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Common CCTV Abbreviations


CCTV – Closed Circuit Television

Closed Circuit Television has been around for many years, today it represents a surveillance system that is closed to external connections.


DVR – Digital Video Recorder

DVRs have been used within CCTV from the very beginning. They simply allow you to view, record and manage your security cameras


NVR – Network Video Recorder

NVRs are the equivalent to DVRs but network based. They allow you to view, record and manage IP cameras  


XVR –Refers to a Hybrid Video Recorder which can take a mixture of IP & analogue CCTV Cameras


IP – Internet Protocol

IP is a type of technology used worldwide for a massive number of appliances, CCTV adopted the high-speed technology in a very primitive form around 20 years ago. Today it is the leading technology with very high clarity and powerful software


TVI – Transport Video Interface

TVI is a type of analogue technology capable of offering high resolution images. It is the most popular among the two mentioned below, typically because it offers vibrant colours and long-distance cable transmissions


AHD – Analogue High Definition

AHD is another form of analogue technology. AHD is very difficult to tell apart from TVI unless you know what you are looking for. It also has long range cable transmissions.


CVI – Composite Video Interface

CVI is yet another format of analogue technology, although it is quite uncommon. Despite all of our analogue cameras and recorders being capable of using this technology, we don’t recommend it. There is a noticeable difference in image quality vs the TVI and AHD signal.


SDI – Serial Digital Interface

More commonly known as HD-SDI (High Definition Serial Digital Interface) this technology in its prime was the pinnacle of 1080p CCTV. It originally came from the broadcasting industry in a true digital format (AKA Raw Digital) but sadly due to its cost to produce, the technology fizzled out in 2017 and became very difficult to obtain. The SDI technology offered very high frame rates and incredible image clarity. There is a possibility of its return in the future in an ultra HD 4K resolution.


CVBS – Composite Video Baseband Signal

CVBS is known by many things: standard analogue, D1, 960h, CIF or WD1. It is the original signal used mainly in banks and high security requirements originating from the 1970s.


FPS – Frames Per Second

Frame rate is quite important when talking about CCTV, the higher the framerate, the smoother the image appears on the screen and playback however, the higher frame rate can dramatically decrease how long you can record for.


GOP – Group of Pixels

GOP is term used for counting the number of pixels in one group. This can affect a few different aspects of the image. Should you need to know more about this, it’s probably better you get in touch with us.


CoC – Control over Coax

Control over coax is a concept in which you can send signals to a camera through the same coax as the video signal. This eliminates the need to send separate cabling to control PTZ cameras, also allowing you to send preset commands to access camera menus etc.


PoC – Power over Coax

PoC is a method in which you can send power down the same cable as the coax. This is still a relatively new technology and not as common as the alternative below (PoE)


PoE – Power Over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet is a method used to send power from PoE NVRs or PoE network switches to your IP cameras. This allows you to send just one cable to each IP camera which will transmit the video data and power it at the same time. This saves cost on cabling and installation.


HD – High Definition

High definition is known by a few different things such as: Full HD, 1080p or 2MP. The format for this is commonly known as 1920 x 1080p. Full HD resolutions in the CCTV industry set the groundwork for a huge advance in camera sensors, in the 2MP range there’s a huge variety of them, some better than others. Most cheap sensors can be found within cameras available on the likes of eBay or Amazon. The more advanced 1080p sensors such as the Sony Starlight are available from companies such as ourselves. There’s a massive amount of 1080p CCTV already fitted in the UK and it is still a main seller due to the image quality you get for the price. High definition CCTV has only recently been upgraded to the 5MP resolution, over twice the amount of HD. 1080p is sometimes referred to as 2MP (Mega Pixel) as there is roughly around 2 million pixels presented in the image.


UHD – Ultra High Definition 

UHD CCTV is available in our analytic IP CCTV range. It is more commonly known as 4K or 8MP (Mega Pixel) as there’s roughly around a whopping 8 million pixels presented in the image at a 3840 x 2160 resolution. This type of resolution in CCTV offers extremely high clarity and is our flagship technology. The 4K systems are built to last and have massive potential for advanced CCTV setups. UHD is set to take the form in a TVI technology in the near future. UHD is also used to describe resolutions greater than Full HD such as 4MP or 5MP.


LED – Light Emitting Diode

The term LED within CCTV is nearly always going to be referring to the infrared LEDs in the cameras. The LEDs can come in a variety of shapes and sizes however their purpose is all the same, to provide cameras with infrared light during the night. The LEDs are nearly always 850nm as that’s what the camera sensors work best with. There is infrablack available however, their effectiveness is substantially lower than infrared, some camera sensors can’t even see infrablack.


IR – Infrared

Infrared within CCTV refers to what the camera LEDs emit. This is a very faint red glow that can come from the front of the camera that provides the cameras with night vision. The sensors within the cameras can pick up the infrared light a lot brighter than the human eye can, which offers the user clear recordings in pitch black environments. Some cameras have a low IR range, some have powerful IR LEDs that can exceed over 100m.


IB – Infrablack

Infrablack is invisible to the human eye, it is ideal if you wish to not have the red glow which naturally comes with infrared however, infrablack is very uncommon. It is not always capable of being picked up by CCTV cameras and is significantly weaker in range than its infrared cousin. We’d recommend a fair bit of research into this before financially committing to the technology.


HDD – Hard Drive

Hard drives are key devices within CCTV. They are what store the footage from cameras that are recording. Hard drives can range from 500GB to 10TB in size. If you’re not sure on what size is appropriate for you, we can work it out for you. We’d just need to know how many cameras you have and what resolution/frame rate etc. To give you a rough idea, a single 1080P camera set to 10 FPS will need a 1TB hard drive to record for one month.


SSD – Solid State Drive

SSD drives are rarely used within CCTV as they’re much more expensive than their HDD counterpart. The main difference is that the HDD drives are mechanical and are slower to retrieve/store information to. The SSDs however have no moving parts and are significantly quicker at downloading or uploading information to/from.


MP – Mega Pixel

MP refers to Mega pixel. 1 mega pixel is 1 million pixels. CCTV has evolved quickly from the older method which involved counting TV lines (TVL) as TVL was inaccurate, therefore counting the pixels in the higher resolutions was easier to understand and categorise. You’ll see the following around the website; 2MP, 4MP, 5MP, 8MP and it is simply noting how many millions of pixels are within an image. The higher the pixel count, the higher the clarity.


TVL – Television Lines

TVL was an older method of working out picture quality. A typical camera around 1000TVL would in most cases equate to a 1280 x 720-pixel image. The older analogue cameras would normally start from around 700TVL depending on age. The image quality of these cameras was pretty poor.


H.264/H.265 – Refers to High Efficiency Video Coding or HVEC

This is the type of video compression that the cameras use. H.265 is the newer style of coding which uses 40% less bandwidth than the older H.264.


Respectway Limited, Merlin House, Station Road, Brompton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire, DL10 7SE, Tel: 01748 811991  Email. sales@cctvfirst.co.uk
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