How Quality Cabling Helps to Make Your Connectivity Projects Future-Ready Today  

January 02, 2024 How Quality Cabling Helps to Make Your Connectivity Projects Future-Ready Today  

An exclusive Q&A with James Chen, managing director at Kordz, about the growing importance of high-performance cabling to the advancing connectivity needs of immersive content delivery systems. 

Cabling is fundamental to any modern home, yet it rarely receives the due attention it deserves. Slowly though, building professionals and consumers are beginning to recognise its importance for an easier, more enjoyable lifestyle enabled by technology. Industry leaders like James Chen, managing director at Kordz, have been instrumental in pushing this message to the world. Quality cable backed by a quality installation sets the rock-solid foundation homes and businesses need to stand the test of time and stay ahead of the technological curve. While some technologies come and go, with the right cabling backbone, a building can handle the connectivity needs of anything that comes its way for decades to come. Here, James shares his insights about cabling for technology and how quality cabling contributes to successful installations and business in professional integration—by mitigating costly service calls and impressing clients who will sing your praises, every time. 

Q: Tell us about the Kordz slogan, “It takes one to know one”. How does it reflect your experience and background in the industry, and how does it impact the way Kordz approaches the systems integration market?

James Chen: This 20-year slogan was inspired by the innate curiosity and in-the-field cabling installation experience of our tech team at Kordz. Qualities we came to realise we shared amongst us and also with our customers. We understand the inherent limitations of Wi-Fi as a networking solution, recognise the differences between mediocre and high-performance cabling, and know what it takes to execute a solid, reliable networking foundation because we’ve been there. We’ve applied what we’ve learned, what we know, and what we believe into the Kordz product line. A cable is not just a cable when you have to professionally install it and warrant it. Our expectation of a cable’s performance, especially one that exists in your walls, is that it lasts the lifetime of the building. With regards to cables, you know when you know and there are many signs to look for. We’re cable nerds and if you’re one too, you know, it just takes one to know one.

“The AV industry is on a precipice of monumental change, where the lines of technology and reality blur into one.” – James Chen

Q: What do you find exciting about designing technology? What draws you down this path, despite the risks involved in being a pioneer? 

JC: Technology is exciting and opens the door to awesome experiences. It can enhance our lives, and both extend and amplify our senses. For example, the technology inside The Sphere entertainment venue in Las Vegas heightens the senses so much, that when U2 performed there recently, lead singer Bono appeared awestruck. You would think such a legendary and seasoned musician would have been undistracted by the spectacle, but he was visibly affected by the technology and the immersion of his audience.  

The AV industry is on a precipice of monumental change, where the lines of technology and reality blur into one. This watershed moment can only happen when the technology is supported by a robust and reliable cabling infrastructure and connectivity. One that anticipates and transcends the many interoperability challenges that are bound to arise.   

I am excited to be able to participate at this level of immersive connectivity. There is a lot to do and contribute during this pivotal time in our evolution. 

Q: What drew you to the cabling business and what were some of the aspects you felt the need to address?

JC: During my stint as a technician, I found the installation of cabling a frustrating experience. The physical installation of cables is difficult, messy, tough on the hands, and when the cable is of poor quality, programming, calibration and long-term reliability become more difficult as well. There simply had to be a better way!  

I love all kinds of quality and artisan crafted products, and I find the science and physics of technology and industrial design fascinating. So ultimately this compelled me to pursue a career where I could combine my passions and actively work to create the kind of products I wished had been on the market when I was a technician, by resolving the issues commonly plaguing my colleagues and I, and making quality more affordable for widespread use.  

By the time the opportunity to work with Kordz arose, I had already successfully built many businesses for others and now craved the chance to do something for myself. Based on my prior experiences, building, engineering and designing better cabling seemed a logical, natural next step. 

Q: Can you relay a few experiences in the field that helped shape Kordz’ business philosophies, manufacturing processes and marketing strategies?

JC: Let’s face it, there are way too many cable brands, many of which emphasise somewhat esoteric advantages: visual appeal, product selection, price, or somewhat unscientific or unmeasurable performance. It can be difficult as a professional to find reliable and trustworthy brands that know what you want and have done the leg-work to make exactly what you need, so you don’t have to overthink it. What’s been missing is a focus on professional-grade quality and performance, which presented an opportunity for Kordz. So I thought, what if we could make cabling products that worked every time and with very specific scientific and measurable outcomes?  

Firstly, Kordz products undergo comprehensive, detailed testing to meet a minimum measurable and guaranteed performance level. Next, there’s certification—bandwidth capacity, fire resistance and compliance with the latest industry standards, to name a few. Materials make a difference too, so resilience, durability, flexibility, purity and pull tolerance are part of the cabling composition.  

At Kordz, we also insist on using advanced manufacturing techniques and high-grade machinery. We balance our machines to prevent vibration inconsistencies and ensure tooling accuracy and cycle rates. Additionally, we employ infrared soldering to ensure low heat, equal and repeatable joins and specialised vacuums to remove excess solder. These things all really matter for consistently high quality. 

Packaging was another area we continually evaluate, asking ourselves what systems technicians need on the packaging and what it should be made of to lower waste but improve inventory control.  

Q: What do you think needs to happen to draw attention to the importance of cabling – more education and training, better manufacturing processes, small changes in the design that make a big difference? 

Better education about the importance of high-quality cabling to the performance of emerging technologies will help technicians on the job. So, too, will learning from experience. When projects go wrong, it helps technicians to identify the specific limitations of poor quality cabling and motivates them to understand the science and look for better solutions. The quest for greater connectivity reliability is also driving demand for proper infrastructures that are well engineered, certified and capable of supporting the growing number of connected devices.     

“It’s about working smarter, not harder, and doing things right the first time, so they last the test of time.” – James Chen

Q: What are some ways technicians can do a better job of promoting the importance of cabling to their customers and how can manufacturers help them drive greater appreciation and understanding among their clientele?

JC: Technicians need to partner with a cable supplier that knows what they’re talking about and supports them with great products and guidance – not only about installation best practice but also how to prepare their businesses for technological advancements. It’s about working smarter, not harder, and doing things right the first time, so they last the test of time. At Kordz, we are continually working on bringing out tools and handy reference information that makes this easier for our customers. 

Q: What are key drivers (the market, emerging technologies etc.) in the systems integration industry today, and how does cabling play a role?

JC: We are at the cusp of massive increases in data load. This stems not just from increased resolution and frame rate or colour depth, but also from a huge increase in the sheer number of devices and sensors. AGI, Blockchain and more complex timed security protocols will further intensify demand with short response times. With the requirements for instant or fast reaction times and the massive increase in consumption, cables are definitely here to stay, and actually, more important than ever to keep our modern world turning. 

The electrical grid is also becoming more prevalent in cabling discussions. More devices, consuming more power, require more cabling and more power to run them. 

Q: What does 2024 hold in store for cabling and what do manufacturers, suppliers and systems technicians need to do to stay a step ahead? 

JC: My advice is that if you think you need it, put it in. If you don’t think you need it, put it in anyway, especially in all the hard-to-reach places. Cabling doesn’t cost a lot to install during framing but it costs time, money, hassle and many swear words afterwards from both the person retrofitting it and the person paying for it. 

To learn more about Kordz and its broad range of industry-leading connectivity solutions, please check out our range. 

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