Retrieving CCTV Images

One of the more complex parts of data recovery is when dealing with CCTV systems that record to hard drive(s). Because there is no one standard recording technique, manufacturers of CCTV equipment create their own recording platforms, otherwise known as CODECs. Each different model of CCTV recorder will use a different CODEC, and each manufacturer produces many different models of CCTV DVR (Digital Video Recorder), hence there are literally many thousands of CODECs. If you haven’t got the right CODEC then you’re in trouble as you won’t be able to playback the recorded images. (Find out more about CODECs at

A 4 disk CCTV system

This 4 disk Samsung CCTV DVR system is a typical example of a commonly used CCTV recorder.

Recovering CCTV information from DVRs gets even more complex when you appreciate that many DVRs now use RAID technology in their setups because they use more that one hard drive (see picture). So, when there is a fault related to the disks in a DVR, not only does the fault have to be repaired, the RAID level has to be emulated and the correct CODEC used before the data can be extracted.

CCTV data recovery is a challenging business and English specialists like Data Clinic ( recover the pictures from many CCTV systems each year. CCTVs recorders often contain deleted data that companies or organisations such as the police need to recover. Sometimes the footage recovered is used in court cases – this is a branch known as CCTV computer forensics. Find out more information here:


Comments are closed.