This Ain't Your Mother's Security Camera Improvements Have Made Grainy Footage a Thing of the Past

New technology has improved how video cameras capture images (iStock)

In the old days of video surveillance, a closed-circuit TV system (CCTV) to monitor the doors and parking garage and lot used to be a grainy black-and-white mess. The footage would transmit to some subterranean bunker with a tiny TV so someone could keep an eye on things. That's exactly not helpful to authorities who are trying to assess potential criminal activity or pinpoint the identity of possible suspect.

But thanks to the latest technological innovations, today's modern security cameras look nothing like before.

“There have been a lot of advances over the last few years, particularly relating to high-definition networked video-based systems,” says Joe Cioffi III, vice president of Bergen Protective Systems in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. “They've been around for a while. But within the last few years, we've really seen the cost curve come down where they're really replacing analog systems with more traditional standard definition analog cameras.”

What You're Watching

The newer cameras have much better resolution and the images they capture no longer look like a gray blur on your monitor. However, it doesn’t mean they can do everything like what you see in the movies.

“There are still many factors that come into play when you talk about video,” says Cioffi. “How many cameras, where you place the cameras and what they're looking at. People in general tend to have an unrealistic view of what cameras should be recording or what they're capable of recording, mostly because of what they see in TV shows or in movies. But the quality of what we can provide nowadays is certainly much higher than what was available a few years ago, at a more affordable price.”

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