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Old 23 October 2007, 15:13   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,937
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
The video toaster hardware will still be covered by patents as it is much later than the Amiga OCS hardware. Get the OK from NewTek before starting.
A hardware (FPGA) implementation of a "replacement Video Toaster", i.e. a card that plugs into the Amiga video slot might possibly be affected by that if sold in the USA. But I'm guessing it would be quite easy to work around the patents, especially if the replacement worked with component video or digital video rather than composite. Designing a replacement Toaster would be an interesting project, but not really commercially viable.

Interestingly, there are no US or European patents where NewTek is listed as the applicant/assignee. The only NewTek/Toaster-related patents or patent applications I could find have Timothy P. Jenison as the inventor.

There are no granted European patents. There was one application which was discontinued: EP0484521 - METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SYNCHRONIZATION IN A DIGITAL COMPOSITE VIDEO SYSTEM

The US patents are, if anyone's interested in looking at them on Google or the US PTO web site:
  • US 5068717 "Method and apparatus for synchronization in a digital composite video system", filed 1990-04-27, granted 1991-11-26
  • US 5175623 "Method and apparatus for linear video mixer with digital control" filed 1991-04-04, granted 1992-12-29
  • US 5402181 "Method and apparatus utilizing look-up tables for color graphics in the digital composite video domain", filed 1991-04-01, granted 1995-03-28
  • US 5426468 "Method and apparatus utilizing look-up tables for color graphics in the digital composite video domain", filed 1994-07-08, granted 1995-06-20
It's possible that other patents apply to components of the Video Toaster card, e.g. Sony might have patents on some aspects of the chips.

Didn't the original Video Toaster plug into the A2000 video slot (and not into a Zorro slot)? With that in mind, it might even be possible to emulate the original Toaster some day, since emulation could more or less be tacked onto the UAE video output code. (That would be cool, and might even be useful in a way; imagine setting AVI files as input and capturing the output as an AVI file on a PC, using the Toaster software on the emulated Amiga.)

-- M
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