I have a 380 tvl security camera - Will it give me clear images?

by Mr James


I have a 380 tvl (TV lines) security camera. Would this still give me clear images? Which is the best TVL to use?

I would like to use my cameras to record outside my home.

Will the images look clear, e.g. when i walk into my home, will the camera record me clearly?


Mr James,

Thank you for your question. The short answer is...it depends.

Getting a clear image on a security camera involves several different factors. It involves camera placement, distances, lens field of view, lighting, back light, camera resolution (which I will talk more about) etc.

You might get excellent images from where you place your camera. If you are trying to cover your front door as you enter the home I would mount in in a temporary way so you can test it see what might work best.

At night it would be good if you have a good source of light as well. During the day you will want to make sure you are not going to get glare from another window or something else that could potentially blind the camera.

The other question you asked was about the TVL or TV Lines. That is a reference to the resolution capabilities of the camera. There are a lot of factors related to resolution of video images.

You can read more about it here on CCTV Security Camera Resolution.

For standard resolution Security Cameras, meaning security cameras that are not Megapixel or High Definition the highest resolution is really 540 TVL. This is similar to what your television or your standard DVD is. (Again not the new High Definition TV or Blue Ray Disc.)

380TVL is probably the lowest resolution that there is for a security camera currently available. It is pretty low. Again it may give you decent enough images depending on what you are looking for.

It will likely give you things like hair color, clothing color and things like that. But it won't be picking up a tatoo or more defining mark on someone.

Hope that helps you.

Peter Brissette
Security Camera Expert
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