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IBC 2015: InBroadcast Talks with Chris Smeeton of Argosy

October 12, 2015


InBroadcast: Hi, Steven Preston for InBroadcast and with me today is Chris Smeeton from Argosy and he's going to tell me about what developments have happened in the company since the takeover by IEWC.

Chris Smeeton: It's been pretty positive. It's been, I think, because of the synergy between the two companies. IEWC has a global presence and they're now separating the Broadcast & Communications division as Argosy which I think reflects on the good branding work that we've done. It gives us an opportunity to take that brand through to North America, Latin America, they've also got an Asia-Pacific division so we can concentrate there. Obviously our own strengths have been very much EMEA focused, Europe and the Middle East. I think it's great. I think we can leverage the resources in the organization and tap into the talent we have there right through from supply chain management and inventory and do what distributors should do - get the right product to the right place at the right time.

InBroadcast: So you've got new and different opportunities in the cards, then?

Chris Smeeton: Yes, I think that one of the things about IEWC is that they have a very broad spectrum of business that they're involved in, automation, all different types of vertical markets. If we can tap into some of that expertise as well, then with the convergence we're seeing in broadcast and IT technology, then we can start to leverage that resource and use it to our advantage. I think things like the global commercial AV market is a perfect goal for us to go in and start taking some of our expertise and trying to chip away at that market, get some market share.

inBroadcast: How is the market changing and what are some of the trends?

Chris Smeeton: Well the market has been challenging, if I'm being honest. I think everyone has seen a slowdown in the amount of project that are out there. I think one of the positive things is with that bigger company mentality we can spot trends a bit easier. What the industry is looking for is some clarity on the 4K and 8K standards issue. Once they move to that then the broadcasters and the systems integrators can start asking for proof of concepts and that then starts to engage the likes of ourselves, the systems integrators, and we can start going and doing what we do best which is product test and evaluation. Until then, though, I feel like the market is slightly stalled until we get through that little hurdle. I think the broadcasters will then start looking at the length of their installation materials and the cycle of their projects and will really kick start everything.

InBroadcast: So going forward you're looking at 4K and 8K development?

Chris Smeeton: Yes, I think it has to be on everyone's radar. Everything is so bandwidth hungry now, everyone is looking for headroom in the equipment. We're obviously talking to our supply chain about if we go fiber, or is it structured cable? So one of the things we've done very early is put in a fiber termination facility in the UK. And of course the bigger organization can draw on that experience. Hopefully we'll see these opportunities and be able to react and respond. I think it takes in some nice areas of product development with some tactical fiber, SMPTE, camera cables, certainly a lot of structured cable, so I think when the whole IP issue and the 4K and 8K thing comes on we'll be in perfect shape.

InBroadcast: So what new products do you have for this show?

Chris Smeeton: Well I think the work we're doing with fiber termination is leading us into some sort of deployable systems for tactical fiber, so here at IBC we have some deployable drums, some really nice stackable drums which sort of leads us into the OB market quite nicely, so I think the thing we really want to do at this show is get out and see the OB guys, show them the new products and hopefully generate some business.

InBroadcast: Chris, thank you very much for talking to me. This has been Steven Preston for InBroadcast.

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