Video Surveillance Terms Glossary

Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of technical jargon when shopping for a video surveillance system? We are here to throw you a life raft with our Video Surveillance Terms Glossary. We put together a list of some of the most commonly used terms in the video surveillance world and defined them for you. Use this as a reference as you continue your shopping experience so you know exactly what you are getting.

HD-AVS– (High Definition Analog Video System) This new technology rivals that of Network IP and HD-SDI systems while costing about the same amount as an older CCTV system. The resolution is about the same as IP and HD-SDI systems, has a longer transmission range and fewer cables. This system is not as easily upgraded as Network IP systems but it costs much less. Read our full explanation of HD-AVS here:


HD-SDI– (High Definition Serial Digital Interface) Based on coaxial cable, this system transmits uncompressed video in 720p or 1080p up to at least 328 feet. The video quality rivals that of Network IP systems and is an ideal choice for upgrading CCTV systems to HD because the cables will not need to be reinstalled.

CCTV– (Closed Circuit Television) This is the most basic camera system. It transmits video over coaxial cables and footage must be viewed on monitors. Older systems are generally in black and white and have low video quality unless they are upgraded to HD-CCTV. Cameras and monitors must be connected via cables, which is where the term “closed circuit” comes from.


Network IP– This would be one of the most advanced systems and is becoming the most widely used. It transmits video wirelessly via an internet connection. Video quality is high at 1080p and can generally be transmitted up to about 330 feet. Since this system doesn’t require cables, it is easy to install.

Power Over Ethernet (PoE)- This is a system that transmits electrical power and a network connection over an Ethernet cable. A single cable can provide both power and a network connection to IP cameras if it is PoE. It works with standard network cabling such as Cat 5.

Cat-5– An Ethernet cable, Cat 5 is a twisted pair cable that transmits signals. This is a standard network cable used for most IP video systems. Cat 5 cables have a 100 meter range but can be extended with LAN and Power over Ethernet extenders. Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables are enhanced versions of Cat 5 that allow for a higher network speed. Read our breakdown of common cables here:


C/CS Mount- This is a lens mount that is most commonly found on CCTV cameras. It can be used for 8mm to 17 mm lenses up to ½ inch format.


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