Many small businesses spend considerable amounts of money installing video surveillance equipment. These cable-connected video cameras typically display their images on a monitor screen in the back room, and are connected to a VCR which captures the action on tape for later review. But although these systems work well for after-the-fact review of activities, sometimes it's important to be able to monitor what's going on in real time, particularly when it isn't possible to return to the location for extended periods of time. That's where Comet's Comet 600 can be helpful.
Comet Video Technologies' Comet 600 links as many as six of your CCTV cameras to its network connection, and streams video to your cell phone, PPC, laptop, or other networked device for real-time surveillance from afar. The unit connects through its Ethernet cable to a broadband connection.
A typical problem with streaming surveillance video is that the image stream is intended for local cable connections that can handle its relatively high resolution. The Comet 600 formats the video to accommodate the lower bandwidth of the cell phone and its small display.
Setup and view
The Comet 600 hardware is simple to set up. It is a small plastic box with six BNC cable connectors on the front, and Ethernet and power connections on the back. In order to connect it to an existing CCTV monitoring system, one Y connector is attached to each camera line in order to send the video signal to both the monitor/recorder and the Comet 600. I attached two cameras to two cable connectors, then connected the unit to my Ethernet switch and plugged in the power unit.