A Video surveillance is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited
set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it
may employ point-to-point (P2P), point-to-multipoint (P2MP), or mesh wired or wireless links. Though
almost all video cameras fit this definition, the term is most often applied to those used for surveillance
in areas that may need monitoring such as banks, stores, and other areas where security is needed.
Though videotelephony is seldom called CCTV one exception is the use of video in distance education,
where it is an important tool.
Surveillance of the public using CCTV is common in many areas around the world. In recent years, the
use of body worn video cameras has been introduced as a new form of surveillance, often used in
law enforcement, with cameras located on a police officer's chest or head. Video surveillance has
generated significant debate about balancing its use with individuals' right to privacy even when in
In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control
room, for example when the environment is not suitable for humans. CCTV systems may operate
continuously or only as required to monitor a particular event. A more advanced form of CCTV, utilizing
digital video recorders (DVRs), provides recording for possibly many years, with a variety of quality and
performance options and extra features (such as motion detection and email alerts). More recently,
decentralized IP cameras, perhaps equipped with megapixel sensors, support recording directly to
network-attached storage devices, or internal flash for completely stand-alone operation.
There are about 350 million surveillance cameras worldwide as of 2016. About 65% of these cameras
are installed in Asia. The growth of CCTV has been slowing in recent years. The deployment of this
technology has facilitated a significant growth in state surveillance, a substantial rise in the methods
of advanced social monitoring and control, and a host of crime prevention measures throughout the