Q&A: Atlona’s Ilya Khayn Talks AV Distribution

CI speaks with Ilya Khayn, co-founder and CEO of Atlona, about the importance of reliability and 3rd party compatibility, sales tips and tactics, and where dealers get tripped up on installs.

CI Staff

The ability to transmit quality audio and video over long distances is no simple feat, and yet it is becoming more and more crucial to integration projects every year.

To better understand AV distribution, CI spoke to Ilya Khayn, co-founder and CEO of Atlona, a leading AV distribution system manufacturer serving classrooms, large and small businesses, hospitality venues and the home.

What would you say to dealers who are already familiar with your product line?

Expect to see a continuing progression of new products with features that meet the real-world needs of integrators. Expect Atlona to provide an expanding array of cutting-edge, cost-effective solutions that perform with rock-solid reliability and work with any control platform integrators prefer to implement.

There is a reason Atlona is the only company in the industry with a 10-year product warranty.

What would you say to dealers who are stumbling across your company for the first time?

Khayn: Take a good long look through our website, then talk to integrators who use our products. Ask about our quality, reliability, 3rd-party compatibility and ease of integration.

Ask about our in-person and online training, our 10-year warranty and “advance replacement” policy. Ask about our extensive sales and technical support and our dedication to customer satisfaction. Then ask yourself, can I think of any reason not to work with this brand?

Ilya Khayn
Email Address: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Company Name: Atlona
Twitter: @Atlona
Contact Info for those looking to become dealers: click here.

Tell us about one particularly interesting installation of your product.

Khayn: We can’t reveal the customer, but we have an installation in the production suite of a major-market pro sports stadium where our matrixes are being used to manage a dozen sources for the stadium’s digital signage system.

Also, B&H Photo & Video used all Atlona components for AV distribution to its 100-screen showroom in Manhattan. Many integrators don’t think of Atlona as being used in such mission-critical applications. Think again.

Besides the usual, what really specific thing differentiates you from your competitors?

Khayn: Our industry-exclusive 10-year warranty. We think that’s as bold a statement a company can make about product quality.

Also, we really work to provide integrators with components that are complete solutions, without needing additional products for necessary AV processing. By building it in, we end up with systems that are more reliable, less costly, faster to install, and easier to set up. Talk to dealers; they’ll confirm it.

What’s the best sales tip/tactic you’ve come across?

Khayn: Remember to ask your customers what they need or want before telling them what you have.

What one technical tip can you offer about installations?

Khayn: When installing HDBaseT, understand how cable affects performance, and pull the correct cable. Using the best quality cables and connectors may increase cost slightly, but they provide the strongest infrastructure.

Using a top-quality, solid-conductor shielded Cat6a cable provides great performance, capable of sending 4K video as far as 328 ft.

Where do dealers typically get tripped up on installs?

Khayn: Incorrect RS-232 hook-ups lead to a good amount of wasted time on many installations.  Make sure to know your component’s RS-232 pin outs and configuration (or have it handy).  Having a null modem adapter and an inline RS232/DB9 signal link tester can come in very handy.