CCTV or Closed Circuit Television refers to a visible or covert video system intended for only a limited number of viewers. In Closed Circuit TV (CCTV), the picture is viewed or recorded, but not broadcasted. It was initially developed as a means of security for banks and casinos; however, today it has been developed to the point where it is simple and inexpensive enough to be used with Home Security Systems, and for everyday surveillance.
More specifically, CCTV is a television transmission system in which live or pre-recorded signals are sent over a closed loop to a finite and predetermined group of receivers. The term Closed Circuit TV is generally used to describe systems with specialized applications such as Security Cameras. CCTV is most commonly used for surveillance. Security Cameras are now universally featured in many public and private institutions, from a correctional facility to the convenience store. In prisons, reduce the costs of staffing and operating observation towers and make it possible to maintain a constant watch on all areas of the facility. CCTV has become so much less expensive over the years that both large and small stores are able to install cameras as a deterrent against theft and robbery, a practice, which municipal authorities have adopted as a way of curtailing crime in public housing and even on city streets. In many areas of the country as well as in Europe, Security Cameras have been placed in highly crowded public areas as a security measure against terrorism.
CCTV has many industrial and scientific applications outside of the world of surveillance. Electron microscopy, medical imaging and robotics are all common uses of CCTV, however, the term "Closed Circuit TV" does in fact most often refer to security and surveillance camera systems. Other common forms of CCTV include live on-site video displays for special events such as various conventions, arena sports and concerts as well as pay-per-view telecasts of sporting events such as boxing and pro wrestling. Also a common user of CCTV is "in-house" television channels that broadcast to very small and specific receivers such as in hospitals, airports, racetracks, schools, malls, grocery stores, and municipal buildings.