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Industry News

Published on February 24th, 2014 | by The GC Team


CAI Feature: Evolving Connectivity 2014 – a quantum leap

It matters not how good you are at selling a TV set – it will only be as good as the quality of signal you feed in.  Confederation of Aerial Industries Ltd (CAI) senior executive Tim Jenks looks forward to the NEC show on 30th April which supports feeding broadcast signal, video, audio and data to TVs in the home.

“Last year saw the CAI make a radical move into hosting a show at the NEC Birmingham.  The NEC is the UK’s premier exhibition site, reserved usually for huge players in global markets, so it was brave, smart or very silly.  It turned out to be one of the best decisions ever made in the 36-year history of the confederation.

“There were no negative comments at all. Exhibitors can be fickle – travelling visitors critical of location – but all agreed this is one of the best places for a show of this nature. The demise or amalgamation of most UK shows with huge European exhibitions made Evolving Connectivity a ‘must visit’ exhibition if you were involved in signal networks.

“Radical changes were afoot last year with the launch of 4G mobile services in bandwidth long occupied by TV broadcasters.  There were some controversial arguments and fears. Most turned out unfounded but it generated huge interest in how and where terrestrial TV would be affected. Many flocked to hear the 4G or ‘LTE’ story and the show focused on the word ‘mitigation’ and product that would allow TV and mobile phones to co-exist.

“Today, the talk is all about the connected home. Articles and newsletters saturate our inboxes about clever network devices that will link everything in the home together. Networking around a household is still miles from the average man’s thinking but there can be no doubt that ‘smart home technology’ is where installers are going to be earning their corn in the future as broadband an internet protocol dominate our lives.  

“The high-end market of home entertainment has long been the fodder of companies with the foresight and wit to venture into high margin product and installation. The average antenna installer finds it harder to switch.  Taking time to soak up education requires the downtime to study and that can mean missing income from the well-known distress market that aerials and satellite generate. The bad weather has created an upsurge in the replacement antenna game.  The trade is reluctant to shift from what it knows. 

“However, the tumble over the digital cliff taught many a salutary lesson.  A major terrestrial aerial market had flourished since 2006 and with digital switch completion it appeared to die overnight. Only those who had embraced the smarter home were to survive a massive cull in the installation trade.

Evolving Connectivity 2014 at the NEC Pavilion on Wednesday 30th April will help many make what seems like a quantum leap into fresh markets for cabling and connectivity skills. The exhibition encompasses a set of talks aimed and educating and inspiring.” 

The guest list and full programme for Evolving Connectivity 2014 can be found at the CAI website www.cai.org.uk. Click on the link at the top of the home page.


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