Skip to content
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
ITS Joint Program Office
Search for ITS Standards

Stay Connected

Facebook    Twitter    ITS Newsletter

Deployment Resources


ITS Standards Fact Sheets

United States Department of Transportation logo AASHTO logo ITE logo NEMA logo
Print Ready Version

NTCIP 1208 - Object Definitions for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Switching

This Fact Sheet was written on Sep 22, 2009. The status of the standard at the time was: Published.

This Fact Sheet was written on September 22, 2009. The status of the standard at the time was: Published in October 2005.

This Fact Sheet was last verified on October 09, 2009

 Check the ITS Standards Search to see if there has been subsequent development activity.


The National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Protocol (NTCIP) is a family of standards that provides both the rules for communicating (called protocols) and the vocabulary (called objects) necessary to allow electronic traffic control equipment from different manufacturers to operate with each other as a system. The NTCIP is the first set of standards for the transportation industry that allows transportation systems to be built using a "mix and match" approach with equipment from different manufacturers. Therefore, NTCIP standards reduce the need for reliance on specific equipment vendors and customized one-of-a-kind software. To assure both manufacturer and user community support, NTCIP is a joint product of the National Electronics Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). More information concerning the NTCIP family of standards and their related documents is available in the NTCIP 9001 - NTCIP Guide, available on-line at (

Human communication relies on a vocabulary of words, each defined with a fixed meaning and spelling that are understood by the members of the conversation group. Computers have a similar vocabulary, called "objects" in the NTCIP standards. These objects define all possible commands, responses and information that may be exchanged among microprocessor-controlled electronic equipment, traffic management systems (which could include central computers housed in a center or portable computers, e.g. laptops), and by extension, their human operators. The NTCIP groups these objects by subject material (e.g., closed circuit television) and calls these groupings "object definitions." The objects defined in this standard allow a traffic management system operator to command closed circuit television (CCTV) switching systems to do something and verify that the switch has accomplished the command.

What are these standards for?

This standard, NTCIP 1208 - Object Definitions for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Switching, provides the vocabulary - commands, responses and information - necessary for traffic management and operations personnel to control, manage, and monitor CCTV switches. This standard includes an overview of CCTV switching architecture and operations, and contains object definitions to support the functionality of these devices as used for transportation and traffic monitoring applications. The standard includes conformance group requirements and conformance statements to support compliance with the standard, as well as configuration and operations examples demonstrating different communications profiles. Another standard NTCIP 1205 defines the data elements for control of Camera's lenses and pan/tilt units and it is used seperately from NTCIP 1208.

Who uses them?

This standard, NTCIP 1208 - Object Definitions for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Switching, should be used by transportation and traffic engineers involved with the design, specification, selection, procurement and installation, operation, and maintenance of CCTV switching systems. ITS product hardware and software designers and application (computer program) developers should find this standard especially relevant to their efforts.

How are they used?

This standard, NTCIP 1208 - Object Definitions for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Switching, defines a vocabulary of "objects" used to assure that the transportation management center computer-based devices, and CCTV switches "speak" a common language. A message must be understood by the device it was intended for, and equally important, it must not be misunderstood or misinterpreted by another device on the same network. Object definitions unambiguously define the content, terminology, units and format of commands, responses and information affecting communications with CCTV switching units.

This standard must be used with one of the NTCIP communications profiles (see related NTCIP documents below) which provide the communications channel for information transfer between devices. It must be used with the NTCIP Global Object Definitions (NTCIP 1201), which provides the glossary of common object definitions used by multiple NTCIP devices.


Communications between a transportation management center’s central computer and CCTV switches are accomplished by using the objects defined in NTCIP 1208 - Object Definitions for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Switching. These objects define the information, commands and responses that must be understood by the devices at both ends of the communications channel.

Related documents

The following ITS standards and documents are related and should be considered when using this standard:

The following standards and documents, while not part of the ITS standards, should also be considered when using this standard:

How to obtain Standards
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Institute of Transportation Engineers
Association of Electrical and Medical Imaging Equipment Manufacturers (NEMA), formerly known as National Electrical Manufacturers Association