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What is SD CCTV?

(Standard Definition CCTV - also known as Analogue CCTV)

SD CCTV was invented back in the 40's, and up until a few years ago it was the only choice when looking for a surveillance system. Due to the fact it has been around so long, it is fair to say it is an extremely reliable format, it also has by far the widest variety of products - such as cameras shaped like smoke detectors or PIR alarm sensors.

SD CCTV transmits an image from a camera to a monitor / recording unit. Traditionally this was always done using RG59 Coax cable - however in recent years it has been possible to use Cat5 cable as long as you use Cat5 baluns.

The most important feature to be aware of is "Standard Definition" - SD CCTV is limited in the image resolution it can produce, it provides image resolutions much lower than HD. Most good SD CCTV systems will produce D1 resolution images, the very latest and highest possible image quality in SD CCTV is called 960H.

  • D1 Resolution - is 720 x 576 pixels - that's a total of 414,720 pixels
  • 960H Resolution - is 960 x 576 pixels - that's a total of 552,960 pixels

Single Camera Setup

In image "A" below you see a single camera connected directly to a monitor/TV. Obviously this is not a recording system - only a monitoring solution. You could run the video signal upto 200 Metres using coax cable - even further with Cat5 cables. However you would need to power the camera at it's location.

An SD CCTV Camera connected to a monitor with seperate Power Supply

If you only need to use a short cable run (up to 25 Metres (approx)) then you could use what we refer to as "shotgun" cable, which is video and power cable in one. This would enable you to power the camera from a power supply located near the monitor/TV as shown in image "B" below:

An SD CCTV Camera connected to a monitor with Video and Power Cable

Multiple Camera Setup

In image "A" below we have a single camera connected directly to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR / CCTV Recorder) which in turn is connected to a monitor/TV.

An SD CCTV Camera connected to a dvr / monitor with seperate Power Supply

If you only need to use a short cable run (up to 25 Metres (approx)) then you could use what we refer to as "shotgun" cable, which is video and power cable in one. This would enable you to power the camera from a power supply located near the recorder as shown in image "B" below.

Also, if you have several cameras, its possible to use just one power source to power all of them using the setup shown in image "B".

An SD CCTV Camera connected to a dvr / monitor with Video and Power Cable

An SD CCTV System is made up of Cameras, Recorder and Accessories (including cables / connectors / PSU / monitors etc). You require some or all of them to install an SD CCTV system. To learn a little more about each of those components click on the below further reading articles.