A history of the Amiga, part 9: The Video Toaster | Ars Technica

Jeremy Reimer’s long-running History of the Amiga series is back to tackle the killer app: video effects.

The world of video in 1985 was very different from what we know today. Not only was there no YouTube, there was no World Wide Web to view video on. Video content was completely analog and stored on magnetic tape.

The very first Amiga contained a genlock, which matched video timings with an NTSC or PAL signal and allowed the user to overlay this signal with the Amiga’s internally generated graphics. The first person to realize the potential of this was an engineer living in Topeka, Kansas. His name was Tim Jenison.

Montgomery asked Jenison if the Amiga would be able to serve as the centerpiece for a video effects generator. Jenison liked the idea, but Montgomery kept pushing: “What about squeezing the image and flipping it?” he asked.

“No, that would take a $100,000 piece of equipment.” Jenison replied.

“OK, yeah, I knew that,” Montgomery said. “But it would be pretty cool if you could do it.”

The prototype was unveiled at Comdex in November 1987, causing quite a stir. By itself, the Toaster was already an impressive video effects board at an unbeatable price. But Jenison and the NewTek engineers wanted it to be much more.


Posted from WordPress for Android


Be the first to post a comment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *