Why Keep Saying ‘CCTV’?

We don’t use public telephone booths anymore – we each have our own mobile phones that work wirelessly, anywhere. We don’t listen to music on a gramophone or with tapes anymore – we stream it from iTunes, Pandora or Spotify. Xerox and fax machines are practically nonexistent as we scan and email most documents today. We don’t punch our fingers on manual typewriters now that we have computers. On tablets and smartphones we don’t even have to type: we can swype or just use our voices!

Photo credit Peter MorganYes, we all know that digital technology is changing our previously analog lives. So why are so many people in the physical security business so slow in catching up with their vocabulary? I regularly hear and read the word ‘CCTV’ being used when talking about digital video surveillance, as if CCTV is the Kleenex of tissues. The Coke of soda. You know: when a word or brand name that means something specific becomes the generic term for that thing.

CCTV is an abbreviation that stands for Closed Circuit TeleVision: the hard-wired, analog-cabled approach to video monitoring that is undeniably a sunset industry, on its way down the sky of our lives toward its final horizon. The rising sun of course is Internet Protocol (IP) networking of digital (or digitized) video data, which has brought so many well-documented advantages to operations that I don’t need to name them here. (If you want to check, read the hundreds of Milestone customer stories I’ve produced over the last 12 years!)

CablesInFrmRtCrnr_150wideSo why do a lot of people in our industry still use the term CCTV when talking about IP solutions? It is an oxymoron! It is contradictory. IP video is the opposite of closed circuit, hard-wired analog technology.

So let’s move on with our mouths as we have in our business and let this term go down as the world turns a new face to the light of future innovation.

Courtney Pedersen by Courtney Dillon Pedersen, Communications Manager, Milestone Systems