NewTek, Inc. is a San Antonio, Texas–based hardware and software company that produces live and post-production video tools and visual imaging software for personal computers. The company was founded in 1985 in Topeka, Kansas, United States, by Tim Jenison and Paul Montgomery. On 1st of April 2019 it was announced that NewTek would be wholly acquired by Vizrt.[1]

NewTek, Inc.
FoundedKansas, United States (1985)
FounderTim Jenison
HeadquartersSan Antonio, Texas, United States
Key people
Tim Jenison, Founder
Andrew Cross, PhD,
President and CTO
Steve Doubleday, CFO


In 2005, NewTek introduced TriCaster, a product that merges live video switching, broadcast graphics, virtual sets, special effects, audio mixing, recording, social media publishing and web streaming into an integrated, portable and compact appliance. TriCaster was announced at DEMO@15 and then launched at NAB 2005. At NAB 2006, NewTek announced TriCaster PRO, which introduced professional video and audio connections and virtual sets (using proprietary NewTek LiveSet technology) to the TriCaster line. At NAB 2007, NewTek introduced TriCaster STUDIO, the first TriCaster to support six cameras. At NAB 2008, NewTek introduced TriCaster BROADCAST, the first model to deliver SDI video and audio support also video. In early 2009, NewTek introduced 3PLAY, a portable multi-channel HD/SD slow motion replay system. At NAB 2009, NewTek introduced TriCaster TCXD300, the first high definition TriCaster. At NAB 2009, NewTek introduced TriCaster TCXD850, a 22-channel high definition model in a rack mount form factor. The TCXD850 won four industry awards:[2] the Winners Circle Award, STAR, Vidy and Black Diamond awards from EventDV, TV Technology, Videography and DV magazines, respectively, at NAB 2010.[3]

In 2004, NewTek released the source code to some of their Amiga Platform products.[4]

In 2015, NewTek announced the Network Device Interface (NDI®) protocol which allows applications and devices to transport high quality, low latency video over gigabit Ethernet networks. The protocol was available public products starting in early 2016. In 2017, version 3 of the protocol was released, which adds multicast support, a high-efficiency mode called NDI-HX and other new features.

Product line

Video Switching/Video Mixing

All systems offer features for clip playback, titling, virtual sets, streaming, multi-channel recording and NDI input/output.

  • IP Series VMC1: Largest rackmount solution, supporting up to 44 inputs of external video, dual channel streaming, two channels of Skype TX and UHD support.
  • TriCaster TC1: Sixteen input rackmount solution, dual channel streaming, two channels of Skype TX\and UHD support.
  • TriCaster Mini series, desktop unit 4 HD/SD Inputs available in either HDMI or SDI.
  • TriCaster XD400 series, rackmount unit 4 HD/SD SDI Video Inputs (460 model also includes analog video support).
  • TriCaster XD8000, rackmount unit 8 HD/SD Analog and SDI Video Inputs with additional advanced features.

Instant Replay

A multi-channel high definition/standard definition slow motion replay system.

  • 3PLAY 3P1: 4 In/2 Out solution supporting both SDI and NDI for inputs and outputs, includes a telestration application, supports up to 3G-SDI video formats.
  • 3PLAY 4800: Largest solution, supports 8 SDI inputs and 2 SDI/NDI outputs.
  • 3PLAY 425: A cost-effective solution, supporting 4 SDI inputs and 2 SDI/NDI outputs.

Skype for Broadcast

  • TalkShow VS4000: A four channel Skype TX product to bring remote callers into a video production.
  • TalkShow VS100: A single channel Skype TX product.

Expansion Products

  • Connect NC1 IO: Eight channel NDI/SDI conversion product, supports conversion in either direction.
  • Connect NC1 IN: Four channel of SDI to NDI conversion.
  • MediaDS: Four channel streaming encoder supporting SDI/NDI input, also includes a Wowza streaming server with pre-configured streaming pages.
  • PTZ1 Camera: Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera with built-in NDI support.
  • Connect Spark: Stand alone SDI/HDMI to NDI converter, supports wired or wireless operation and on board recording.

Accessory products

  • Advanced Edition for TriCaster (software upgrade that adds NDI Advanced Workflow IP support and other features to most current TriCaster models)
  • LiveText (standalone CG program for TriCaster)
  • Virtual Set Editor (virtual set builder/editor tool for TriCaster)
  • Control Surfaces (hardware control interfaces for TriCaster units)
  • TimeWarp (single channel instant replay option for TriCaster)
  • SpeedEDIT (standalone NLE).

NDI Applications

  • NewTek NDI Connect Pro - full-featured application with conversion of up to 4 video sources into or out of NDI
  • NDI Connect - free version with conversion of up to 2 sources into or out of NDI
  • NewTek IsoCorder Pro - full-featured application that can capture up to 16 NDI sources
  • NDI IsoCorder - free version with capture of up to 2 NDI sources
  • NDI Tools - free application package with five NDI tools (Scan Converter, Monitor, Test Pattern Generator, Group Manager VLC plug-in, Adobe CC plug-in and Virtual Input)
  • NDI Telestrator - application to allow a user to draw on video, typically used in sports broadcasting
  • NDI AirSend Updater - allows updating of older 'AirSend' software applications that haven't released an NDI native version

3D Graphics

Lightwave 3D: A complete 3D modeling, rendering and animation system used in motion pictures, television programs, commercials and video games.

Company history

The company's first products included DigiView in 1986[5] and DigiPaint, both for the Commodore Amiga personal computer.

DigiView was the first full-color video digitizer, and added slow-scan digitizing capabilities to the Amiga platform, allowing images to be imported at low cost, before modern image scanning technology was widely available. Consisting of an input module that allowed the connection of a standard black-and-white video camera (security cameras were popularly used), greyscale images could be captured to the Amiga. With the addition of a color wheel, full-color images could be captured by rotating the wheel's red, green, and blue segments in front of the lens and capturing the same image three times, once through each filter. This could be done manually, or with a further motorized accessory. The software combined the color information from the three images into one color image. According to the company, DigiView sold over 100,000 units.[6]

The Amiga hardware included the ability to display 4096 colors on the screen simultaneously, and DigiPaint allowed graphic artists to draw with a variety of tools in that full-color space at a time when IBM PCs were typically limited to between 4 and 16 colors. The DigiPaint product offered at release the unique capability of editing and painting on images in the Amiga's unique hold-and-modify high color mode in real time.

The company found widespread fame and started the desktop-video revolution with the release of the Video Toaster, an innovative system for low-cost video switching and post production.[6][7] The company was featured in magazine articles in such mainstream publications as Rolling Stone and was featured on the NBC Nightly News. In the early 1990s, a proliferation of video effects in television shows is directly attributable to the Video Toaster's effect of lowering the cost of video-processing hardware from the $100K range into the $4K range. One specific example is the television show Home Improvement, which used a video toaster transition for every cut between scenes—beginning with black-and-white transitions in the early 90s, and upgrading to color and 3D transition effects as later versions of the Video Toaster were released.

In addition, the company developed Lightwave 3D, a 3D modeling, rendering, and animation system, which has been used extensively in television and film, with early adoption by the television series Babylon 5, which eschewed models for space scenes, and was 100% CGI from the first episode using the NewTek software.

The fame of Video Toaster extended beyond the product; the company's founder Tim Jenison and its Vice President Paul Montgomery also were presented as new types of entrepreneurs running a new and different kind of company.[8]

Jenison and Montgomery eventually split, with Montgomery leaving to help form a new company called Play, Inc., which ceased operations after Montgomery's untimely death.[9][10]

Now[11] based in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A., the company is led by Jenison, and former magazine publisher and ReplayTV executive, Jim Plant, who is the President and CEO.

In 2005, NewTek founder, Tim Jenison was inducted into the San Antonio Inventors Hall of Fame as the "Father of Desktop Video".

In April 2019 NewTek was acquired by Vizrt for a undislosed sum [12]

Notable personalities

Tim Jenison

The founder of the company, Tim Jenison[13][14] is well recognized in the Amiga Computer community and at Siggraph. In addition to his efforts at NewTek, a personal interest in the artwork and skill of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer led to an investigation of the artist's technique, and a feature film documentary entitled Tim's Vermeer. The movie was released in early 2014,[15][16][17][18][19] and was directed by Teller, and executive produced by Penn & Teller, with distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.

Kiki Stockhammer

A spokesperson for the NewTek products, Kiki Stockhammer provided many demonstration images that were used in introductory videos, as well as providing her silhouette for a number of transition effects included with the Video Toaster.


  1. "NewTek acquired by Vizrt". IBC. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  2. Archived January 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Braff, Carolyn. "An Award-Winning NAB for NewTek". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  4. "Open Video Toaster". Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  5. "Make New Tech Movies with NewTek" (PDF). Danbury Area Computer Society, Inc. June 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 20, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  6. "2.05: Flying Toasters". Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  7. "NewTek Toaster [2]: TV Studio in a Box". 2002-01-17. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  8. "Newtek and the Video Toaster". 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  9. "A Hollywood Star Called...Newtek?". Businessweek. 1998-09-20. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  10. Wil Wheaton (22 June 2004). Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". pp. 250–. ISBN 978-0-596-55557-3.
  11. "NewTek relocating to San Antonio". San Antonio Business Journal. 1997-08-17. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  13. Triangulation (4 September 2013). "Triangulation 118: Tim Jenison". Retrieved 24 May 2017 via YouTube.
  14. "Triangulation 118 Tim Jenison - TWiT.TV". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  15. "Sony Pictures Classics Unlocks Tim's Vermeer". 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  16. "Teller's 'Tim's Vermeer' Bought By Sony Classics". Variety. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  17. Itzkoff, Dave. "A Documentary by Teller Explores the Magic of Vermeer". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  18. Adam Benzine (2013-07-29). "Sony Pictures Classics picks up "Tim's Vermeer"". Realscreen. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  19. Peter Debruge Chief International Film Critic @AskDebruge (2013-09-02). "'Tim's Vermeer' Review: Penn and Teller Uncover Dutch Painter's Secret". Variety. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
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