ecurity cameras are now omnipresent within our society – whether it's at home, at work, at play or on the streets between them, we have come to accept (and expect) that there is some sort of camera monitoring the areas that we move about in. They offer us confidence and security that we can go about our lives without having to worry that if an incident does arise, that we cannot gain evidence.

We've been involved in this industry as CCTV installers since 1997 here at Maxtag. Even in the last 20-or-so years, we've seen a vast change in the compositions and qualities of the equipment that people use to monitor their home and business – from the 'classic' VHS systems to modern-day high-definition recording, Wi-Fi viewing and virtual storage solutions.

Did you know though that 'security cameras' have been around in some form for over 70 years? Here, we're going to take a look back and the history of CCTV to see how far we have truly come.

The First Live Monitoring Systems By CCTV Installers.

The earliest (documented) use of camera monitoring technology was in Germany in 1942. Designed by Walter Bruch,the system was created to monitor the performance of V-2 rockets, safely from a bunker, very far away. For television picture fans, Bruch is also credited with inventing the PAL colour system.

After the Second World War, the American government contractor Vericon created the first commercially available CCTV system, also designed for live monitoring. Whilst Vericon's system first appeared on the market in 1949, it would be some time before a reliable way of recording footage was found...

Early Security Video Recordings

One of the first systems that would be able to keep the data gathered by a video monitoring device was created with a reel-to-reel recorder. Theproblem was that being magnetic tapes, they had to be swapped manually by CCTV installers, which meant a difficult and costly process each time a change was required. Users would have to thread tape from the reel through the recorder and then onto the empty real. As you can imagine, this never really took off in any great form.

The Rise of The VCR

The next – and arguably most crucial – milestone since the invention of a monitoring system was the emergence of the VCR (Videocassette Recorder). Able to playback and record reel-to-reel tape inside a cassette, it ironed out the problems experienced with previous video systems and created a huge market that started in the 1970's and boomed during the next decade and a half.

VCR's were very quickly incorporated into security camera systems and offered the ideal way to capture footage – no longer did the operator haveto stand by to watch what was going on. They could simply let CCTV installers establish a camera system that would automatically record everything, freeing them up to undertake other important tasks. The other great thing about this innovation is that CCTV systems quickly became affordable, meaning that by the end of the 1990's, most businesses would have had some sort of CCTV system installed.

The Availability of Multiplexing

Another significant development to occur during the 1990's was the availability of multiplexing; the ability of the camera system to combine images from multiple cameras and display them all on one monitor, at the same time. This gave the operator the opportunity to record their network – the images taken from more than one camera – on the same tape, making their security much easier (and cheaper) to manage.

The Digital Era

At the turn of the millennium, digital recording technology continued to improve and quickly became widely available for everyone to enjoy. Analogue VCR's were replaced with DVR's (Digital Video Recorders), making CCTV systems simpler and more user-friendly – for example, multiplexing isautomatically built into these systems, meaning that CCTV installers spend less time in getting them up-and-running.

Digital systems have also removed the need to store footage on videotapes, meaning that operators no longer have to invest in (and keep) a large number of tapes stockpiled in order to access specific recordings.

Last (but not least) the capacity of a digital signal to carry vast amounts of information allows high-definition pictures to be captured by the camera; presenting clear images to the operator and opening up new worlds of possibilities. The qualities of the latest security cameras to pick out different elements are that high, they can be usedfor things like people counting and stock management. Whilst CCTV was originally created to monitor testing and later used for security, the current evolution sees them also helping business to better run their operations.

Today – Network Video Recorders

In the present day, Network Video Recorders (NVR's) have completely removed the need for us to rely on removable media to store our images. An NVR can stream and store pictures virtually, on The Cloud, giving the operator the opportunity to view the footage wherever they may be.

What's more, with the availability of high-speed internet and a plethora of internet-connecting devices, the operator does not need to be chained to a desktop PC too – a smartphone or tablet device can be used to access the images. An NVR is an ideal solution for operators who need to manage a number of sites, as they allow them to view various areas of any locations at any one time.

Quite simply, there has never been a better time to invest in a new system from CCTV Installers – and as HD and Wi-Fi technology is now commonplace within our society, a brand-new security system may not be expensive as it sounds!

High-Quality HD Security Cameras From Maxtag.

If you are looking to improve the security of your business by installing the latest HD CCTV systems, why not get in touch with the experts here at Maxtag? We work with a number of innovative manufacturers to provide the best technology around;one of our partners is Hikvision, a world-renowned brand that constantly pushes the boundaries of video capturing advancements.

To learn more about how our CCTV installers can establish the ideal security camera infrastructure for you, please feel free to get in touch with us today. You can give our friendly team a call on 0800 044 3160 or alternatively, you can send an e-mail to

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MAXTAG (UK) Limited

8 Suttons Business Park Reading Berkshire RG6 1AZ United Kingdom

0800 044 3160