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How to Make CCTV Images More Clear

Updated February 21, 2017

Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras transmit surveillance video to a recording device such as a DVR or VCR connected to a TV set for monitoring the image. CCTV cameras typically have several adjustment settings that may need to be tuned up from time to time, especially if the camera is mounted outdoors and exposed to the elements. A quick adjustment to the focus setting on the camera lens may improve the image dramatically, while tightening loose cables can eliminate static or "snow" across the video.

Position a ladder below the camera if it is mounted at an elevation out of reach. Recruit a friend to hold the ladder steady while you work on the camera.

Tighten the metal coupler on the end of the cable behind the camera, twisting clockwise with pliers.

Blow compressed air from a can onto the lens and wipe clean with a lens cloth, which is available at camera shops.

Set the focal length to manual if your camera has this adjustment.

Adjust the focus ring on the front edge of the camera lens to sharpen the video image. Have a friend watch the video on the CCTV monitor and report to you when the image is as clear and focused as possible so you do not have to scale the ladder multiple times.

Set the iris control to automatic. The iris adjusts the camera shutter to accommodate changing light conditions. On cameras with a related feature known as backlight compensation, set this adjustment to the "On" position so the video image does not wash out when direct light hits the lens, such as the changing position of the sun.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Pliers
  • Can of compressed air
  • Lens cleaning cloths
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.