The 20 most Common CCTV terms Glossary

Surveillance technology is not different from other technologies like computers, video, or photography, but it is probably a mix.

Look at the most common terms used in Security Cameras and a few hits explaining a further application or relation to understand it easier.

CCTV meaning?

CCTV stands for Close-Circuit Television. It is a system that can transmit video streaming from cameras directly connected to a central video recorder device, DVR, or NVR.

What does DVR Stand for?

DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. A CCTV video recorder is usually called a DVR, but it is not the only type of recorder used with Security Cameras. Depending on the type of camera, you will also find NVR.

Video Storage?

Storage capacity is your DVR’s capability to store video.
A DVR or NVR records video like a computer into an internal hard drive.
Calculating the recording capacity of a DVR is neither easy nor accurate, as the recording length in days might vary depending on the recording mode, the resolution of the cameras, and the recording schedule settings for that device, along with the number of connected cameras.

Motion detection recording

The DVR of a Security System can be set to record based on motion detection from the cameras. This feature has to be pre-configured, and the cameras must also feature this option.

An option to extend the recording capacity of a Digital Video Recorder is by setting it to motion recording from the recording schedule. DVRs can be pre-configured with a recording schedule combining continuous mode and motion recording.

CCTV Footage

CCTV Footage refers to the Video Files recorded by the Surveillance System, more precisely by the DVR or NVR in its internal Hard Drive or other external storage device.
The footage is also the file you have available after saving a recorded event in the DVR.

H.264 Compression

The H264 Codec is a Video compression standard that makes video files smaller and more efficient. Most DVRs manufactured from 2010 and above use this feature to expand the recording space in the internal Hard Drive.

Dual Streaming

Multi-streaming, often called “dual streaming,” refers to a video recorder capable of generating multiple instances of the same video feed at a different rate. Each stream can be set differently and conveniently for better viewing and used for different functions, like Phone viewing.

POE meaning

POE is an acronym for Power Over Ethernet; It is the power supplied directly from the recorder to the cameras, going over Cat5 or Cat6 Cable.
A POE Security Camera System doesn’t require a separate power supply for the cameras.

Remote Viewing

Remote viewing programming allows cameras and recorder access from a different device away from your security system. Remote viewing can be accomplished with a computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

CCTV Phone App

A software to watch the live view of a Security Camera System from your phone or tablet. Only the matching app to the specific recorder will make the connection between the two possible.

Motion Detection

It is the feature of the cameras to sense motion in the active video zone that the camera is covering. Motion detection synchronizes with the  DVR or NVR, allowing the recorder to save files only when motion is sensed in the camera.


PIR stands for Passive Infrared Sensor, a motion sensor that detects human or animal activity. They were found exclusively in alarm systems but have lately been integrated into some surveillance cameras.

What is a CVI Camera?

CVI stands for COMPOSITE VIDEO INTERFACE, also known as HD-CVI. It is a security camera technology that features high-definition images over coaxial cables.

What is a TVI Camera?

CVI stands for TRANSPORT VIDEO INTERFACE, also known as HD-TVI; it is one more alternative technology for high-definition cameras working over coaxial cable systems.

What is an IP Camera?

IP Stands for Internet Protocol. IP Cameras work with the internet protocol, only with an NVR to record the video feed. IP camera systems are higher in price compared to analog, but they are more modular and easier to connect.

Starlight Camera

These cameras feature low-lux image sensors that give them clearer vision at night; moving objects can also be easier to identify with no blurring effects.

Night Vision / Infrared

Night vision is possible thanks to the infrared technology included in 90% of the security cameras.
The power of the infrared LEDs determines how far the camera can see at night, and it is often referred to as feet or meters on the spec sheet of the camera.

IP66 Rated

IP66 is a dust and water protection rate. Cameras with IP66 Protection can be installed outdoors; they will resist dust and water from rain or similar water showers.

IP67 Rated

A dust and water protection rate. Cameras with IP67 Protection can resist temporary water immersion from 5 to 30 inches.

Siamese Cable

Siamese cable is the most popular type of wire to run analog security cameras. The Siamese name is given to it as it comes bonded with an additional cable on the side (Red wire & Black wire) to connect the 12 Volts power that feeds the cameras.
The technical name of the Siamese cable is RG 59

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