Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is the use of video camera to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors.
It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it may employ point to point wireless links. CCTV is often used for surveillance in areas that may need monitoring such as banks, casinos, airports, military installations, and convenience stores.
In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room; when, for example, the environment is not suitable for humans. CCTV systems may operate continuously or only as required to monitor a particular event. A more advanced form of CCTV, utilizing Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), provides recording for possibly many years, with a variety of quality and performance options and extra features (such as motion-detection and email alerts).
Surveillance of the public using CCTV is particularly common in the UK, where there are reportedly more cameras per person than in any other country in the world. There and elsewhere, its increasing use has triggered a debate about security versus privacy.