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Is the Era of the Basic CCTV Security System Over?

South Africa was one of the last countries to benefit from a broadcast TV service with experimental transmissions first carried out in 1975, and made public a year later under the control of the SABC. It would therefore surprise many locals to learn that the first closed-circuit television or CCTV system was actually built and installed in Peenemünde by Siemens in 1942, to oversee V2 rocket launches remotely. It was only in 1969, however, that a similar installation was developed commercially in the US for home security purposes. It utilised movable cameras and a system of peepholes that allowed a homeowner to view and listen to callers, in safety, via a television set.

In this context, the term “closed” refers to the fact that the cameras used to transmit the video images are only able to communicate with screens that are part of the same installation. For much of the history of these installations, connectivity was achieved by hardwiring the cameras directly to the screens. Popular in stores and offices, when used in such locations, the operation of the CCTV security system was extended to maintain a record of events with the addition of a video tape recorder. This allowed surveillance on a round-the-clock basis when monitored by a guard, coupled with the means with which to review anything the guard may have missed. Some of the other areas in which similar systems are proving to be indispensable include traffic monitoring and management on the nation’s busy highways, overseeing the use of ATMs, and assisting with crowd control at sporting events.

Progress is inevitable and the digital age with its plethora of versatile new technologies, such as the internet, Bluetooth connectivity and the mobile phone, has revolutionised the ways in which we are now able to perform many important tasks. One increasingly vital area in which these new technologies have succeeded in bringing some welcome benefits to the lives of many South Africans is that of protecting our businesses, our homes, our families and our possessions.

One of these advances appears to spell the imminent demise of the CCTV security system as we know it. In its place, the sophisticated surveillance installations of today, although they do still make use of video cameras and screens, are no longer restricted by the need for cabled connections. Instead, the cabling may now be replaced by wireless connectivity, where a line of sight transmission is possible. This also serves to simplify the installation process. In addition, the need for cumbersome videotapes is a thing of the past, as recordings can now be made on a hard disc by including a DVR in the setup.

Furthermore, when the DVR is connected to a router, its content may be viewed over the internet. This, for instance, provides the means for working parents to keep an eye on their children from the office when not at home, or for homeowners to check for suspected intruders when on holiday by viewing the streamed video via the web on a smartphone.

Surveillance technology is now more effective and reliable than ever before. Let Tandem Security Systems show you how a 21st-century CCTV security system can protect your business premises or your home, its contents and your loved ones.

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