A Brief History of CCTV Cameras

A Brief History of CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras have become part of the furniture in modern life. They’re used in both domestic and commercial settings to monitor activity, improve security and provide much-needed peace of mind.

However, the state-of-the-art CCTV cameras we see today are a result of several decades of research and development. In this post, we’ll take a look at the various landmarks in the history of CCTV cameras.

Humble beginnings

At its most basic, CCTV literally means closed circuit television. Put simply, that means the cameras operate on a closed circuit, which records continuously.

While initially unable to store footage, the first cameras that resemble modern CCTV were used during the second world war. Invented by German engineer Walter Bruch, the cameras continuously monitored V-2 rockets so their launches could be watched without any safety risk.

Recording footage

It wasn’t until the advent of video cassette recording (VCR) that CCTV could record footage for retrospective viewing. With a VCR to store footage, CCTV cameras no longer had to be monitored constantly. However, this posed its own issues – with VCR tapes needing to be replaced multiple times a day for continuous recording.

If users wanted to store that footage, they would need to have a growing library of physical VCR tapes (with dates and times well labelled). As some will remember from their own VCR collection, things would soon get out of hand – requiring meticulous organisation and quite a bit of space.


Changing and storing tapes for one CCTV camera was hard enough. So what about multiple cameras? That’s where multiplexing came in, but not until the 1990s. With multiplexing technology, video signals from multiple cameras could be displayed on a single monitor and recorded on one tape.


Finally, CCTV cameras went digital. Arguably the biggest advancement to date, this meant there was no need for VCR tapes. Digital CCTV systems had multiplexers built in, so they could display, record and store everything digitally, in one place.

This was taken a step further with network video recorders (NVRs), which encode and process video footage which can then be streamed or stored remotely. It meant you no longer had to be on-site to check live or previous CCTV footage, facilitating streamlined security for larger sites.

Modern day CCTV

The days of basic cameras recording on VHS tape have long gone, paving the way for ever-changing CCTV technology. While we’ve covered some of the biggest landmark changes, there have also been improvements to the cameras themselves – with 4K full colour systems the basic starting point for most systems.

Nowadays, video analytics also play a huge part in both crime prevention and business development. Not only are cameras high definition to clearly capture faces and licence plates, but they are also equipped with automatic facial and licence plate recognition to make things quicker, easier and more secure.

The forefront of CCTV technology

As Bermuda’s dedicated security experts, the team at Selectron is always up to date with the latest CCTV technology and trends. From 360° and low-light cameras to automated tech and the highest resolution, we’ll always make sure you’re equipped with the best CCTV cameras for your requirements.

To find out more about our CCTV products or arrange a demonstration, don’t hesitate to contact our team on info@selectron.bm.

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Get in touch with our expert team by calling +1 441 236 4181 or emailing sales@selectron.bm

At Selectron our solutions help you meet the increased challenges of today’s security and surveillance, enabling you to improve safety by reducing and preventing security breaches and accidents. Find out more about us >>

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