title:How Security Camera Systems Work author:Derek Hanksworth source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/gadgets_and_gizmos/article_232.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:10 category:gadgets_and_gizmos article:

Security camera systems work via closed-circuit television (CCTV). This CCTV differs from broadcast television because all of the components of the cameras and televisions are linked with cables or alternate direct means. CCTV can be viewed in real-time, and there is no need to broadcast a signal.
CCTV can be found in many places, including airports, casinos, banks, and the streets. Cameras can be placed in inconspicuous or obvious places. There is usually a security room that has individual televisions that are directly connected to a specific security camera. The amount of security personnel needed to monitor the cameras varies with respect to the amount of cameras needed. In casinos, there can be hundreds of cameras.
CCTV has been used extensively in the United Kingdom. Authorities place cameras in car parks and on the streets. These camera placements have significantly reduced car crimes. Authorities in the United Kingdom have been pushing for the introduction of even more cameras. CCTV is very good for crime detection and prosecution.
One draw back of security cameras is that many claim that they are an invasion of privacy. Another argument is that CCTV displaces crime instead of reducing it. CCTV has been accused of being an invasion of civil liberties.
The history of CCTV dates back to when the cameras used in public places were very simple and low quality. Today?s cameras have high definition digital rendering and can even track object movement. When cameras are positioned correctly and synched, they can trace an objects movement over a long period of time. Cameras can also have the potential ability to have facial recognition. Currently, high-definition cameras are unable to distinguish faces completely which leads to a plethora of false positives. Critics of facial recognition technology site the potentiality for mass surveillance and the further loss of civil liberties.
Current CCTV technology being developed in the UK and the US aims at creating a computerized monitoring system that would allow security guards and CCTV operators to not have to look at all of the screens. This would allow an operator to run many more CCTV cameras, which could reduce security costs. This type of system does not look at people directly, but rather recognizes certain types of questionable behavior. A drawback of this could be that computers cannot distinguish between normal behavior, such as waiting for someone on a busy street, and suspicious behavior, such as loitering around a car.
Security cameras are very effective for crime conviction and identification, but not as effective for crime prevention. The idea is that security cameras help prevent crime because people are less willing to commit infractions if a camera is in plain sight. The down side to this is that some security cameras are hidden, so criminals have no deterrent. Security camera technology is constantly becoming more advanced, and so security cameras should be able to find criminals, and hopefully prevent more crimes in the future.

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