This is a collection of terms, phrases and acronyms from the CCTV industry with a simple definition for each.


An Industry leading #IP-CCTV manufacturer based in Sweden. Axis produce a wide range of quality #IP-CCTV cameras including static, #PTZ and covert models.


A twist to lock style connector for termination of coaxial cable. Commonly used for CCTV video cable termination. BNC plugs are available as compression style, crimp and solder style or twist on style connectors. Sockets are typically chassis mount and are found on the back of many CCTV recorders. CCTV video requires 75 Ohm cable and connectors.


Closed Circuit Television

Dome camera

A spherical or semi-spherical camera that is harder to tamper with and has a less obvious viewing direction. Dome cameras are often found with IK ratings for anti-vandalism features.


A digital video recorder. A DVR stores recordings digitally onto a hard disk drive. When the disk is full the drive is overwritten starting with the oldest footage. Multiple cameras can be connected to a single recorder and typically recording and playback can happen simultaneously.


Frames per second is the number of consecutive images captured by a CCTV camera that are used to form the recorded video.


A hard disk drive (often referred to as a hard drive) is a device for storing digital data. In a CCTV system it is used for storing recorded footage from CCTV cameras. Hard disk drive size is usually listed in bytes of data. Common drives in CCTV recorders are between 500 gigabytes and 2 Terabytes. In the case of CCTV the greater a drives capacity has the longer recorded footage can be stored for.


The use of network communication protocols for connection of CCTV cameras.

Night vision

A term referring to a CCTV cameras ability to see in low light or total darkness. CCTV cameras can use infra-red illumination or thermal imaging to achieve this.


A network video recorder. An NVR is similar to a #DVR except it connects to #IP-CCTV cameras on a network rather than directly to cameras with coaxial cable.


Power over Ethernet is a protocol to send power to network devices along with data over standard Ethernet connections. Intelligent POE switches or injectors only send power after a device requests it reducing the risk of causing damage to devices that are not POE compatible.


A camera that can be remotely panned, tilted and zoomed. PTZ cameras can typically rotate a full 360° and offer some form of optical zoom making them ideal for use by CCTV operators.


An RJ45 connector is used to terminate copper network cables often used for network CCTV.


A network switch allows multiple network devices to transmit data to a single device or to each other. #POE switches also send power to devices.

Thermal imaging

The use of reflected heat to create an image rather than capturing light. Hotter areas are shown as lighter colours and colder areas as darker colours. This can be useful for seeing past obstructions such as foliage or heavy fog.


Video management software is a software program that can be used as a recording platform in a CCTV system. Installed on an existing operating system such as Microsoft Windows it enables all the features normally associated with a #DVR but on a computer. A VMS is a powerful and flexible solution for video management in a security system.

White light

An alternative to #night-vision for illuminating dark scenes. White light is output by high intensity LED's and allows a CCTV camera to capture colour images of the illuminated area.