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Video Toaster

Software/hardware developed by NewTek for the Amiga Computer. Made special effects affordable for the low budget producer.

The NewTek Video Toaster is a combination of hardware and software for the editing and production of NTSC standard-definition video. The plug-in expansion card initially worked with the Amiga 2000 computer and provides a number of BNC connectors on the exposed rear edge that provides connectivity to common analog video sources like VHS. The related software tools support video switching, chroma-keying, character generation, animation, and image manipulation.

Together, the hardware and software provided a low-cost video editing suite for a few thousand U.S. dollars that rivaled the output of professional systems costing ten times as much at the time. It allowed small studios to produce high-quality material and resulted in a cottage industry for video production not unlike the success of the Macintosh in the desktop publishing (DTP) market only a few years earlier. The Video Toaster won the Emmy Award for Technical Achievement in 1993. Other parts of the original software package were spun off as stand-alone products, notably LightWave 3D, and achieved success on their own.

As the Amiga platform lost market share and Commodore International went bankrupt in 1994 as a result of declining sales, the Video Toaster was moved to the Microsoft Windows platform where it is still available. The company also produces what is essentially a portable pre-packaged version of the Video Toaster along with all the computer hardware needed, as the TriCaster. These became all-digital units in 2014, ending production of the analog Video Toaster line.

Key Terms

combination hardware
definition
editing
newtek video toaster
plug expansion card
production ntsc standard definition video
software
success
usage
video toaster

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Video Toaster
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Last modified on October 4 2019
Content adapted from Wikipedia
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