor the prisoners and areas, like rooftops, that are not easily accessible. This monitoring can help prevent escape or contraband from entering the prison.

Market Research

Video surveillance in a retail store can provide people with market intelligence. This intelligence can be used to monitor buying trends, giving insight into how people shop, the aisles they traverse the most, and how likely they are to respond to various calls to action in different store layouts.

On top of that, heat maps can help store owners monitor shopper traffic at the different store locations. This data can help them identify peak buying times and develop staffing requirements for those peak periods.

Community and City Street Monitoring

Cameras installed at traffic lights enable the gathering of traffic statistics and evidentiary footage of speeding. Surveillance of other locations in the city allows for the monitoring of people. Some surveillance can be used to collect real-time data on the city’s environment and weather.

Medical Monitoring

CCTV cameras can be used to monitor patients to identify potential medical crises like an asthma attack or epileptic seizure. Smart software can be used to monitor the 43 facial muscles that show a person’s expressions, feelings, and thoughts better than a human can. Video surveillance can also be used in medical clinics and hospitals to monitor medical supplies like narcotics, equipment, and visitors.

What Does the Future Hold for CCTV Surveillance?

As technology continues to advance, we expect other digital tech forms to complement CCTV surveillance, creating a more proactive and autonomous surveillance process. Technologies such as linked cameras, facial recognition software, and intelligent hardware could increase passive surveillance and result in mass surveillance.

When it comes to your security, taking every possible measure could go a long way in protecting your employees and property. CCTV surveillance is a measure that your office building cannot do without.

If you are looking for a reliable security company to offer you the solutions you need, turn to Building Security Services & Systems. Call us today at 973-414-1111, and find out more about CCTV installations and the top-notch security services we can offer.

Joseph Ferdinando is the visionary founder of Building Security Services, a leading security company renowned for its comprehensive security services. With an illustrious career spanning over 40 years in the security industry, Joseph has been instrumental in elevating the standards of security guard services for a broad spectrum of businesses and organizations. As an influential member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) in both New York and New Jersey chapters, Joseph has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards and practices.