HISTORY Of CCTV and Video Surveillance
The first CCTV system was installed by Siemens in Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V-2 rockets. The German engineer Walter Bruch was responsible for the technological design and installation of the system.
The earliest CCTV systems required constant monitoring because there was no way to record and store the information. Due to this, security cameras and video surveillance were rare. Only when VCR technology became available in the 1970’s, which made it easier to record and erase information, did video surveillance start to become more common.
One of the first appearances of CCTV in the US was in 1973 in Times Square in NYC. The NYPD installed security cameras in order to deter crime that was occurring in the area, however, crime rates did not appear to drop much due to the security cameras. Nevertheless, during the 1980’s video surveillance began to spread across the country specifically targeting public areas. It was seen as a cheaper way to deter crime compared to increasing the size of the police depts.
During the 1990’s, due to problems experienced with the VCR, people began installing digital video recorders (DVR) as the technology became available. In a DVR, a digital storage media such as a computer hard drive is used for storing the video recordings, which also allowed for several cameras to record at once.
Following the September 11 attacks, the use of security cameras and video surveillance became a common occurrence in the country to deter future terrorist attacks and provide extra security and intelligence.
By 2003 more sophisticated technology such as network IP cameras and computer based DVRs could handle multiple camera inputs and provide additional functionality such as alarm handling, scheduled activation of cameras, control of pan\tilt\zoom cameras, motion detection, and remote access. Video evidence could be located instantly by specifying a date and time or through an activity search.
The internet has enabled video surveillance to be instituted virtually in any place and be watched from anywhere in the world. The internet has truly revolutionized video surveillance by removing all boundaries for homes, businesses, institutions, and government enabling them to view these cameras anywhere, anytime.