Pros & cons of cctv

Written by jane williams
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Pros & cons of cctv
CCTV cameras offer advantages and disadvantages for your surveillance needs. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

CCTV systems are a staple found in many businesses and homes to ensure safety and security. While useful, CCTV systems possess various pros and cons in regards to their purchase, installation and upkeep which you should understand before making a buying decision. Depending upon individual opinion and concerns, the advantages may seem worthwhile for some, while others may find the disadvantages too daunting.

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Constant Monitoring

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of CCTV systems is the fact that the cameras present a never-blinking eye over a specific location. This constant monitoring forms the basis of the various purposes CCTV systems serve, such as public and private security and safety. CCTV systems used in homes and hospitals allow a constant watch over patients with medical conditions, to ensure prompt response as necessary.


While various price ranges are available for CCTV systems, your individual circumstances may show that you need a system for a higher price than you can afford. Analogue systems are generally the most affordable systems, but these typically use VCRs to record images, translating to an additional cost of constant replacement cassette tapes. Digital CCTV systems provide a higher image quality but record on a separate or dedicated computer hard drive, which may fill quickly, depending on the settings of your system.


In the event that an illegal activity does happen, the CCTV system will document the happenings and people responsible. These recorded images help law enforcement officials gather clues and evidence to find and apprehend the perpetrator, possibly leading to a conviction. Video footage and still images from CCTV cameras are often seen on news programs to gain information from the public at large about the suspects.

Susceptible to Tampering

Unless the CCTV camera is hidden or otherwise well-placed, would-be criminals can tamper with the device to avoid detection and capture. Wired systems are vulnerable to simple wire cutters to disconnect the camera from the rest of the system, while wireless models can suffer from accidental and intentional interference caused by other electronic devices. In some cases, a vandal need only a can of spray paint and a ladder to obscure the camera's eye.

Variety of Options

No two buyers will have the same needs for a CCTV system, so a variety of camera, connection and recording options are available. Cameras come in black and white or colour options, with varying degrees of light sensitivity and zoom capabilities. For smaller areas, the camera connects to the recording device with a coaxial cable, while larger areas may need wireless transmitters. Depending on your individual needs and desires, video is recorded using analogue VCR tapes, while digital recorders provide better quality and less equipment monitoring to change tapes.

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