There Has Got To Be A Better Way  Joon Ryu,
The Pioneer of Digital Connectivity

Interviewed by Sonny Davé

A few years before the options of affordable digital connectivity, a pioneer Joon Ryu of Sparta, New Jersey, emerged. To face the daunting challenge every father must face: not getting up every hour to change the wires on the digital TV because the wife or children want to watch her program on satellite or the kids want to play their game system. At the time digital connectivity solutions were almost non-existent or very expensive. Joon, an engineer by profession, thought to himself there must be a better way.  He came up with a high quality digital connector that had virtually no signal degradation when connecting one or more devices to a digital TV. He founded RTcom USA in 2001.

As an industry pioneer, RTcom USA works closely with the major international standards-setting bodies to develop and tailor its products for the needs of system integrators, home theater consumers and A/V equipment manufacturers. The companys products, sold under the Digital Extender® brand, include fiber optic DVI/HDMI extension systems, HDTV switchers, distribution amplifiers, matrix routers, signal converters, digital cables and adapters. Since its founding in 2001, RTcom USA has maintained manufacturing and R&D facilities in the U.S. and Korea.

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joon Ryu, president and founder of  RTcom USA Inc. RTcom USA is a leading manufacturer of professional digital audio-visual and personal computer digital connectivity products.

Q1.   What led you to start RTcom?

A1.   Basically I bought an expensive digital TV a few years ago and tried to connect several sources such as DVD player, set-top box, game console, computer and more, but the digital TV did not have enough digital ports. My children kept calling me and asked how they can change and reconnect the cables. So, I developed a switcher to solve the problem and RTcom was born at that time. My children never called me again with the issue afterwards.

Q2.   How many employees do you have?

A2.   We have 24 employees at RTcom. Some of them are in Korea for R&D and others are in US.

Q3.   What challenges do you face in trying to differentiate yourself from the competition or just being in the HD market in general?

A3.   The HD market is developing so fast and many companies are facing difficulties in  developing  new products. RTcom has followed digital technology since the beginning of digital market (9-10 years ago) and have well accumulated our own digital technology. RTcom has developed new products every quarter and has several “first- in- the- world” products.

Q4.   What kind of products?

A4.   We just announced the innovation of the world’s first Expandable Digital Matrix Router - EDM-1818M. The new router simultaneously supports multiple digital video formats, allowing integrators to use a single device for all digital signal types instead of a separate matrix switcher for each signal type.

We also announced the HDS-Series, an innovative and high-performance family of high-definition converters. With models for converting HD SDI/SDI to DVI or SDI to HDMI, the HDS-Series converters support both upscaling and downscaling for PC and HDTV timing.

This is the ideal solution for broadcast engineers, the HDS-Series is a cost-effective solution giving newsrooms the ability to avoid having to invest in costly HD-SDI/SDI compatible monitors or displays.

Q5.   How are you superior to your competition?

A5.   Quality and cutting-edge innovation.  Basically, competitors are all OEM basis wholesalers, meaning that some other manufacturers make the products in China and put their name on the products. If a customer has a problem with a product, it cannot be fixed because it is not based on their own technology and therefore the customer is just requested to return it.

At RTcom, we can fix and upgrade products easily right from Sparta, NJ, because we develop and manufacture them.

Q6.  Do you have any big name accounts?

A6.   Many department stores set up their displays with our products such as switchers for multi sources and distributors for multi displays. We have sold product to NFL Films, CNBC, JVC, Panasonic, Best Buy, Fry’s electronics, and products are being used in government applications too.

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