Low Tech Solutions in a High Tech World: Closed-Circuit Televisions

CCTV is used by disability services to help those who are visually impaired. A document is placed under a camera, and the image is then displayed on a screen at the needed magnification, from 2 times up to ~72 times, and possibly beyond. The individual can adjust the setting as needed, as well as freely move the document under the camera, simulating a more normal reading experience. The user can also adjust the color of the text and background that appear on screen. Some possibilities include Blue on White, Blue on Yellow, Black on Yellow, Black on Purple, Black on Blue, Black on Orange, Black on Green. These positive and negative combinations will aide those with varying vision problems and levels of acuity.

“Essentially, the cameras used in a closed circuit television system are connected via wiring (or, in recent years, wireless connection) to a router, which manages the flow of information to the corresponding monitor. No matter the type of connection, closed circuit television images remain within the network of monitors and cameras. This is the reason for the term “closed circuit,” as the CCTV monitors cannot receive television programs nor can any radios or televisions pick up closed circuit signals.” (Source)

CCTV was first used in Germany in 1942 for observing the launch of V-2 rockets, and  is still used at launches today, as well as at facilities where an environment is not suitable for human beings to enter, such as its use on the Manhattan Project. It has since been used by European and American cities to deter crime and monitor traffic, as well as by individuals and business/corporations to prevent and monitor crime. 

CCTVs can be found at two locations on the William & Mary Campus. One is located in the Watson Lab, and 2 can be found at the Swem Library (1 in reference and 1 in Special Collections).

Explanation of the Use of CCTVs
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