CCTV cameras, either analogue or digital provide ‘real time’ live images. The choice
between these will depend upon whether you intend to visualise your image with a
television or computer.
TV’s require an analogue image, the type provided by the Educam or JVC CCTV camera
for example. Images from these units can be displayed on a PC or laptop only after
the output signal is converted from analogue to digital. There are three options
• An external conversion unit such as WinTV or Grand. These come with their own
software and the analogue output from the camera feeds into the ‘box’ which then
connects to a USB 2.0 on the computer. There is loss of resolution from the original
image but they do work.
• For PC’s an internal PCI card is the best solution and gives good resolution compared
to the original analogue image. These are easily fitted into an expansion slot of
the PC. We currently recommend the Eurosys.
• PCI cards are of course not suitable for laptops. In this case a PCIMA card is
required these are still expensive and the resolution return is often poor.
Computers on the other hand need a digital image provided for example by the Ceti,
Guppy or Minicam units. These depending on the type of camera link to the computer
or laptop by USB 2.0 connection (Ceti and Minicam), or by firewire (Guppy).
The rule of thumb is analogue = TV, and Digital = Computer.