The Meaning of CCTV: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of CCTV? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the abbreviation CCTV, including its definition, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the abbreviation CCTV stand for?

According to Paessler and Your Dictionary, the acronym CCTV stands for closed-circuit television. This type of system is often also known as video surveillance. The term closed circuit means that the broadcasts on the television are limited to only a certain number of monitors. The feed is only transmitted to these monitors rather than broadcast to the public at large like regular TV.  You may wonder why anyone would want television that is only broadcast to themselves. These services are often used to detect criminal activity and for security cameras, as well as at intersections to record traffic infractions. They also have many other uses. This type of CCTV technology was first invented in the year 1942 by different German scientists for the purpose of monitoring the launch of their V2 rockets. This technology was first used in America by scientists when they were testing the atomic bomb.

CCTV has many different potential uses. First, CCTV can be used for crime management. Even just simply having a CCTV system in pace can be enough to deter some criminals. If a crime does occur such as vandalism, trespassing on premises, theft, or other criminal activities, police and law enforcement can use the audio and video from these recordings in court as evidence. Often, the CCTV footage and video recordings live on a server like a DVR. Sometimes in a surveillance system, the security cameras have a sensor that alerts someone to motion detection. They might also be able to tilt, zoom and pan via the lens when it sees intruders, or sound an alarm when the surveillance cameras detect someone. Depending on light conditions, the clarity of the video may vary, but it is still a useful way to protect privacy and maintain security.

These types of video cameras and devices that are part of a security system are also useful for disaster management and community or city street monitoring. You may frequently see CCTV cameras at traffic lights that both gather statistics for traffic, such as how many people pass through a light going a given direction per hour, as well as catch people for traffic infractions like speeding or running a red light. These analog cameras use video analytics and video data for persecution purposes as well as to gather data to make city planning better. The people in charge of different intersections might choose to have a light last for longer going in a different direction if they find that one way is always congested due to the timing of the lights. 

CCTV cameras are also used frequently for medical monitoring and diagnosis. CCTV cameras can pick up on different expressions like pain and anxiety through the movement of the facial muscles and can aso monitor patients to pick up on things like strokes, seizures and asthma attacks. This is also used in behavioral research to monitor crowd activities to look out for any sorts of suspicious activity, and they have also been used in schools to monitor bullying or inappropriate activity.

Some of these different IP cameras work via different internet protocol, and could use an ethernet cable or wireless router to connect to a network. Often, coaxial cables are required. Different video signals are transmitted in different ways, so make sure that you are setting your system up in the way that’s best for you. There are often one or more analog or digital cameras that have a lens with an image sensor, a recorder, and one or more monitors.

What are synonyms for CCTV?

While there are not too many synonyms for the term CCTV itself, there are many different ways that a person could refer to the concept of surveillance. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same word or phrase as a given word and can therefore be used interchangeably with that word. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary as well as if you are trying not to repeat yourself. This list of synonyms for the word surveillance is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  bugging
  •  eye
  •  examination
  •  guard
  •  oversight
  •  vigil
  •  reconnaissance
  •  survey
  •  look-over
  •  superintendence
  •  close watch
  •  scrutiny
  •  supervisory
  •  intelligence
  •  direction
  •  charge
  •  eagle eye
  •  watchfulness
  •  wiretap
  •  lookout
  •  surveyance
  •  stakeout
  •  peeled eye
  •  vigilance
  •  view
  •  control
  •  supervision
  •  wiretapping
  •  monitoring
  •  eyes
  •  security
  •  observation
  •  spying
  •  safety measures
  •  undercover work
  •  inspection
  •  check
  •  care
  •  securities
  •  information gathering
  •  safety
  •  voyeurism
  •  attention
  •  espionage
  •  protection
  •  watch
  •  lookover
  •  watching
  •  track
  •  close observation

There are also a number of words and phrases that mean the opposite of the term surveillance. These are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your English vocabulary. This list of antonyms of surveillance is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  numbness
  •  pensiveness
  •  lassitude
  •  peek
  •  inactivity
  •  impassiveness
  •  lukewarmness
  •  casualness
  •  detachment
  •  disregard
  •  disinterest
  •  languor
  •  chilliness
  •  insouciance
  •  ice
  •  deadness
  •  clientele
  •  negligence
  •  indolence
  •  coolness
  •  disesteem
  •  insensibility
  •  inattentiveness
  •  inattention
  •  lethargy
  •  frigidity
  •  lack of care
  •  aloofness
  •  neglectfulness
  •  callousness
  •  carelessness
  •  inobservance
  •  nonchalance
  •  glimpse
  •  disinterestedness
  •  impassivity
  •  coldness
  •  examination
  •  easiness
  •  listlessness
  •  oblivion
  •  lack of attention
  •  unconcern
  •  disdain
  •  heedlessness
  •  inertia
  •  drowsiness
  •  neglect
  •  indifference
  •  dereliction

Overall the acronym CCTV stands for closed circuit television. Unline broadcast television, these analog systems are only accessible to view on a certain number of monitors within a closed system. Check out CCTV installation that could be right for you for the purposes of security or surveillance! There are a number of different ways you can set up your network cameras that provide the flexibility you need in digital video recorders.


  1. What is CCTV? Definition and Details | Paessler 
  2. Surveillance synonyms – 512 Words and Phrases for Surveillance | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Surveillance antonyms – 60 Opposites of Surveillance | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Cctv Meaning | Best 7 Definitions of Cctv | Your Dictionary