What’s your company and where is it based?
Founded in Australia, with the European HQ in Nottinghamshire, UK, Blustream is the creation of an ambitious team of AV product managers. Utilizing a wealth of experience within the consumer electronics and multiroom AV industry, we have set about delivering HDMI distribution products that offer more for the AV architect and integrator.
As a standard, all Blustream products offer 4K resolution support and all HDBaseT solutions provide bi-directional PoE, ensuring the integrator has unprecedented flexibility when installing a multiroom video system. Blustream is one of many manufacturers that partner with One Product, a management company for AV and control brands, of which I am the Co-Founder and Managing Director.
How did you get into the industry?
It was by complete chance. After university, I spent two years backpacking while managing hotels and restaurants on my travels. Upon my return to the UK, a friend from college asked me if I wanted a proper job working as a brand manager for QED Cables. I joined Armour Home Electronics and quickly progressed into managing the sales of several in-house brands including QED, Myriad, Goldring, and Grado. My time was split between developing products for the brands in China and then presenting them to distributors and sales managers across the world.
Which home technology do you consider the most important today and why?
I have an obvious bias towards video distribution and control. During the last 10 years, I have worked closely with a number of factories and brands at the heart of these sectors. The rapid sales growth of AV distribution and control has been an exciting ride to date, and it keeps getting better.
How long have you been a CEDIA member?
Blustream joined CEDIA in January 2018. Every other company I represent under the One Product brand is also a member.
What do you enjoy most about being a CEDIA member?
As a manufacturer, CEDIA offers us an amazing platform to engage with the wider industry. The Tech Forums during 2018 grew in importance throughout the year and quickly became the go-to regional events to engage with customers and industry peers.
What’s the biggest issue for home technology businesses today and how can they deal with it?
The onslaught of DIY smart homes solutions has dramatically increased the need for us to differentiate and add value for our customers. When delivering complete home control solutions, it’s vital to sell the benefits of integration platforms that make the smart home experience truly seamless.
If there was one thing you could change in the industry what would it be?
I would love to be able to standardize 4K resolutions for AV sources and screens. Over the last 18 months, we have witnessed the introduction of many new 4K resolutions and with that new multiple High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats. Broadcasters and streaming providers across the globe are all slowly introducing 4K services using different 4K standards making our job of keeping up a challenge.
A good example is SKY in Italy who is currently the first in Europe to roll out SKY 4K HDR services using Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). Nearly all 4K displays in Italy had to be updated before they could work with the new HLG signals. This market has become the only live environment for us to test all of our new 4K HDR extenders and matrix solutions.
What’s the best product that Blustream has launched into the home technology market in the last year?
Blustream Multicast is our flagship 4K Video over IP solution. During the past 12 months, we have added a host of new control and configuration features that have really given our platform an edge in the market. The year began with Multicast being deployed in a 1,000-end-point system in South Korea.
A successful project in minus 40-degree-C temperatures and multiple venues linked over 100km apart gave us amazing confidence in our product. Since the year began, we have witnessed significant migration and sales growth for our video over IP solutions.
What’s the next focus for Blustream?
Blustream has over 20 new products scheduled for launch in Q1 2019. The focus here is to deliver the ultimate range of 4K 18Gbps solutions via HDMI, HDBaseT, and IP. New products such as the 16x16 Custom Pro and V3 Platinum Matrix will expand our business into new installation categories and price points.
If you weren’t in the home technology sector, what would you like to be doing and why?
I would like to think in another life I would have been a lawyer or heading up a charity or even an overseas diplomat. I’ve not given up hope that one day I will get the chance to pursue one of these paths.