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NewTek, Inc.
Industry Software
Founded Kansas, USA (1985)
Founder Tim Jenison
Headquarters San Antonio, Texas, USA
Key people
Tim Jenison, Founder
Jim Plant, CEO
Andrew Cross, PhD, President and CTO
Steve Doubleday, CFO
Carter Holland, EVP Marketing
Philip Nelson, Jr., CRO

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, U.S., by Tim Jenison and Paul Montgomery.


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. 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 2010, NewTek introduced TriCaster TCXD850, a 22-channel high definition model in a rack mount form factor. The TCXD850 won four industry awards:[1] the Winners Circle Award, STAR, Vidy and Black Diamond awards from EventDV, TV Technology, Videography and DV magazines, respectively, at NAB 2010.[2]

In 2004, NewTek released the source code to some of their Amiga Platform products.[3]

Current product line[edit]

LightWave 3D[edit]

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


A line of portable live production systems for broadcasting, live streaming, recording, and virtual sets. TriCaster models include TriCaster XD40 (4 SD/HD Analog Video Inputs), Mini HD-4 (4 SD/HD HDMI Video Inputs), XD410 (4 SD/HD Digital Video Inputs), XD460(4 SD/HD Analog/Digital Video Inputs), XD860(8 SD/HD A/D Video Inputs), and the XD8000 (8 SD/HD A/D Video Inputs with additional advanced features).


A multi-channel high definition/standard definition slow motion replay system. 3Play models include the 3Play 425 and the advanced 3Play 4800.


A broadcast Skype TX system.

Accessory products[edit]

  • 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).

Company history[edit]

The company's first products included DigiView in 1986[4] and DigiPaint, both for the Commodore Amiga personal computer. These products were category leading applications when released.

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.

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.[5][6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

Now 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".

Notable personalities[edit]

Tim Jenison[edit]

The founder of the company, Tim Jenison 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,[9][10][11][12][13] and was directed by Teller, and executive produced by Penn & Teller, with distribution by Sony Classic Pictures.[14]

Kiki Stockhammer[edit]

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. ^ [1] Archived January 20, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Braff, Carolyn. "An Award-Winning NAB for NewTek". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Open Video Toaster". Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  4. ^ "Make New Tech Movies with NewTek" (PDF). Danbury Area Computer Society, Inc. June 1998. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ "2.05: Flying Toasters". Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  6. ^ "NewTek Toaster [2]: TV Studio in a Box". 2002-01-17. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  7. ^ "Newtek and the Video Toaster". 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  8. ^ "A Hollywood Star Called...Newtek?". Businessweek. 1998-09-20. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  9. ^ "Sony Pictures Classics Unlocks Tim's Vermeer". 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  10. ^ "Teller’s ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ Bought By Sony Classics". Variety. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Adam Benzine (2013-07-29). "Sony Pictures Classics picks up "Tim’s Vermeer"". Realscreen. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Interview with Leo LaPorte

External links[edit]