Softron-Microcomputing S.A. was founded as an Apple Dealer (yes, before the Mac was released) so we sold Apple II and Apple III computers along with custom management applications. Christian and Daniel were hired as contractors back then (mostly for programming and creating serial interfaces with printers and other devices).
Apple introduces the Mac and Softron becomes the first Belgian Apple reseller to have it available. We immediately saw the potential of a user-friendly computer and started pushing it into large corporations and smaller businesses.
Softron specializes in Desktop Publishing and is very successful in distributing U.S.-manufactured products in Belgium. Softron also develops the first audio jingles playout application on the Mac using the Digidesign professional audio interfaces. OnTheAir Studio was born.
We start selling the first Mac-based video card (still analog by then); the NuVista. It enabled users to capture and output still images in SD video format.
Christian and Daniel, along with a few other employees and friends decide to buy the company back from its owners.
Softron begins the distribution of the Video Explorer card from Intelligent Resources. It was the first card to support digital SDI and provide realtime effects on the Mac platform. Its modular architecture made it ideal when used in combination with a video storage card like the Digital Magic. The card is an immediate success and Softron eventually obtains the European distribution for the card.
Softron starts developing VTR-control software for Mac with a sophisticated calendar-like interface: TVScheduler and TVPlayer were born. In order to distribute these applications in the U.S. market, Softron partners with Intelligent Resources to found "Intelligent Broadcasting Systems" as a joint-venture company. Softron also starts reselling Avid solutions on the Belgian market.
Softron partners with German-based video card manufacturer "FAST Electronics" to distribute the first DV-based video card on the Mac in the U.S. and Belgian markets.
This PCI card included a DV compression and decompression chip which allowed for realtime capture and playback of DV video streams. This allows for the creation of our first video playout application: "OnTheAir Video DV".
2000 - 2004
Development of the first PCI-based video player called "OnTheAir Video PCI" to use with Blackmagic Decklink video cards. The success is immediate!
Softron releases, in partnership with Apple France, the first remote-controllable edit-while-ingest application for the Mac: MovieRecorder. Softron also starts exhibiting at IBC in Amsterdam and at the NAB in Las Vegas, Nevada. 2007 also sees the arrival of Mike Skibra, a legend in the industry, as Business Development Manager. That is when the sales really start to pick-up.
Release of OnTheAir CG 1, creating the first Character Generator on the Mac for live and broadcast operations. Allowing TV stations to handle graphics on the Mac.
Release of MovieRecorder 2 enabling multi-channel recording and a completely redesigned user-interface.
The same year, we release OnTheAir Video Express 1, making a broadcast video player on the Mac even more affordable
OnTheAir Manager and OnTheAir Node 1 are released. The calendar type of user interface of OnTheAir Manager brings an unequaled ease-of-use to TV stations scheduling.
EAS Controller is released to handle the Emergency Alert System in the USA.
Multicam Logger is released making post production easier then ever. The same year, Softron releases the first HTTP Live Streaming encoder on the Mac, showing once again that it's ahead of the pack with MovieStreamer HLS.
Release of OnTheAir Video and OnTheAir Video Express 3 with a totally redesigned playout engine allowing the support of more codecs (including long-gop) and a totally new user-interface while keeping the same user-friendliness.
OnTheAir CG 3 is released as well, our character generator application with our signature open and intuitive user interface.
Release of the M|80, the first ever multi-channel ingest hardware and software bundle allowing for the capture of 8 channels of HD with the newly released Mac Pro and a single Thunderbolt 2 connection. The same year, we release OnTheAir Node 3, based on the same engine as OnTheAir Video 3.
We continue the modernization of our playout applications with the release of OnTheAir CG 3, based on the same engine as OnTheAir Video 3 and OnTheAir Node 3. We also release OnTheAir Live 3 and OnTheAir Manager 3 that year.
M|Replay is released, the first instant video replay solution on the Mac. It has since been used in some extremely high profile sports events.
MovieRecorder 4 is released, adding valuable new features, and MovieRecorder Express, a simplified and even lower-cost recording solution, makes its debut. NDI capability added to all applicable applications.
Streaming Center, the easiest RTMP and RTSP streaming solution on the Mac, is released
OnTheAir Video 4 and OnTheAir Video Express 4 are released, offering the most robust and comprehensive playout software on the market.
We continue to add new features to OnTheAir Video 4 and OnTheAir Video Express 4 with version 4.1. All our applications are also migrated to Apple Silicon.
Softron Virtual Exhibition is presented, in lieu of the NAB 2021 show that was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.