Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is a television transmission system applied with the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific, limited set of monitors. As the name implies, it is a system in which the circuit is closed and all the elements are directly connected. Signals are sent to a specific group of receivers, either using coaxial cable or wirelessly through scrambled radio waves that are unscrambled at the point of reception. This is unlike broadcast television, where any receiver that is correctly tuned can pick up the signal from the airwaves.
CCTV cameras are most often used in retail stores in areas which are determined to need special attention in order to protect our customers, associates and store assets. These security systems can be used to monitor customer behaviors and suspected shoplifters, more conspicuously when used in accord with public view monitors to deter theft and provide increased safety and security, or more covertly when investigating internal theft issues. When used appropriately, such devices provide a valuable weapon in deterring theft and other undesirable activities. However, CCTV systems may also be used to monitor customer behavior to assist with marketing, sales, and customer service needs.
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Today, most CCTV systems use small, high-definition digital camera systems. Advances in digital technology have made video surveillance more user friendly than ever before. Digital surveillance is now coupled with computer technology, compressing images into a format that allows the images to be stored on a computer hard drive. Images can be stored in computers, transferred to DVD equipment, or transmitted to a computer monitor thousands of miles away. Security systems using IP cameras are easy to install and maintain, and can be customized to meet the ever-changing needs of the retail environment. There are countless systems available utilizing different schemes and different technologies, and the available recording options are growing almost daily.