Q: What are those horizontal lines that wiggle on a CCTV camera?

Wiggling hoizontal lines are called "smear" or "blooming." Most IP security cameras are single chip CCD sensor cameras. When a CCD sensor is faced with a light that is so bright that overwhelms a pixel, it will affect all the pixels below it. So what you are seeing is the electrical interference of a light sensor being overwhelmed with light. A CMOS sensor does not have the "line" problem, so CMOS won't give you the lines, but too much light will still burn out pixels -- and that's the real problem.

Getting rid of wiggling horizonal lines on security cameras' video feeds

  • 1. The easiest thing to do is to reduce the amount of light or not aim the camera directly at the light source.

  • 2. You could also try a camera with a WDR Wide Dynamic Range, like our Effio series DSP cameras (listed at the bottom of the page).

  • 3. You could try one with a CMOS sensor (but, again, too much light will still burn out a CMOS sensor camera's pixels, it will just be harder to tell when that happens)

  • 4. As a videographer, you could use a neutral density filter to get rid of these, but I have never heard of a security camera with a neutral density filter.

  • 5. You might be able to reduce the amount of light by using a dome camera that had a darkened shell (those dome cameras where you can't see where they are pointed)

  • 6. We don't sell any but you might be able to find someone who sells a "anti-blooming gate," but this will reduce how well the camera will work in low levels of light. (This isn't a great solution for most people).

If You Liked this Guide on Horizontal Lines, Consider Shopping With Us.

30 days to decide

No Risk Purchasing
30 Day Money Back Guarantee

free shipping in lower 48

Free Shipping
As long as you spend $250 or more,
We'll ship it to you free with UPS Ground


Free Viewing Software
View your system or multiple systems over the internet

usa based support

SCW's Totally Free Support
100% Free. 100% of the time.

3 year warranties

Industry Leading Warranties
3 years for all our Cameras and Recorders!

smartphone apps

iPhone and Android Apps
Watch over your assets from anywhere.

Just Getting Started with Security Cameras?

Get the SCW Beginner Guide!

New to security camera systems? Confused by Analog vs IP? Bullet vs Dome? Indoor vs Outdoor? Don't even know what PTZ means?

No problem! Download the SCW Beginner Guide and get all your questions answered right away!