A wireless video camera is most commonly used for security purposes. It involves the footage being monitored or recorded remotely. The word wireless refers to the way in which the pictures are transmitted rather than how the camera is powered. A wireless video camera is also known as a spy camera or a CCTV system.
There are not usually any recording facilities such as tape or disks built into a wireless video camera itself. Instead the picture, and in some cases audio, is transmitted wirelessly to a remote location. From here it can either be monitored live, the picture recorded, or both. This means the camera itself can be made very small, which not only often saves money, but also enables it to be used for discreet monitoring. If a camera is made small enough, any intruders on the property being monitored are less likely to see and disable it during a break-in.
The distance over which a wireless video camera signal can be transmitted can vary immensely. Economy systems may only carry the signal a matter of feet. More expensive systems can transmit as far as 15 miles (24.1 km) away. The further the range, the stronger the amplification required and thus the greater the chance that the system may encounter legal issues. The precise figures vary from model to model, but as a rough guideline, any system with a range of more than one mile (1.6 km) is likely to require a license for commercial use within the United States.
Some models of wireless video camera are promoted as weatherproof. This means they are more resistant to heavy rainfall, wind or severe changes in air pressure. Whether this type of model, and the added expense, is worthwhile depends on its intended use. For example, a system designed solely to alert somebody to a security threat may still perform well even with some picture interference caused by adverse weather. With system designed to produce evidence for a court case, that interference may be intolerable.
There are also a range of wireless video camera systems designed for home use. This could be in the form of a camera outside a property, allowing vulnerable homeowners to see who is at the door before answering. In this situation, the picture could even be displayed on a television set. Wireless systems are also used by parents to monitor babies without the need to constantly go upstairs to check on the child in person.