I first met Dejan Sekan during a workshop we held in Cyprus in 2011. Customers? In Limassol? I thought there were only tourists, most of them Russian. Nevertheless we met in a real office, in a nice conference room. Deyan Automation has been serving broadcast clients worldwide since 2003. I recently talked to Dejan, the company’s founder and chief engineer, about his company and its products.
I am originally from Serbia. Came here to Cyprus in year 2000, got a job here, and in the meantime developed all this stuff and became technical manager as well as started my own business.
The station Dejan joined 14 years ago is Middle East Television, “I work as a technical manager for the same station now :) and have my own business as well.”
There was an Odetics automation software that was controlling playout of the station and after some time I became annoyed with some features, so I started developing my own. I had previous experience as a programmer, both for computer software as well as micro controllers for industrial electronics. Since I spent a lot of my time developing playout automation software (and made a much better one than Odetics that I used as a reference, and that was a leading automation company at the time, but it went out of business many years ago) I decided to try selling it due to high cost of that type of software. After some time there appeared some solutions that included everything, like a station in a box (Playbox, for example) so I decided it’s best to purchase your product instead of developing a playout solution myself and then integrate it with existing playout automation, which is what I am doing now.
Deyan Automation flagship product is AirServer — a broadcast-grade automation system with MPlatform in the heart of its playout and graphics modules. It includes a playlist scheduling application, a CG editor and automation that controls third-party video servers. “Some other things that is does is interfacing to invoicing and billing applications,” Dejan continues. “It controls third-party character generators, video switchers, video routers, logo inserters etc. Due to the fact that it has a database, the user can store various metadata. It supports processional VDCP protocol, which is a standard for any professional video server.”
“Thanks to MPlatform :),” Dejan added, “it plays a large number of files and has advanced graphics overlays (not just logos and still images). But my automation would be difficult to sell now without play out engine since everyone is going to a ‘all-in-one’ solution. So that’s why having MPlatform is a must now.”
AirServer ships in the form of a 3RU or 2RU box with an i7, 8 GB of RAM and 4 TB of storage. There are options for storage size, RAID and dual power supplies. Blackmagic boards are used for I/O. Depending on the customer’s requirements, it is Decklink, Decklink Duo, Studio, HD Extreme 4K, Quad or Intensity. Decklink Mini Monitor and Decklink Mini Recorder are used with the software-only version as well.
AirServer Lite is a software-only playout solution. The customer is free to choose the I/O hardware depending on the number of channels and the kind of connectors he needs.
Dejan, thanks for chatting with me. It is a pleasure for us to have you as a customer for so many years!