A sewer camera or TV camera is a live video camera that is pushed, pulled or driven on a small tractor down the sewer line while the signal is sent up the cable to a monitor that is viewed by the operator. Cameras can be black & white or color, one not really being better than the other. Most cameras have the ability to record the inspection on a videotape or DVD. A camera can be a very useful tool to determine the cause of a problem backup. If you are having a backup every 6 months at the same distance from the house, which happens to be under the old tree, there is no need to spend money to look at all the tree roots, you should spend that money towards fixing the problem. A camera can be used to find tree roots but also broken pipes, low area in a pipe where debris will accumulate and cause a back up and in some cases we have found a pole or fence post driven thru the sewer pipe causing the problem. On one job we found that the electric company had installed a new electric pole next to an existing one and drilled right thru the sewer line. We also found one sewer where the gas company had installed a new gas line along the road way using direction drilling and drilled thru the top 1/2 of the sewer pipe and you could plainly see the new gas line going from left to right inside the sewer line. Also, you cannot see anything in a pipe that is backed up and full of water. A sewer line or any other type of pipe must be open and reasonably clean to inspect with a camera. A camera inspection can be very useful information to a home buyer purchasing older home, insurance claims or for future reference.