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CCTV Towers vs Mast Cameras: What Is the Difference?

CCTV Towers vs Mast Cameras: What Is the Difference?
CCTV Towers vs Mast Cameras: What Is the Difference?

CCTV towers and mast-mounted cameras share much of the same functionality. They are erected at height to cover larger areas, can be equipped with advanced PTZ capabilities and movement sensors, and have autonomous battery and/or solar-energy power systems to remain independent from mains power.

However, the contrast is in the duration of use and the type of site you need to implement security for. All-in-one CCTV towers are larger, overt, and used in public-access spaces to deter illegal activity and unauthorised entry. Mast-mounted CCTV cameras have a slimline appearance and are a more discreet form of surveillance. Towers are also likely to be battery/solar powered, giving flexibility in where the tower can be placed whilst mast mounted cameras are usually mains powered.

How to Choose the Right Overhead and Site-Wide CCTV Surveillance

Numerous factors influence the optimal type of camera system, and placement for your business, site, event or premise – our experienced security consultants can always provide helpful advice and guidance on this matter. CCTV masts and towers are similar but not necessarily interchangeable, and we’d suggest working through your specification and highest security risks, for example:

  • Towers with extra-heavy bases and tamper-proof fixings are ideal for preventative security and are immovable without specialist equipment.
  • If you need a rapid deployment surveillance solution, a short or long-term CCTV tower hire service may be ideal because these models require a simple installation.
  • Surveillance at restricted-access sites or where you wish to implement subtle security may better suit a mast camera.

While a mast sounds less robust than a tower, both security assets can be extended to height. However, if you need to erect cameras at a specific height or in a public access area, it may affect the type of overhead camera unit we recommend.

mobile cctv tower being rapidly deployedBenefits of CCTV Towers

Innovative CCTV towers can be wired, cable-free or battery/solar-powered, with a range of solutions to suit. Wireless cameras are likely the best solution if you need CCTV monitoring services for an event, outdoor space or construction site. These units work independently and require very little maintenance.

Secure mobile network communications mean your surveillance system can transmit alerts or footage to your control dashboard, on-site security team, or our accredited Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) to ensure always-on access 24/7/365, without any way for the signal to be interrupted or intercepted. CCTV towers are designed for outdoor use and are fully weatherproof, with in-built functionality such as infrared vision and night illuminations to provide effective surveillance around the clock and in any conditions.

You can manage and programme your tower remotely, arm and disarm your security surveillance as required, or leave the CCTV to work continuously and activate according to movement sensors or other pre-programmed times.

Features of Mast Cameras

Security masts can extend upward by up to six metres and are easy to transport, with features such as extendable stabilising arms and flexible mast tops that can be fitted with floodlights or security cameras.

Telescopic CCTV masts are lightweight and deployed in scenarios where you need temporary monitoring, usually of a large site, including events, commercial premises, construction sites and other public access settings.

Masts can also be mounted and are commonly used by emergency services to extend visibility and surveillance over wide areas, with up to a 360° view with manual controls. CCTV masts can also be fitted to security patrol vehicles and alternative transport, such as ambulances and temporary security booths, to ensure the staff inside can keep a close eye on events whilst managing other tasks.

Use Cases for Mast-Mounted Security Cameras

Mast or pole-mounted CCTV cameras can be advantageous in terms of visibility, virtual monitoring, and portability. If you do not have on-site power, solar/battery-run cameras can be installed but may not draw power from solar meaning you’ll need to replace the batteries more often. Off-grid cameras are ideal for sites without a reliable power supply or in remote regions where it simply wouldn’t be cost-effective to cable mains electricity for a short-term or temporary requirement.

Mounted cameras naturally cover a wide field of vision. They can be integrated with alarm alerts and voice activations, ensuring a smaller security team can potentially cover a wider area with the ability to respond to direct alarm activations without needing to try and identify the source. Site managers and security teams can erect mast cameras in almost any location (if there is mains power) as a flexible, simplified way to introduce security surveillance for the required period when incident risks are elevated.

Applications for CCTV Towers

Our inView Technology Towers are equally suited to diverse environments, and can be deployed to any site that requires portable or temporary surveillance, used extensively in:

CCTV towers are available for rapid deployment and provide an immediate enhancement to security and safety across any site, with a high-profile surveillance asset on hand to capture movements, intrusions and suspicious activities.

CCTV Towers and Mast Cameras vs Conventional Surveillance

Whichever option you decide is the best solution for your premise or event, mast-mounted and tower CCTV units provide considerable operational and cost benefits, requiring less time and budget to fit fully functional, high-performance surveillance.

Fixed CCTV can be a useful asset but is limited in placement, functionality, areas of coverage and adaptability to change to accommodate new and emerging risks, or changing areas of concern for security teams. Self-contained, elevated cameras can be live and recording in minutes without any need to run cabling, ensuring you have access to the most advanced surveillance technology without expensive installation costs or downtime.

Please contact the Clearway team at any time to discuss the right surveillance systems and hardware for you, or to organise a professional site inspection to enable our specialist consultants to make tailored recommendations. With years of expertise across the private, residential, commercial, industrial and public sectors, Clearway will ensure you have robust, effective security safeguards and risk prevention protocols in place as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible to protect your people, property and assets.

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