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Common CCTV Terms:

Automatic Light Compensation (ALC):
The cameras built in ability to compensate for changes in scene lighting.

Aperture:
The opening in a lens that allows available light to enter the camera.

Auto White Balance (AWB):
Circuitry in a color camera that allows it to yield perfect color pictures in different types of lighting.


Automatic Gain Control (AGC):

Circuitry in a camera that allows it to improve performance in low light conditions.

Automatic Iris Lens (AI):
Type of lens where the aperture physically opens and closes to adjust the amount of light entering the camera. Available is DC and Video configurations to match your camera. Not required on systems with electronic shutter systems.

Back Light Compensation (BLC):
Ability of a camera to balance the lighting in a scene with an extremely bright background such as sunlight.

Balun:
An impedance matching device that allows you to send video signals overUTP.

BNC:
A type of video connector.

C/Cs Mount Lenses:
Type of lens used on a standard CCTV camera.

CRT:
The picture tube in a monitor.

CCD:
The device in a camera that “takes” the picture and converts it to electrical signals.

CoAxial Cable:
Normally RG-59U or RG-6 in CCTV Systems. This cable should have a copper center conductor and 95% copper shield for best performance.

Day/Night Camera:
A camera that displays color pictures in good lighting conditions and automatically switches to B/W in low light conditions.

Depth of Field:
The portion of a video picture that is in focus.

Digital Video Recorder (DVR):
A device that compresses and records video signals onto built Hard Disk Drives (HDD).

Field Of View:
Area covered by the camera.

Focal Length:
The rated coverage of the lens in mm. smaller numbers give a wider angle of coverage.

Format:
The size of the CCD in a camera. Common sizes include ¼”, 1/3” and ½”.

F-Stop:
Measurement of how much light a lens will let in. The smaller the number the more light that can enter.

Ground Loop:
When the camera and monitor are powered from sources using different grounds from different ground potentials. If a path for current flow(other than the coax) exists, ground loops are possible. Solution: Install a ground loop corrector or power all cameras from the same source as the monitor.

Intensifier:
Amplifies and Balances extremely low levels of visible and IR lights to display usable pictures where other cameras are not able. Several technologies including WDR (Wide Dynamic Range), DNR (Dynamic Noise Reduction), and Dynamic Shutter Technology work together to display the pictures in as little as .002 lux. The lack of active IR LEDs on these cameras reduces current requirements, reflectivity issues and heat build up.

IP Address:
A string of numbers that identifies a camera or DVR on a network.

Iris:
Allows you to physically change the F-stop of a lens.

LCD Monitor:
Flat Screen monitor used when space is at a premium. Only 2” deep.

Looping:
The ability to pass your video signal through a device and continue it on to another. Normally used in monitors.

Line Lock:
A string of numbers that identifies a camera or DVR on a network.

Lux:
Measure of light equaling 1/10th of a foot-candle.

Monitor:
Displays the video signal. Does not have a tuner like a TV set.

Multiplexer:
Takes multiple cameras (up to 16) and combines them onto a single cable or screen for viewing or recording.

Observation Systems:
Complete packages that include camera, monitor, mounting bracket, cable, power supplies, etc.

Quad Splitter:
Combines four cameras onto one screen for viewing or recording.

Resolution:
Measure of a camera’s ability to reproduce details. Higher numbers are better.

Sensitivity:
Measured in Lux. Camera’s ability to reproduce details. Higher numbers are better.

Sequential Switcher:
Displays cameras, one at a time upon a monitor or into a VCR. The time spent on each camera before moving onto the next is adjustable.

Telephoto:
When a lens can see a long distance with great detail.

Termination:
75-ohm load placed at the end of a video line.

Time Lapse VCR:
Recorder that runs for extended periods of time (up to 40 days) on a single cassette of tape. Usually has a built in time/date generator.

Varifocal Lens:
A lens that can be set for various focal lengths to achieve select coverage.