Blustream, an Australia- and U.K.-based manufacturer of AV distribution solutions, has formed a strategic partnership with RTI to distribute its lineup of HDBaseT, AV-over-IP, and HDMI distribution products to the U.S. resimercial market.
“After six years of building an international footprint — with our solutions used in mission-critical installations worldwide — we are ready to bring Blustream to the U.S. market,” says Martyn Shirley, Blustream founder and general manager. “And we are thrilled to be partnering with RTI to build our U.S. operations and introduce Blustream to U.S. integrators.”
RTI’s strategic partnership with the company enables the formation of a new Blustream US division focused on sales, service and distribution for both commercial AV and residential custom installation. Heading up Blustream US are industry veterans Jason Dominique as director of sales and Jason Fitzgerald as product manager.
A new website for U.S. dealers launched today at blustream-us.com with live chat and a dealer portal for resources such as training videos, on-demand webinars and spec sheets. U.S. dealers will be able to access tech support 24/6. RTI will inventory Blustream products in its headquarters in Shakopee, Minn., and Dominique will be working to set up selected value-added distributors in the U.S. for Blustream in the security, post-production AV, residential AV, and commercial AV channels.
R&D will continue to come from Melbourne, Australia with the product manufactured in Shenzhen, China. The partnership does not extend into Canada, where Evolution Home Corp. has been distributing Blustream for the past five years.
The new U.S. division will serve both the residential and commercial segments with 15 categories of equipment and 70 individual SKUs. In the residential space, Blustream is platform-agnostic, with custom drivers for its signal extenders, matrix switchers and video-over-IP system for Control4, Crestron, ELAN, Savant, RTI, and URC. On the commercial side, Blustream’s solutions include matrixes and multi-format presentation switchers to enable signal transmission of 4K 18Gbps 4:4:4 resolution via both HDMI and HDBaseT.
The Multicast UHD distribution platform uses lossless compression technology to deliver virtually latency-free HDMI video up to 328 feet over a 1Gb network switch. This video over IP solution can be set up in minutes without the need for any networking qualifications, is infinitely scalable for large systems, and installs and operates with a drag-and-drop simplicity from its web interface.
“’Effortless’ is great description of the system,” says Fitzgerald. “With only six clicks, dragging and dropping from sources to displays, you can have videowall and digital signage applications up and running.The system also has baked-in capability to restrict who has access to what, so it is ideal for applications like bars and restaurants where you want the bartender to only have the ability to switch sources.”
Shirley says by late Q1 of 2021, Blustream will have three new solutions targeted for the U.S. market: a High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) H.265 solution, an uncompressed, no latency SDVOE solution, and its current platform.
The partnership gives RTI the ability to gain an immediate foothold in the video distribution space with a proven product portfolio.
“We are enthusiastic to be partnering with Blustream,” says RTI CEO Joe Roberts. “This aligns with our commercial strategy by adding a purpose-built AV distribution line to RTI command and control, creating more solutions for commercial and Pro AV markets.”
“This was a unique opportunity for us to jump into the highly competitive area of AV distribution,” Roberts tells CE Pro. “RTI would not have been able to replicate a product line of this depth on its own. Blustream has same resimercial approach that RTI does. Plus, they have already proven it in other markets versus U.S. I think it was a smart decision by Blustream to target smaller markets first outside the U.S. first; now they have a tried and true catalog of products ready to hit the ground running, particular on the commercial side.”
As part of the partnership, Blustream will be the OEM for RTI’s own branded line of video-over-IP products, according to Roberts.
“It’s not just about the products and the specs, but the service and support we provide the integrators installing our products,” concludes Dominique. “RTI has always held this commitment, and that’s why our partnership in the new Blustream US is the right move to deliver on the Blustream promise of AV distribution without compromise.”