The Common Terminologies Used in Video Surveillance and What They Mean

Video surveillance systems are a common thing now and you can find them all around you. Quality security cameras provide a sense of additional security and safety. The criminal minds are always in the pursuit to hack password, but if maintained properly, they offer good safety cover.

Though a layman need not understand the highly technical terms used in highly sophisticated systems, they should definitely be aware of the common terms used. Here is a list of the common terminologies along with their meanings.

IP Camera

IP camera uses an IP (Internet Protocol) network to capture and transmit live video images. These cameras are ideal for remote viewing and recording.

Analog Camera

Analog security cameras capture images and then transfer it over coax cable to the DVR (Digital Video Recorder). Here, the video signal is turned into a format that is compatible with the receiver.

Angle of View

The angle of view is the maximum area that can be captured by the camera lens. Normally, security cameras are capable of capturing up to 80 degrees field of view, while wide-angle security cameras can go up to 180 degrees. A wide-angle camera reduces the need to install multiple cameras as it covers a wide area. This reduces the cost of both installation and maintenance, but at the same time, it might also result in sacrificing detailing in the recordings.


The horizontal or side-to-side camera movement to cover a wide area is called Pan. The vertical or up-and-down camera movement of the camera, on the other hand, is called Tilt. These features help in monitoring multiple positions without the need to move the camera physically.


Iris is the opening through which light enters the camera. A wider opening result in a brighter picture as more light enters it.

Auto-Iris Lens

This type of lens is perfect for outdoor locations, areas with fluctuating lighting conditions and high-contrast situations. This is because it automatically regulates the light entering the camera depending on the lighting conditions prevailing in the vicinity.


The clarity of the image is dependent on the resolution of the camera. The lowest resolution that comes in high definition is of 720p. It can go up to 1440p, which comes to 2560×1440.

These are a few of the most common terminologies used in video surveillance systems that one must be aware of.