Look Up Another Term

Definition: Video Toaster

An innovative video production and editing system for Windows from NewTek, Inc., San Antonio, TX (www.newtek.com). Known officially as the VT Series, Video Toaster was introduced in 1990 for the Amiga computer. Revolutionary at the time for the desktop video market, Video Toaster included hardware and software that provided digital effects, character generation and 3D animation. It also controlled professional analog tape decks, and its USD $5,000 price tag made it the most affordable broadcast-quality video system on the market.

In the mid-1990s, Commodore and the Amiga went out of business. In 1999, a Windows version of Toaster was released that supported uncompressed D1 digital video. In 2003, a greatly enhanced VT[3] version was introduced that continued the tradition of providing a professional video production environment at a fraction of the cost of mainstream editing systems. Major upgrade VT[5] came out in 2007 and included LiveSet, NewTek's proprietary, photo-realistic 3D virtual set system. See video/TV history.

Video Toaster Then
NewTek chose the Amiga for its advanced graphics in the early 1990s. The monitor (right) displayed the videotape and Video Toaster software provided the controls. Analog signals from the tape were converted to digital, edited in the computer and converted back to analog to a second tape deck. (Image courtesy of NewTek, Inc.)

Video Toaster Now
This turnkey system from Varto Technologies is an example of a Windows-based VT[3] system. Varto combines the Toaster card and software with several CPU options, a specialized keyboard and Windows to provide a video production system that costs under USD $10,000. VT systems such as this are equivalent to high-end editing systems that cost 10 times as much. (Image courtesy of Varto Technologies, www.vartotechnologies.com)