CCTV Glossary


AHD (Analog High Definition) – Is a resolution that transmits HD digital video in a surveillance system. With AHD, high definition digital video can be transmitted without difficulty over coaxial cables, twisted pairs, or basically over the air.

Aperture-In CCTV perceptions, the aperture is the width of the lens that regulates the volume of light that grasps the image sensor. It is shown by an f- stop number (F/1.4, F/1.8, F/2.8, etc.). Bigger aperture lenses have smaller f-numbers.

AC (Alternating current) Adapter – This is also called a power supply. Each apparatus has its own power specifications (mostly 12 volts with minimum amperage). The adapter converts the AC power to DC power and will modify it to stated amperage.

Alarm Input-An input connection that generates to a security VCR or DVR to start recording if the alarm is triggered.

Analog signal–This can be defined as a sequence of sine waves. The phrase originated as the result of the modulation of the carrier wave is analogous to the transitions of the human voice or other sound that is being carried out.

Analog System–Is a system that symbolizes fluctuating values as constantly adjustable physical quantities.

Angle of View – This indicates the angular range in degrees for security cameras that you can zoom in the camera on without disfiguring the image. You can view a full angle of view when focusing close up. If the focus is obscure, the angle of view is smaller or narrower.

Aspect ratio -Is an image projection quality that defines the corresponding relationship between the width of an image and its height. It is necessary to keep the aspect ratio to avert expanding the graphic excessively when re-allocating graphics. Aspect ratio is also used to define the dimensions of an example resolution.

Audio compression -Compressed audio is a specialized amplifier used to lower the dynamic range — the period between the softest and loudest sounds. The use of compressors can produce pop recordings or live sound mixes sound musically superior by controlling maximum levels and controlling higher average loudness.

Auto Electronic Shutter (AES) – The capacity of the camera to adjust for balanced light modifications in indoor applications without the need of auto iris lenses.

Auto-Iris Control – A lens with Auto-Iris Control has a motorized iris that modifies automatically to allow only a distinct amount of light to pass to the imaging sensor / CCD sensor. If the lighting conditions are very bright, the lens can be afflicted by diffraction and blurring when an iris opening becomes too small.

Auto Gain Control (AGC) – The gain of a signal is accordingly modified by an electronic circuit by which an operation of its input or other itemized parameter.

AWB (Auto White Balance) – A quality on color cameras that regularly tests the light and adjusts its color to maintain white areas.

American Wire Gauge (AWG) –is a typical set of non-ferrous wire conductor sizes. The “gauge” means the diameter. Non-ferrous contains copper and also aluminum and other materials, but is most often applied to copper domestic electrical wiring and telephone wiring.


BNC output – Allows you to use BNC cables to connect to another device and deliver the video signal from that specific camera to the second device.

BLC (Back Light Compensation) –allows the camera to modify the exposure of the full image to accurately to display the subject in the foreground for a high background lighting. Many cameras include a BLC circuit. This circuit is used to help perfect an image with more light behind the subject being watched.

Bullet Camera –This is a bullet like shaped camera that can be used indoors or outdoors. Some come with infrared lighting.


Cable – The wiring used to connect electronic devices that transmit signals such as video, power, data, and audio signals.

CAT5– Shortcut for Category 5 cable, transfers data from an IP network camera (sometime analog) to the monitor. Also known as Ethernet cable.

Camera resolution– Is measured in megapixels both image resolution and monitor resolution are arranged in either pixels per inch or pixel dimensions (such as 1024 by 768 pixels).

Camera Sensor – Also known as “camera pickup device”, “image sensor”, or “CCD”. These are all names for the CCD sensor in the camera that actually senses or captures the image.

Cloud server – Cloud Servers carries and displays the same capacity and components to a normal server but are collected remotely from a cloud service provider. This works in the same way as physical servers but the functions they provide can be very different.

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C-Mount Camera – is a type of lens mount usually established on 16mm movie cameras, closed-circuit television cameras, apparatus image cameras and optical microscope phototubes.

Coaxial Cable – A copper core and a woven copper shield cable that is used to relays analog signal from a camera to a monitor or DVR.

Common Intermediate Format (CIF)– A typical video resolution generally used with H.264 compression.  The images are 352 × 288 pixels.  4CIF is also used to display bigger images (704 × 576).

Composite Video – A standard of analog video format in which the video feed, line and frame synchronization are joined onto one cable.

Compression – Applies to taking an incoming analog or digital signal or image, and compressing the data so it can be stored or transmitted faster in less space than it would normally fill.

Covert– A covert application refers to a situation where you want to hide the camera to the person so they won’t find out that they’re being watched or recorded. Also known as ‘hidden’ cameras.

CS-Mount Camera–The lens on a CS- Mount camera has a flange focal distance of 12.50 millimeters (0.492 in), but is otherwise like the C-mount. CS-mount lenses are made for the reduced layouts, 1/2 inch and down.


Day / Night Camera – are ordinary cameras with a primarily sensitive CCD chip that yields a good image to be captured in very low ambient lighting (regular lighting – not infrared).

“Decentralized” platform – This separates “monitoring”, “recording”, and “alarm” stations.

DOF (Depth of Field)– The amount of distance between the nearest and farthest objects that develops in appropriately keen focus in a photograph.

Digital Signal – It is a version of a sequence of specific values (a quantified discrete-time signal), for instance of an arbitrary bit stream, or of a digitized (sampled and analog-to-digital converted) analog signal.

Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – A device that processes and compresses the images displaying in from an analog camera and stores them on a Hard Disk Drive. DVR replaces the operation of a multiplexor (or quad or switcher) and a security VCR.

Dome Camera – A dome like shape camera that commonly used indoors. Some are designed to be infrared lighting and some are to be tamper-proof.

Digital Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) – Is an operation in some digital camera. With the use of software, it is designed to give crystal clear images even under a fluctuating intensity of illumination. Real WDR lightens dark spots and conceals bright areas to bring a full image into balance.

Dwell Time – The duration of time when shifting between two cameras.

Dynamic range – The contrast between the smallest amount and the largest amount that a system can produce.

Dynamic noise reduction– This technology provides a crystal clear video with low noise under bad lighting conditions, making it easier to distinguish people or objects. Most of all, it completely lessen the storage capacity for backhand encoding through an enhanced, cleaner signal.


Encoder/Decoder–An apparatus that encodes/decodes video from an analog/IP camera and transports it to a NVR/DVR.

Ethernet -Is a link layer protocol in the TCP/IP stack, specifying how networked devices can form data for transmission to other network devices on the same network segment, and how to put that data out on the network connection.


Fixed focal length lens – are imaging lens assemblies devised with a single angular field of view, also known as constant focal length.

Frames Per Second (FPS)– Is a dimension for how many unique consecutive images a camera can handle each second. Also known, as the ‘frame rate’ or ‘refresh rate’. This dimension is used for the DVR recording speed. Low end digital video cameras usually have a frame rate of 30fps.

Frame transfer (FT) – Refers to one of the three principles of charge transfer in full-frame CCD chips. The other two are interline and frame-interline transfer. These devices have a lateral register that is separated into the Image and Storage arrays.

Frequency modulation (FM)– is a mode of a radio or other wave by variation of its frequency to impress data onto an alternating-current (AC) wave by changing the current frequency of the wave. This program can be used with analog or digital data.


Gamma –Gamma correction regulates and modifies the total accuracy of an image for consistency.


H.264 – This is also known as MPEG-4 AVC.H.264 presents superior video quality, compression adaptability, and tolerance to packet and data loss than that of H.263. It also makes use of bandwidth, producing in the capacity to run more channels over the current systems.

HD-SDI (High Definition Serial Digital Interface) -This type of security camera has the capacity to have megapixel in a standalone DVR. HD-SDI also provides you the capacity to upgrade your system without rerunning coax cables. HD-SDI uses 575 k byte and half the upload broadband speed.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) – A digital interface for audio and video that provides a single-cable solution for a set-top box, DVD player, or A/V receiver and an audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV).

HEM (Hyper Electronics Mappers) – A software designed to be installed in a PC for use in a surveillance system. This enables monitoring large number of cameras and systems from a custom-made E-map. It also manages alarms and confirms the occurrences on the layouts of your facilities.

Housing for CCTV camera–A specific covering or container to secure a camera from intense temperatures or weather conditions.


IK rating –Are used to form a level of protection from a proper camera/housing against external mechanical impact.

IP(Ingress Protection)rating – As specified in international standard IEC 60529, it identifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects or foreign bodies (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and moisture.

Image Sensor or imaging sensor – Is a sensor that distinguishes and sends the information that creates an image. It does so by modifying the fluctuating attenuation of waves (as they go through or reflect off objects) into signals, the small surges of current that transmit the information.

IMD (Intelligent Motion Detection) – Is a user-defined graphic motion sensitivity component that reduces false alarms through higher detection efficiency.

Infrared(IR) – The area below the visible spectrum. It comes below the color red, invisible to the naked eye.

Infrared Camera -is a non-contact device that identifies infrared energy (heat) and alters it into an electronic signal, which is then sort out to produce a thermal image on a video monitor and make temperature calculations.

Infrared Cut Filter Removal (ICR) – An IR filter that is arranged in front of the image sensor in a camera lens to eliminate infrared wavelengths that blot the image during daytime.

Ingress Protection (IP) Rating – Placed by National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), this is a code which calls for the protection of an object against solid and liquid interference.

Interlaced Video– This is utilized to provide the perception of doubling frame rate with an analog system while also managing bandwidth.

Internet Protocol (IP) Camera – Is a sort of digital video camera that conducts and obtains data over the internet. It contracts videos, and can store the tape straight onto HDDs.

ip66 – An equipment standard that protects your camera from water and dust.

Iris – The iris (on some lenses) controls the amount of light is passing through the camera lens.


Lens – is an optical device that concentrates or radiates the focus of a light beam through the bending light entering the eye to form an image on the retina.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) – A semiconductor of light that emits infrared or visible light when an electric current passes through it. In CCTV, it decreases the energy consumption, gives a high-caliber quality illumination, it provides longer product life and accuracy, suitable for demanding environments and very much flexible in installation and maintenance.

Line-lock– In CCTV, this device is usually referred to multiple cameras being powered by a common alternative current (AC) source (either 24 V AC, 110 V AC or 240 V AC) and appropriately have field frequencies locked to the same AC source frequency (50 Hz in CCIR systems and 60 Hz in EIA systems).

Loop Through– A feature in CCTV that sends transmission of video from one device to another through cables. This is only applicable on devices that identify Video In and Video Out.

Low Light – Refers to a very dull lighting. Complete darkness is 0 lux. Infrared cameras work great in very low light settings.

Lux – Refers to the amount of light required for a camera to capture a good image. Infrared cameras have very low lux. The measurement of minimum lighting required for a camera to record.


Micro SD (Secure Digital) Card – is a type of detachable flash memory card that is suited for storing information.

MFZ (Motorized Focus and Zoom) – This is a built-in mechanized lens that allows for a clear focus and zoom tuning remotely via the camera’s GUI, so focal point and focal length can be replaced at any point. This function is generally recommended for distant, hard-to-reach areas or difficult locations like construction sites or utility poles.

MOD – Minimum object distance – Feature of a fixed or a zoom lens that indicates the closest distance for which the lens works excellent and especially can be focused. This is expressed in meters.

Monitoring Service – A paid service where there is a central monitoring for registered subscriber’s cameras. This is manned by video analyzers who monitors and analyze live and playback videos from subscribers.

Motion Detection – is commonly a software-based monitoring algorithm which, when it distinguishes motions it will signal the surveillance camera to start taking the event. Then you don’t have to look through hours of recorded video watching for something to occur. It also keeps a lot of space on the tape or hard drive.

Mounting Bracket – Various different kinds of mounting brackets are used to install cameras to the wall or ceiling.

Multiplexor– Or mux, is a device that can accept a number of camera inputs and almost accordingly display them on a specific monitor and/or record them.


Network Video Recorder (NVR)–is a software program that records video in a digital format to any mass storage device. The video is encrypted and processed at the camera, then channeled to the NVR for storage or remote viewing.


 Outdoor Camera–Are enclosed in special waterproof housings to safeguard the electronics of the camera from rough weather and heat conditions. Bullet and dome cameras are categorized as outdoor CCTV cameras.


Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) Cameras–Is a camera that is capable of maneuvering and zoom control. This is contained in a weatherproof dome that can be used for indoor or outdoor surveillance.

Pentaplex or Pentaplex DVR– This is a DVR that can perform all the DVR functions simultaneously: record, view/playback, network (view remotely), administrate and backup.

Peripherals–Usually defined as accessories such as image scanners, tape drives, microphones, loudspeakers, webcams, and digital cameras that connects to and works with the computer in one way or another.

Pixel– is a single particle in a graphic image. Pixel is a shortcut for Picture element.


Power over Ethernet (PoE) – Is a technology for wired Ethernet LANs (local area networks) that allows the electrical current necessary for the operation of each device to be carried by the data cables. The current enters the cable by means of a component called an injector.


Power Supply – Is an electronic accessory that supplies electric energy to an electrical capacity. Also called an AC adaptor. The power supply shifts the AC power to DC power and will regulate it to a significant amperage. See link:

PoE switch – Increases a network generated by a router. Then, it must be attached straight to a router on the similar network as your NVR.

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Progressive scan –is a demonstration and signal type in which the full image is refreshed every cycle. Each scan shows every line in the image raster consecutively from top to bottom.



Quad – An analog device used to display 4 cameras at the same time on a single monitor.


Real-Time Recording– Is simply a DVR that displays and records at30 frames per second per camera. The purpose of recording in real-time is to avoid hassle or an unclear video.

Remote Surveillance – The capacity to view your cameras from a distant location. Data is transmitted via phone line or internet.

Resolution – Is the sum of pixels (specific points of color) contained on a display monitor. The higher the resolution, the more detail that can be captured in an image. The sharpness of the image on a display depends on the resolution and the dimension of the monitor.

Rolling shutter – Is a technique of image capture in which a still photo (in a still camera) or each setting of a video (in a video camera) is captured not by taking a snapshot of the full scene at single instant in time but rather by scanning through the scene quickly, either vertically or horizontally.


Scanning System – is recognized with the letter p for progressive scanning or i for interlaced scanning.

S/N (Signal-to-noise) Ratio–Is often written S/N or SNR, ISA measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a chosen signal to the level of background noise.

Smart Search -A capability from the DVR that allows you to highlight one area of a captured image and view for changes just to that area. For example, if a wallet was stolen off of a desk, you can go to a minute on the video where the wallet is on the desk, and then highlight the area around the item, and search the video recording for the minute when that actual area changes, is exactly when the item is removed.

Switch – A switch will take several camera inputs and will display them on the monitor one at a time. It will also allow you to select a certain camera to view.


Triplex or Triplex DVR – This is a DVR that can record, view/playback, and network (view remotely) all at once.

TV Lines (TVL)– Or lines per picture height, is a description of an analog camera’s or monitor’s horizontal resolution power. The bigger the TVL, the more the resolution, but the lesser the angle of viewing.


Uniterrupted Power Supply– Is an electrical device that supplies backup power in the situation of a power failure, i.e. batteries or generator.

Unshielded Twisted-pair–Are two unshielded wires twisted around each other.UTP is also finding a cumulative use in video applications, mostly in security cameras.


Vandal – proof dome camera – This is a camera that can be used in areas of great threat to tampering and vandalism.

Varifocal Lens– A camera lens with adjustable focal length in which the focus can be manually or automatically modified. It is capable to get the view required rather than the restraints of the fixed Lens.

Vertical Interval Switching-Switches from one camera to another precisely in the vertical interval, thus generating a roll- free switching. Vertical interval switching in sequential switchers reduces data loss, which significantly improves the video tape recorders importance in CCTV security applications.

Video Capture Card – Is plugged into a unused PCI or PCI-E (pci express) aperture in your computer and allow you to view and record CCTV cameras as if you were using Digital Video Recorder.

Video Compression – Are about decreasing and eliminating redundant video records so that a digital video file can be efficiently sent over a network and stored on computer disks. This uses modern coding methods to reduce idleness in video data.

Video Compression

Video distribution amplifier (VDA)– Is a device that receives a single input signal and delivers this same signal to numerous remote outputs.

Video Graphics Array (VGA)– connector is a three-row 15-pin DE-15 connector. This is a lead connector used for transmitting video signals, and it is generally used to connect computers with monitors.

Video Gain – is an electronic amplification of the video signal. This means that the signal is increased automatically, adding extra power to the pixels on your image (CCD or CMOS) producing them to get magnify their amount and therefore enhance the image.

Video Input or Audio/Video (A/V) input– Is a port or jack in a video controller or recording device that you can plug a camera into. This collects a video signal from one device to another or video output source.

VFDS (Video Fire Detection System) – Is a smart video system which is able to identify fire and smoke through investigating video signals and therefore, conducting the alarm.

Video Relay Service – a cloud service that takes care of the routing on the Internet of the camera that has been registered to the cloud.


Waterproofing – Is made of or covered or treated with rubber, plastic or other surface coat resistant to water.

Wavelet compression– is a method of data compression that stores image data in as little space as possible in a file.

Wireless Camera–Is a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera that transfers a video and audio signal to a wireless receiver through a radio band. A wireless camera consists of a built-in transmitter to conduct video over the air to a receiver instead of through a wire.

White Balance -Is a camera setting that regulates for lighting in order to create white objects look white in photos. It outlines what the color white looks like in particular lighting conditions, which also affects the type of other colors.

White Light– The combination of all the lights in the visible light spectrum.

Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)– Digitally modifying the coverage in areas of the frame to keep optimum feature in both the shadows and highlights of the image.


Zoom – The capacity of a camera to enlarge a picture.

Zoom Lens– A lens that retains focus when its focal length changes.