A closed circuit television, or CCTV, is a good security system for just about any home or business. Having cameras around the property can mean scaring off potential intruders and thieves before they ever break into a building or house, and being able to record the image of anyone who does intrude on your property allows police to more easily track them down. However, you need to understand how a CCTV system works in order to ensure you're actually protecting your property; note a few details to remember about such a system so you know you get the right one for your home or business.
A CCTV system doesn't actually record
A CCTV system will capture images and send them to a connected monitor, but it doesn't automatically record those images. If you want to record images for later viewing, you'll need a VCR or recording device that works with a computer drive.
A CCTV system doesn't automatically broadcast to a website
The "closed-circuit" in CCTV means that the image the camera captures stays on one circuit, going from the camera to a monitor that is attached to the camera. If you want to log into a website and watch the images that are being captured on the camera, you need a system that works with Wi-Fi signals or an internet connection and the right program for sending those images over that signal. Be sure to talk to your installer if you want one that works this way, rather than assuming that this is a default function for such cameras.
Some systems have a delay in recording
Many of today's CCTV systems that are connected to a recorder will have a continuous recording feature, so you get one long playback, like watching a movie or television program. However, others may have a delay in recording; they may take a picture every second or even every few seconds. These systems won't use up as much memory or videotape, but this can also mean actually missing certain details of what the CCTV records, so weigh this option carefully.
Not all CCTV systems record sound
As with any other camera, you need to include a microphone and a way of recording audio if you want to pick up and capture sound with your CCTV system. If this is something you need, discuss this with your installer before making a purchase. One word of caution; be sure to check any legal restrictions on recording employee conversations when installing a CCTV system on your commercial property.