View Full Version : Can anyone help me to get the VTNT running

12-08-2004, 05:39 AM
I guess I'll post here asking for advice on the VTNT since Newtek hasn't answered either one of the two e-mails I sent them this month asking for their advice.
The story is that I bought a Video Toaster NT brand new a couple of years ago and what I thought I was buying was a stand alone editing system but what I got was a VTNT PC card, a cable and 5 manuals. Now keep in mind I am a filmmaker not a computer guy. I contacted the seller and told him that this isn't what I wanted but he replied "Oh well, you should've done your homework before you bought it because I'm not taking it back. Sell it on ebay or something." I was going to install it in my computer but it was too small and slow to run it. I then checked into computers that could run it and they were over $3,000 and I found out that I still had to buy over $3,000 worth of SCSI drives to support it. I don't know about anyone else but I couldn't afford to spend the $3,000+ on a board, cable and manuals let alone $6,000 to $10,000 on a system to run it. I was working as a Retail Asst. Manager making $27,000 a year with a wife, new born daughter, a house, two cars and all of the bills that go along with it so I didn't have any more money to spend on an editing system. I waited a year and a half before I had enough money to sink into the computer but I had one built. I was assured that it would work just fine but it didn't.
Everytime I tried to load the software, it would get to the read me portion and it would CRASH! I got on the phone with Newtek Tech Support (which I paid over $20 for the long distance call) and after a few HOURS, it still did the same thing. Newtek said "There must be a problem in your operating system software." I re-loaded Windows 2000 Professional, downloaded all of the service packs, I ran as many system checks as I could but still nothing. After complaining, Newtek then sent me a new install disc but still the same thing happened. I contacted a autorized VTNT vendor about this and they were very nice but I was told that I was going to have to spend $500 for an upgrade and then they would give me an estimate on what else I needed. I'm sorry but there was no way I could afford to dump more money into something that has never worked. I thought about selling it but unless I get the minimum of $3,000, I'd still be throwing money away.
So can anyone give me some advice here? I've gotten to the point where I'd be willing to spend a few hundred dollars to get it going but not $5,000+. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it even worth it?
By the way I'm running a AMD Atalon 1.5 GIG system with 500+ DDR RAM, two internal hard drives (20 GIG and 100 GIG) with Windows 2000 Pro as the OS.

12-08-2004, 07:30 AM
Been there, done that.

there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mine runs like a dream, requiring only that I put more into the system as my skills and demands have progressed.

Which version of the VT are you running? not running? trying to run?

A VT NLE is fairly simple and pretty cheap to build today, unless you want the guns blazing with live action. SCSI is preferred but unless you're going live, you really don't need it anymore.

let's start with the version you're trying to get running though.

12-08-2004, 08:44 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties, but it sounds like the original problem was with the dealer who sold the card to you in the first place. This clown should have at least made you aware of what you were buying. I'm not sure about the VT-NT days, but even within the last 2 years, any dealer that was authorized to sell you a card will typically configure the system for you or at least warn you that you'll need to know your way around system design if you plan on putting a host together yourself. The guy just sending you a card when you didn't even know what you were buying, while perhaps not well thought out on your part, is unforgiveable for a decent dealer of this type of equipment. It might be different if it were a monitor or VTR or something.

This is where you are today. What you got there is not really a hobbyist editing card so it's not reasonable to expect it to work great with a few hundred dollars. If you did in fact buy it within the last two years and it is a VTNT card, sounds like you got taken by buying equipment that was already outdated the day you bought it. I believe the VTNT was discontinued in favor of VT 2 prior to 2 years ago.

The good news is the card you have is fully upgradable to the latest version. Unfortunately, you WILL need to have an appropriate host system for it. While you may not absolutely need SCSI drives, you will need a powerful PC that meets recommended specs. These days a minimum Pentium 4 based MB with a 2.8MHz Proc and any one of a number of proven Intel chipsets are the preferred and proven route, though some have used AMD systems, but only a select group of either will work right. I believe you could get an appropriate starter MB & Proc combo for under $350. Add memory, drives and video card and you could conceivably get what you need to start for under $500. More likely $700 and you'd still want the software upgrade from Newtek.

Still, from your post it sounds like you are not entirely familiar with the technical requirements involved in building an edit system, and even by putting a decent starter system together, you're only going to get a portion of the functionality from the system without a more powerful system and a drive array.

I'd say you've got two choices, sell it for what you can get and cut your losses, or make the required investment and have a decent dealer put together an appropriate system for you. Even if you want a minimal system, a decent dealer will be able to put one together that will work properly. I think trying to struggle through and build your own on the cheap is just asking for more headaches. IMO.

Jim Capillo
12-08-2004, 09:23 AM
I'd agree with Jeff. While your old dealer's actions were reprehensible, there are many more honest dealers out there than not. Ask here and you'll get referrals. I would definitely call one and either get a system built for you custom or ask if they have any demo models they want to sell. Most have at least a couple of systems that they move when they upgrade.

12-08-2004, 10:04 AM
I can really empathize with you, this has to be very frustrating. If there is a user group anywhere near you, you may be able to get some help from them. Here are some things that I would suggest:

You need an Intel box. I have seen problems with AMDs that I have never seen on Intels and that's with and without VT installed.

You will need more than the 2 internal harddrives and you need to put them on a RAID card. You can go with IDE and be very productive but keep in mind Newtek suggests SCSI. I have IDE and I know many others who do. We are willing to put up with the limitations of IDE rather than the expense of SCSI.

Minimum 1gig of memory. You can get by with less but memory is cheap enough.

You will need to spend some money and manage your expectations. If you try to get by, please understand that your system will not work as well as a $5000 system. You can't buy a Yugo and expect anyone to take you seriously when you complain that it doesn't drive like a Porche. Certainly you can get things done with it but you will need to be very patient. I had a single 1.7Ghz P4 with 512megs of Ram and an IDE Array on my first VT2. It worked but did not perform anywhere near the dual 3Ghz machine I now have.

Get an NVidia video card. I know people have ATI cards that work but I also know people who never got the ATI card to work. NVidia cards just work.

Do not have your computer built by the kid down the block. Video requirements are different than gaming requirements. Unless you are willing to waste money or spend a lot of time researching, I would suggest going to a real Newtek dealer and having something built. It may cost more initially but you won't be building 2 or 3 computers to get one that works.

There are a number of forums and the Newtek family is alway willing to help, something you don't find everywhere. Look into the Safe Harbor forum and Yahoo groups as well.

Welcome to the exciting world of video, I hope this helps.


12-08-2004, 01:34 PM
Wow, you guys are on the ball. I should've come here instead of asking Newtek for advice. Thanks!
Ok, I'm going to try to answer all the questions in this post. This is the first version, refered to as VT [1]. I bought it four years ago. Windows 2000 had just came out and I couldn't afford to buy a $6,000 dual processer computer (used). So I waited about a year and a half before installing it, which happens to be when I could buy a low cost system. I talked to the guys at various computer shops and the AMD Athalon 1.5 processor just came out and everyone said that should work just fine. Granted the computer was built by a friend of mine who was working for big software company in Maryland. He ordered the processor, motherboard, 512 DDR RAM memeroy...pretty much all of it. I went out and bought the Maxtor 100 GIG and the 20 GIG 7200rpm hard drives. Like I said before, I'm a filmmaker not a computer guy and I'm going to honest here by telling you all that I get lost real quick when it comes to them. I have no clue what a NVidia or ATI video card is. You see, until I bought this VTNT, I knew even less about computers. I've been forced to teach myself to understand what everyone is talking about.
It's been mentioned about groups in my area but how do I find out about them? I'm in Las Vegas, NV. I looked on this site for an authorized dealer out here and the place looks like it is a production house, not really a dealer or repair shop.
One of you guys mentioned that you ran the VT on a system similar to mine with very little problems. It's been mentioned that I don't even need to have SCSI drives. So do I NEED them? I'm sure I'll buy at least 120 GIG SCSI drives but can I run the system without it? Newtek told me "No." At one point my mother was willing to give me her Dell Dimension 2500 system with P4 1.7, 512 SDR RAM computer but Newtek said it would not work, the said another Dell system would work and when I pulled it up on the site it was $4,000. I'm sure that has changed by now. Does anyone know what systems can run this thing? The cheaper the better. Can I go to Best Buy, Comp USA, Walmart or any retail store to buy what I need? (I'm new to Vegas and I'm not sure what computer stores are around) It's going on five years and it's about time to get it working or at least get it woking enough to sell it for cash to buy another system with less problems.


12-08-2004, 02:19 PM
Ok with all the info and questions you posted above I have to tell you one thing in complete candor:

#1. DO NOT talk to a computer dealer, computer store, electronics store, about what you need for your edit system! They know squat about editing systems and even less about the requirements of this particular editor. Often they know very little about computers in general so use them with caution. They'll always have plenty of answers and options for you, but they want to sell you a computer that they sell, period. You need to talk to a dealer. You can look up several online. I'd start with www.Videohardware.com and find out more.

If I were in the dealers shoes working with your situation, I would probably spec a minimal system and offer it to you at an agreed upon price. They may even ask you to send your card in and they can configure the system to work fine before sending it back intalled in the new system. If you hold on to this, "I'm gonna have the guy down the street build it for me, figure it out myself, and spend as little as possible" approach, you're just not going to make any positive progress given your stated familiarty with computer hardware. I'm not saying you need to spend a ton of money, but this ain't a USB device you can plug into any decent system. You can't expect to really drive a Bradley Tank by buying a basket of auto parts from the guy down the road. You may get a dealer that knows something about this stuff to sell you components you need, but you'll still be on your own to get it working. I would never back a system I never put together.

12-08-2004, 03:18 PM
What he said. I agree, there should be a good dealer in your area, dont' go to a computer store, they have no idea about the requirements for video. I stopped at a Radio Shack and the guy told me they don't carry firewire cables because it just didnt' take off like USB did... well at least not in his cave.

Explain your situation to the dealer and he should be able to build a minimal system for you. The down side is that a minimal system is not what you want. Here is a question that you need to ask yourself, how much is your time worth? The more it is worth the more you should spend on the system. This includes time with family.

One of the issues with a minimal system is that the learning curve is different because of the work arounds, frustration and the amount of time it will take to do the same work. An example that I use is Lightwave. 10 years ago a screaming fast machine with lightwave was an Amiga 4000. I can render a frame that takes 5 minutes today but would have taken 30 hours 10 years ago. That means I can see my mistakes and correct them in less than .3% of the time it took back then and move on. The same holds to some extent for VT though the figures are not as dramatic. Faster machine = quicker response time = faster learning curve.

One of the first rules in computers is "Good, Fast, Cheap, choose two"


12-08-2004, 09:21 PM
I agree with all of you and I'm taking every peice of advice to heart but there are some things I have to ask. I know everyone I've talked to about this has turned a cold shoulder when I say "I can't afford to spend any more money." It's not that I'm trying to be difficult or cheap about it but when you don't have it, what am I supposed to do? A few hundred dollars is about all I can afford. I've already spent over $6,000 on something that doesn't work. Buying another computer isn't something I want to do, I've already spent over $3,000 on the computer I have now.
Is the AMD Athalon 1.5 I have not good enough to run the VTNT? Is anyone else run a system like mine? If not, what should I be using? I know you guys have suggested that I contact a dealer but won't they do the same thing in trying to sell me as much as they can? Who should I go to have look at it? Is there anyone that can point me towards the right people? I'm really looking for someone in Las Vegas. I DO NOT want to send it anywhere, I'd rather drop it off in person.
One last set of questions for everyone, what is the deal with the upgrade that everyone is talking about? What is the difference between the system I have and the new one? Is it hardware and software or just software? Is it worth spending $700 for an upgrade and why? If it is compatibility issues, shouldn't it be free for those who already bought the VT?
The reason I'm asking these questions is because I still don't even know how the VT works let alone why I should spend money on an upgrade. If I spent the $3,000+ on a VT system today, would I have to pay for an uprade? I'm not trying to be out of line but like I said I'm a filmmaker not a computer guy. I've logged some time on other editing systems but I don't consider myself an editor either. I'm an Actor, Director, Writer and Cameraman. If I could ever get this VT working I might consider myself an edtior.


12-08-2004, 09:36 PM
Athlon 1.5 is a very dated low end system. You can buy one at Fry's for under $200. Stick with Intel, Xeon if possible or P4 (very affordable now). There are volumes of info about how to build a good system within these forums.

Jim Capillo
12-08-2004, 09:53 PM
I know the dilemma you're in all too well. I would stay away from the upgrade right now..... it's more important to get you in a computer that can run the VT. Heed Brad's advice as well.

I guess you have to decide for yourself whether VT can make you some money or not. If you get a computer that can handle it, I can't see why you couldn't make it pay for itself, but that is your decision. Most of us here are making money with it - some more than others - some high end stuff and a lot of mid to low end stuff. Pick your poison..... the work is out there.

Good luck with your decision !

12-08-2004, 09:56 PM
Check Ebay for Compaq W6000's. We use VT3's in 2 of them at work and they work flawlessly. They come in single and dual processor. Look for dual.

We picked up our latest which is dual 2.6 for $850 on ebay.

It is not as up to date as the latest thing out, but it runs VT with no problems at all.

Contacting a reputable dealer is the best bet, but the Compaq is another option.
Contacting a dealer will also allow you to answer 99% of the questions above.

I believe Newtek has a list of authorized dealers on their site.

12-08-2004, 10:30 PM
I have to disagree with Brad about the upgrade. I thought I read that you were running VT1 and if you are, you really need to upgrade and it would only need to be the software.

I do understand that you are trying to not spend more money and if that is truely the case you would be better off selling what you have and getting a less expensive option. A $1200 IMac comes with IMovie.

I saw a $40k car for sale for $8k. Seems like a good deal until you get it and find it needs $32k in repairs just to get it to run. This seems to be your situation.

Whatever you decide, you really need to do the leg work. It's a great card and it does cool things but I don't think you will find many who would put it in the sub $5000 range. As for the AMD that you built, I don't beleive that ever qualified as an approved set up. A RAID was always required as far back a VTNT1. Intel has been the suggested processor for some time as well.

Bottom line is you either need to find a way to come up with the money or bail out and stop frustrating yourself. It's a great card but it does require a high-end workstation to work. As Jim pointed out, you may be able to get something used but given your admitted lack of computer knowledge I would not suggest it. You want something that you don't have to troubleshoot and that will cost you.


12-08-2004, 11:57 PM
I think your issues need to be looked at individually, so that you gain an insight into your own experience.

The VTNT may appear not to work in your perception, however it is a fine piece of hardware.

The card does require a specific type of machine to work with, your friend had his/her best intentions to help you but may not have realized the needs of the VideoToaster, other shops or electronic stores probably didnt even know what the VideoToaster was therefore couldnt suggest the appropiate hardware either.

I think you will have to 'chalk it up as a learning experience,' and move on .. you already made those decisions, no sense feeling bad about the past.

Acknowledge that the VT is indeed a piece of art :) (it is - i have been a VT user off an on since Amiga days - i dont even remember the actual year lol) and due to lack of good information the system that was built for you was not the solution for your needs.

Since you are not too knowledgeable with computers the suggestion would be for sure to contact a dealer that can suggest what equipment to use, or what is it that you can reuse from your existing computer, $3,000 for the computer alone sounds kinda expensive if it was custom built - I built mine about 1 or 2yrs ago and it was around $1,800 if memory serves correctly - granted I dont have a lot of HD space and I was also able to purchase my componets cheap due to a long standing relationship with a hardware vendor. I'm working on the HD space one SCSI hardrive at a time.

I think it would also be of help for you to define what you expect the system to do, what exactly do you currently do as a filmmaker and how do you envision the VT will help you achieve what you want... that should be the starting point that defines what you need now and what you will need in the future, in my humble opinion.


12-09-2004, 12:17 AM
Your VT upgrade would only need to be software. VTNT version 1 used a completly different software editing package (Speed Razor). If you don't know much about computers you NEED to upgrade! Starting with Version 2 Newtek had developed their own editor to replace Speed Razor (Speed Razor is made by a company called InSync). While SR was powerful it isn't nearly so user friendly. VT[4] will allow you to edit (once it's up and running) without knowing anything about computers - it's that user friendly. You could probably teach your mother to edit after your first day!
The good news is, the upgrade for you is the same price as for someone upgrading from VT[3]! Only $595!
I am getting you a sample system price for a basic dealer made system.

12-09-2004, 02:49 AM
I have to say you guys are a great help! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I know it was really dumb to jump into such a intense system without knowing what was required but honestly it was sold to me stating "Compete Editing System." After I bought it I found out that I should've been looking into a Stand Alone or Turnkey System. Yes I feel I was taken but EVERYONE tells me that VT is the best. Sure I thought about selling it a thousand times over the years but there is no way I could get back the money I shelled out. Would anyone want to buy a VT [1] for $3,000? The answer is NO! I might be able to get $1,500 but I think that would be it, not to mention, all of the money I put into the computer that I didn't need to. So selling it and cutting my losses really isn't something I want to do because I'd feel like I threw away thousands of dollars. Like I said, I work hard for everything I own and in no way could I be confused for someone who has money or is well off, in other words I don't have money to burn.
As far ar the AMD, Newtek said the system should run just fine but you are right they did say that I should go with dual Intel P3. At the time the P3's were very expensive but I could go with the AMD as long as it was a 1.0 GIG or better. Also at the time, it was one of the best and fastest systems out there that cost less than an Intel. The guy who built it was working for a software company and built a bunch of systems over the years but you are right, he had never built a video editng computer.
Now onto what I'm going to use it for, EDITING and if I can figure it out, CGI. What do I want out of it? Multi video tracks, more audio control, film stock matching color correction and to create CGI effects, basicly everything the VT is supposed to do. I know that if it were running, I could make money and it would pay for itself in no time but for years it's been a sinkhole. It is true I own a Screenplay DV system but it is very very basic. There is only one video track, no audio fades, no way to speed up the film, only minor color correction basicly and it is good for a rough edit only. Don't get me wrong it is a good tool and I have learned allot but noone is going to pay good money to have a basic edit of their commercial, wedding or a feature.
I really like the comparison to a car because that is how I feel.


12-09-2004, 07:17 AM
VT is a great tool. I don't know anything about film but I do know that you can make money with it. The other thing I know is that even if you went with the recommended hardware, a dual P3 at the time you would have had to upgrade at least once. I know it would still work but the horsepower really isn't there to do what todays machines can do. So even though you didn't get the right computer to make it work you would be needing to buy a new one now anyway. From the sounds of it you want to do more than just basic editing. This means that you will not only have to spend money up front but get used to the idea of spending a couple thousand a year to keep up. If you go into this thinking that you now have everything you need and you don't need to spend another dime you are wrong. Businesses typically grow or get smaller, never stay the same. If you are not growing ...

Even though you can depreciate the equipment over 5 years the practical life is 3 years and sometimes less. Sometimes you get lucky like the Amiga with the Flyer and it lasts about 10 years and it did what I needed faster than most editing systems still today. P4s were being introduced and I was still editing on a machine that was made back in the 486 PC days.

Just so you know, most people who bought VTNT1 have had to upgrade their $3000 computers at least once and some have done it twice. This along with new software and cameras and maintenence, it adds up.


Hope it works for you one day.


12-09-2004, 10:14 AM
I have to disagree with Brad about the upgrade. :(

I don't mind disagreement, but I didn't same anything about the software upgrade... one of the many Jim's did, but I would guess he wasn't thinking VT1 was running, or trying to be run...

12-09-2004, 04:26 PM
Oops, so sorry Brad, just goes to show what happens early in the morning and when I'm not wearing my glasses. The sun was in my eyes and you know how little I get out. I am pretty sure that he has only VTNT 1 which would seriously need to be upgraded.


12-09-2004, 05:42 PM
Here's a basic computer from a dealer (Safe Harbor - www.sharbor.com ) that is still pretty powerful (dual XEONS) and give you room to grow (esp. more hard drives). This machine is specifically for the VT[4] and is more than enough to run it smoothly. It would only cost about $2500 + the $595 I already mentioned to upgrade the VT software.

Processor(s): Dual XEON® 3.06GHz/512K 533FSB 604-pin CPU Boxed
Memory: 2 x 512MB ECC DDR
System Harddrive: 160GB 7200RPM IDE
Display Card: GeForce FX 5600XT 128MB
DVD/CD-ROM #1: 52X/32X/52X/16X (DVD/CDRW) Combo Drive, Black
Floppy Drive: Floppy, 3.5" 1.44MB Black
Operating System: Windows XP Professional CD OEM
Keyboard: Keyboard, Basic Slim Comfort - Black
Mouse: Mouse, Intellimouse Explorer
Case: SC742 IDE ATX TWR Black Case 450W
Limited Warranty Program: System Warranty (included)
Video Harddrive(s): 4 x 120GB SATA HDD 7200 RPM
Audio Card: SoundBlaster Live! 5.1

12-09-2004, 06:29 PM
Let me start by saying thank you kleima for checking into a system from Safe Harbor but as always, they have been too expensive for me to touch. They were the first place I looked at after buying the VT. When I bought the VT Safe Harbor was selling systems to run it for $10,000. In other words $3,100 is more money than I have to spend on a computer. It would take almost two and a half months worth of pay to come up with that kind of cash and that doesn't include living expences. Sorry but that isn't an option for me right now. At least I could use those specs to buy a used one.
It looks like ebay has a few of them and they average about $250. With a Windows XP Pro for $200 & VT upgrade for $600 I should be on my way right? That would make it $1,050 and I may be able to come up with that much. I may be able to sell off a few of my things but I'm hoping I don't end up in the same situation.


P.S. Thanks again guys, you are the best :)

12-09-2004, 06:53 PM
Ok, to me it looks like your doing it again. I just went to EBay and typed in Xeon and for $250 you get the processor. That's it! No case, No Memory, No Harddrive, No DVD drive, No Power Supply, No motherboard!!!

Unless you know a lot more about this than you are letting on I would suggest finding a way to come up with the $3100. In the scheme of things that is not a lot. Keep in mind you will need to make this thing work for you to pay for itself. If you can't afford the $3100 and you are unwilling to make the system pay for itself you need to find a less expensive hobby or you will be even more miserable than you are now. I don't know anyone that charges less than $75 per hour on this box and most are $90 to $125 per hour. With those numbers you could pay off the $3100 in a month working only 10 hours a week. To get some jobs you call people and tell them you are just starting and offer them a special deal but ask for 50% down on the project. If you just shoot weddings at $1000 a shot you only need to book 6 with half down to buy the machine.

Based on what you have said about your computer knowledge, everyone here has tried to help by directing you to a legitimate dealer. This is what you need. If you feel you can't afford that, sell and what you have and move on, there is no sense in beating your head against the wall like this.

What would you rather do, spend $4000 and have this thing work or spend $250 and be right where you are now only $250 poorer because there is no way to make this work on $250 worth of computer parts even if you buy them at cost. The Raid card will cost you more than $250.

You cannot jump a chasm in two small hops.


12-09-2004, 06:53 PM
You can try that. If you don't have the money, you don't have the money. But, you take the risk of a second computer and more money wasted if you can't get it going. If you can find one will ALL the exact specs on Ebay maybe you will be all rigtht. But, you need to get plenty of feedback here on every component before you try that!

Certain things you should look at only certain brands for:
SCSI Hardrives - Seagate
SCSI controller - Adaptec
Motherboard - Tyan or Supermicro
Memory - Samsung is best
Power supply - Antec is best
Nvidia graphics card (GeForce is good)
Stick with Intel on the Processors
Audio card - Sound Blaster is probably all right.

And don't forget to look at Newtek system requirement list:

System Requirements
Recommended VT[4] System Configuration*

Processor Intel:
Processor Intel: Single Intel P4 520 (2.8 GHz), or Dual Xeon 2.4 GHz or faster
(Dual CPU systems are strongly recommended)

Processor AMD:
Dual AMD Opteron 240 Minimum

A free 66MHz PCI slot for the VT[4] card for best performance
(33MHz-compatible but with reduced performance)
(Additional slot needed for breakout cable)

Graphics Card:
PCI Express or AGP-based graphics card
NVidia or ATI graphics chipset
Minimum 64MB onboard RAM, 128MB recommended
Full Open OpenGL and DirectX 9.0 support
Latest drivers from chipset manufacturer
Capable of 1280x1024 minimum screen resolution

System RAM:
512MB RAM minimum, 1GB recommended

Hard Drives:
UDMA IDE system drive with 600Mb of free disk space is required for program installation. 16 GB space is required for installation of DVEs and content.

Video Stripe Set: Four 10,000 RPM Ultra 160 or 320 SCSI hard drives or three 15,000 RPM Ultra 160 or 320 hard drives.

SCSI Controller for Video Stripe Set on the 64bit PCI interface: Adaptec 19160, 29160, 39160, 29320, 39320 Ultra 160 or 320 SCSI cards

DV Capture and Switching: any IEEE1394 Firewire card (not required if you don't need DV.)

NewTek does not recommend use of IDE video drives. This includes the new SATA (serial ATA hard drives). Hard drives used for video storage and retrieval should be striped in Windows. Hardware RAID cards push data in burst speeds which are not appropriate for video editing. The sustained speed attained by Ultra 160 and 320 SCSI set up in standard Windows stripe-sets is what is needed for dependable video recording and playback. Systems which provide both a 32-bit PCI bus and a 64-bit PCI bus are recommended. The VT[3] should be installed in the 32-bit bus, and we recommend you use a 64-bit SCSI controller in a slot on the 64-bit bus to obtain the highest possible data rates. Systems with a single PCI bus rather than with separate 32-bit and 64-bit buses will offer slower performance due to the VT[3] card utilizing a portion of the bus bandwidth.

Operating System:
Windows 2000 (SP2 or better) or XP Professional (SP1 or better)

Windows Media Player 9 or higher
Windows Media Encoder 9

Direct X 9.0b or higher (9.0b is installed by the VT[4] Installer)
Latest graphics card drivers (You may obtain these from the manufacturer)

*NewTek recommends the optimal system configuration. Systems of lesser processor and drive speed will work with VT[4] but some complex functions may not perform in real-time. To review the minimum specifications suitable to your production requirements visit www.newtek.com. Additionally, as new technology becomes available, system recommendations will be updated. Please refer to www.newtek.com for the latest information.

I hope it works for you!

12-09-2004, 07:01 PM
BTW, if you don't know what everything is on that list, you better find out before you buy anything. ;)

12-09-2004, 07:06 PM
I just searched on Ebay, and I think you're in for a lot of pain and suffering that route. But it's always possible to get a good deal. Others here have said they got theirs from Ebay.

12-10-2004, 12:03 AM
Ivan, what did you look up on ebay? I typed Compaq W6000 and more than 10 computers popped up under $300. Not chipsets or motherboards but whole systems. I'm also wondering why you have the holier than thou attitude? Are you one of those computer guys that gets mad when someone doesn't understand what you are talking about? When I said I can't afford $3,000 I ment it. I have BAD CREDIT, I just moved almost all the way across the country and I currently do not have a job. How much do you make a year? I'm guessing that you really aren't hurting for cash. Do you realize that I'm willing to sell off the collectables I have to help finance this computer problem. You are acting like I'm ignoring your advice but I am not, I just can't afford to shell out that kind of money. I said it before I was Retail Store Manager working 50+ hours a week making $28,000 a year. I'm going out on a limb here but I'm sure you make at least double that all by yourself in about half the time, right or wrong? When I moved out here I had to spent $3,000 on a 1996 Chevy Blazer or I don't get around. Sure most of the people here don't think $3,000 to $5,000 is very much but to me, it takes months to make that much. Do you understand where I'm coming from? I'm not frugal because I want to be, it's because I have to be. You can't spend it if you don't have it.
I know all about weddings back in Baltimore because I was also a DJ for 12 years. Here in Las Vegas, most of the chapels have their own videos. Sure I'm planning to tape weddings off the strip. That is going to require one of two things a) I have to work for someone else making about $400 per wedding or b) I spend money for ads, fliers and what ever else I can think to get myself out there making $1,000 per wedding. Sure your plan sounds very easy in theroy but it isn't as easy as you think. I'm also not that jazzed to do weddings anyway, the only reason I consider them is because of the pay, other wise my main focus is Feature Films & Music Videos. Weddings, recitals and corparate videos aren't what I want to do, that's not saying that I won't do them but it isn't high on my list.
I also have to ask, how do you get someone to pay upfront for this? I'd never pay upfront for services that have not been performed. What whould stop someone from taking the money and running? I would never pay a dime until services were rendered. Please forward over the names of those people that actually do that because I need cash. ;) It's not like I could go to someone in my family and say, "Hey Dad could you stop working on that car or Mom come out from that deli counter and lend me $4,000." I got a better idea, why don't you buy my VT [1] and computer from me? I'm only asking $6,000, I'm sure you can afford it, I mean heck you only have to do six weddings or you could work 40 hours at $75 per hr. No sweat right? ;)
Anyway like I said, most folks don't know where I'm coming from. By taking time to explain it takes us off the subject. You guys have given me enough ammo to seriously look for something to make it work but there is no way I could afford to go to places like Safe Harbor so I have to shop places like ebay. Armmed with the list kleima provided, I'm sure I won't need to spend $4,000. I just aquired a brand new Maxtor 80 GIG Hard drive for my Applied Magic Screenplay for $60 online. Best Buy has the same item for $90. Now how much do you think places like Safe Harbor are going to charge me for that same hard drive? If I'm lucky maybe they'd charge me $190.
By the way, I'm not trying to sound hostile, I'm trying to keep my mind open and an eye on my wallet.


12-10-2004, 06:11 AM
Everybody here has tried their best to genuinely help you.

You demonstrate a clear lack of knowledge about specific system design and the requirements of this particular edit system.

You say repeatedly that you can't waste any more money.

Users here have done everything but reach through the computer screen and smack you to help you avoid wasting even more money on more do-it-yourself-on-the-cheap system design despite you're admitted lack of knowledge and mistakes you've already made. Nobody's attacking you, they're trying to help.

The fact is, if you aren't an experience system builder, you have a dealer build a system or you spend more money and get poor results. The only people who should be building systems themselves (on the cheap or otherwise) are those that know all the ins and outs of system design so they can fix all the numerous problems that will arise from a cheap or custom built system. In reality, anyone who has built a system themselves once, knows better than build another on the cheap with e-bay parts or non-recommended components. Everyone here has learned all these lessons and was trying to explain it to you. It's not elitist, it's the way things are. Take it or leave it.

I have one final suggestion for you after reading all of this. Sell the VT card, and buy a Pyro AV link professional that comes with Premiere Pro for your existing system. You'll get more than enough from your vt card to buy this and it will work for you. Otherwise, do what you will. Stressing about what you paid for the vt card versus what you'll get for it is irrelevent. If you stay on your current track, you're gonna throw away another $500 - $2000 in the next year or two and make $0 in return.

12-10-2004, 09:02 AM
I'm sorry if I seem holier than thou. I build computers and I do know that there are things that come up that are not expected they usually cost money. I trouble shoot other peoples computers and I understand that doing it right the first time is much less painful than pounding you head against the wall over and over and over again wasting time and money trying to patch together something that does not meat the specs. The way you named the post, it sounds like the card is junk, it's not. VT DOES work for a lot of people. They followed the specs or had someone who knows put the computer together.

You have told us that you know nothing about computers. I know people who know nothing about computers and I know the mess it can cause because I have cleaned it up. I have cleaned up after people who know a lot about computers.

I know it can be very frustrating and I know the amount of money we are talking about seems like a lot but really it isn't. This is a machine that will do so much for that price.

As for clients that pay half up front, you better find them. My business plan does not allow me to do ANY work over $1000 without 50% upfront and the remainder on delivery. Larger jobs require 1/3 up front, 1/3 on first approval and 1/3 on delivery. I cannot afford to finance someones project and that includes weddings. I know few people who would start work without getting some money down and fewer wedding people who don't. I didn't just make that up, these are just good business practices. When you ship a package UPS you pay them when you drop off the box don't you?

If you can get $400 per wedding working for someone else, even better in three months you have your machine and you only worked an extra day each week (if your talking about shooting) with no out of pocket expense. I know that weddings are not what you want to do. I have done things that board me to tears just because I needed the work or to pay off some equipment, we all have.

If you really want to do feature films and music videos you may want to look at what others in the industry are using. Are you talking about "Film"? If so, do you know how you plan to get from film to video? This is not a cheap step. If this is what you want to do, you really do need to have a machine that you can count on.

You can buy the Compaq that you found on eBay and it may work. The first ones that I saw do not have enough memory to run VT. Do you know what kind of memory they take? ECC, 16bit PC1066, 16bit PC800, 32bit PC800, PC100, PC 133, PC2100(DDR266), PC2700(DDR333, PC3000(DDR370), PC3200(DDR400), PC3500 (DDR433), PC3700 (DDR466), PC 4000(DDR500), PC4200 (DDR2-533).... Are you beginning to see the problem? Adding memory to make this machine to make it work with VT will cost anywhere from $200 to $500. Do the machines come with a manual? What about disks? Did someone intstall packet writing software on them so you have to reinstall the operating system because if they did you will need the disks. W2k will cost another $100 otherwise. They do not come with a harddrive array. You NEED one of these. The cheapest you will get one is $250 for the card and no less than $60 per drive for IDE and SCSI is even more. Now we have $200 for our good deal computer, $250 for the Array card, $240 for the drives, $500 for memory and you still don't know if it works. The video card in some of them will work for VT but really should be upgraded. Now you have spent $1100 on a computer that may work. If it doesn't who do you call? Compaq? Microsoft? The guy from eBay? What if you can't get it to work? Do you shell out another $1100 for another box full of parts? Where do you start trouble shooting this? Powersupply? Video card? Is it becuase you don't have the latest version of Direct X? Do you have a bad Memory stick? You can spend hundreds of hours trying to trouble shoot a problem and get no where or make it worse. If you know nothing about computers the cheapest way is still to go with the dealer built system. If you don't want to do this I still think selling the card and buying an IMac or as JReble mentioned the Pyro card is your best option. The Pyro card comes with a full suite of Adobe products is very usable and may even work in your current machine once you load WindowsXP Pro(I think Premiere Pro requires XP).

I hope I came off as less arrogant this time. I truely would like to see this work for you but at some point you may need to step back and realize that now is just not the time and move on to something else.


Jim Capillo
12-10-2004, 09:24 AM
Geeze, what a tough crowd..... ;) :D

Actually Rick, Jeff and Ivan et al are offering solid advice backed up by hard learned facts. The VT is not the friendliest of boards - it takes a lot of the right components and tweaking to get it humming along. Most of us have learned the tricks over the years..... and even though I know most of them, I wouldn't attempt to build my own machine, even though I am semi-proficient in living with the VT.

As far as running your own business, I would also offer that you get half down when you book your weddings and the rest upon approval or delivery. My corporate clients pay 1/3 down when they book, 1/3 on the day of the shoot and the balance upon approval. I've found the consumer clients far more likely to stiff me, so I used to bring it over for approval and get the balance then....... delivery of the finished tape would be a few days later, in reality as soon as the check cleared.

Anyhoo, regardless of what you do, we all really wish you the best. Most of us have been in your situation before and realize that hard decisions must be made.

Good luck....

12-10-2004, 12:10 PM

If you still decide to go with buying your own parts for an Ebay computer, an invaluable resource is pricewatch.com !
Now, I am not trying to contradict what the rest just said, because you do need a good strong warning before you proceed on the cheap, because there is great potential for $1000 to be wasted again because it still doesn't work when you are done.
However, just so you have a balanced view: I have built ALL my VT systems, and will probably build all my future systems. I started out not knowing anything about building systems. I have learned tremendous amounts of things, and managed to not waste too much money by doing a lot of research ahead of time. In fact, I have probably saved quite a lot of money in the long run. However, about seven months ago I just solved my biggest computer problem to date after six months of RMAs of hard drives, SCSI controllers, power supplies, and talking to the senior technicians at Seagate, Adaptec, Antec, Tyan (I have all thier direct lines - these are not the people you first talk to at tech support who know nothing.) I finally solved the hard drive problem - it was simply that I had too many power Y's in serial!
So, a simple thing can take ALOT of work, time, energy, critical thinking, patience and determination!
Will I build another system? Yeah! I know more now! Can you blame Newtek, Seagate, Adaptec, Antec, Tyan for their bad part, or incompatibility? Not necessarily! But they all put tremendous effort into helping me solve my problem.
So, it is possible to do it yourself and perhaps save money.
But, if you buy your system and all your components used on Ebay, you will NOT have ANY tech support to call to help you learn!
If you are going to do it yourself and try to save money, you need to AT LEAST buy the name brands mentioned above AND buy them new, for a good price! Then you can call someone if something doesn't work! This will also save you half of your potential problems!

12-10-2004, 12:21 PM
One more thing: if you want to do it cheap you are better off learning how to build a system and then choosing each individual component carefully rather than trying to make a used system fit the bill. (Unless it is a used system that has already been running the VT.)
Of course, what I am suggesting will still cost more than $250! (But, as others have said, that $250 computer is probably not going to run the VT with not modifications.)

12-10-2004, 12:41 PM
All of you are right! I've been looking for in depth advice so I can find a system that can work without spending $4,000+. I asked for what I should look for and now you fellas have told me what I need.
This isn't a hobby, I'm very serious about my movie making. Of course for the next few features I will be shooting on DV. A few people have told me that the VT can do film stock matching, widescreen matte, color correct and dazzling effects. The VT also is great for those who shoot film because it can print how the film would be spliced from a video edit. Also if I do shoot on film I'd have to spend a ton of money with places to color correct it.
Basicly you can make DV features look more like film and improve the quality of the final product. It is also something that I can use with film and it is the right tool. That is why I bought it in the first place.
Like I mentioned before I have years and thousands invested in this VT already and unless I can get $6,000, selling it is going to be a waste of money. Would anyone here throw over $3000 away? That is what Ivan and JReble have sugguested I do. If I wanted to sell it, wouldn't you guys figure I would've done that by now? I can't afford to do so that is why years later, I still have it. I understand that you need to spend money to get the right stuff but I'm not rich. I have a few hundred dollars to play with and I wanted to invest in getting this thing to work.


12-10-2004, 12:51 PM
I just thought of something. Everyone here has prob upgraded to another system at least once and the thing I haven't heard one person here say is, "I have and older system I can sell you that will work." Why is that?


Jim Capillo
12-10-2004, 12:57 PM
I just thought of something. Everyone here has prob upgraded to another system at least once and the thing I haven't heard one person here say is, "I have and older system I can sell you that will work." Why is that?


I had a single 1.8 Ghz P4 with IDE drives that I upgraded to a dual Xeon 2.8 with SCSI drives and the original IDE's.

I have the original MB in a new case and am using it for my home internet computer now.

You might want to contact all the NT dealers and see if they have any older demo units that they want to move. Many do from time to time......

12-10-2004, 01:00 PM

It sounds like you went through a lot to get your system up and running. Your example is a good one and it proves that it can be done. It also shows how much time (six months) and effort it will take. As you pointed out you talked to some of the gurus of the industry and it STILL took 6 months and many hours on the phone (my guess is that some of these calls were not free) to find what in reality was a very simple fix. I suspect that some of the time on the phone was spent playing the "it's the other component that's causing the problem" game.

What you gained is the fact that you are not afraid of your computer and you know it inside and out. The down side is that you now know more than most people and who do you call when you have problems. I run into things sometimes on my machine and my wife asks if there is anyone I could call. Unfortunately the person that I would call is me so I just roll up my sleeves and dig in. ;)

I'm not saying it can't be done and sometimes with no problem, just that you better be prepared and willing to put up with and solve problems on your own or you are better off spending the money. There is no free lunch. This machine takes some horsepower to make it run and that will cost you.


12-10-2004, 01:18 PM
I just thought of something. Everyone here has prob upgraded to another system at least once and the thing I haven't heard one person here say is, "I have and older system I can sell you that will work." Why is that?

Most people that I have helped upgrade did it because the computer no longer could handle the VT. Others that I know who have upgraded a system that will work with VT keep the old one and now have two VTs in the edit bay. By far the first is more common. When I upgraded to the Dual 3GHZ machine that I now run I upgraded from a 1.7 P4 (not a Xeon) with a half gig of memory. This is not a computer that I would sell to anyone that wants to run VT.


12-10-2004, 01:32 PM
You're right! It did start out with it's the other components problem, but once I worked up the senior "escalation specialists" they were very proffesional. And, amazingly enough, because all the components were new, I didn't pay anything for any tech support call!
You're also right about no one to call! If something is still under warranty I sometimes call the manufacturer, but usually that's just to get two heads looking at it instead of one. Because most of the tech support people know less than I do (not trying to be arrogant). Especially, with the really big companies and the first person you get on the phone! They know nothing, they just answer the phone and ask a predetermined list of questions that I've already tried 10 times! After that, they can't help you, so you try to get them to transfer you to a supervisor!
Been there, done that! I guess 99 percent of people who call really do have simple problems. Either that, or the industry grossly under-estimates everyone's expertise!

12-10-2004, 01:37 PM

You might be on to something there (with buying someone's system after they upgrade)!
I have sold three systems after upgrading. I don't have one at the moment, but all systems I got a decent price for because they were cutting edge machines to begin with and were still screaming for most everything other than what I needed them for. The ones who bought them got a good deal to, because they were less than they could have bought a similar new one for.
Now is probably the time for that because many will be upgrading for VT[4]. The only problem is, you also want to upgrade to VT[4] so you will have settle for a system that would work, but be a bit under-powered for VT[4].

12-10-2004, 01:37 PM
If this truly is going to be your profession and passion and not just a hobby, then going cheap is not going to make you happy at all. Clients will be waiting for work arounds and renders, and you will get very frustrated with the slow response.

If you are serious about using a W6000, heres what to look for

DUAL!!! Processors of at least 1.8 each but try to get as high as you can. All of those on Ebay now are single. You can add a proc, but most suggest procs with following serial numbers.

At Least 1 gig of rdram. I do not think any on there now have that much.

You will want to add a nvidia graphics card because the Compaqs come with a icky Matrox.

It has an onboard scsi connector but no room for drives so you will have to get an external box to house your video drives.

There is someone looking for a VT card right here
You may be able to get out, stick some money in your pocket and look for an affordable DV editing solution.
JReble suggested a good one. ~ack~ ;)

12-10-2004, 01:47 PM
<humor> In my experience you cannot underestimate the public. If you drive to work you know what I mean, how did these people get a license? </humor> :)

For the most part I have given up on tech support because if I have a problem I can't solve they won't find it in the FAQ cause I've already read that. It's embarassing to admit but I have had some simple things get by me :o and I will not even attempt to fix my Mac - yet.


12-10-2004, 02:18 PM
Like I was trying to tell him before, anyone with marginal skills building systems can get an appropriate motherboard and proc for about $300. That would be a single P4 3Ghz in an approved chipset. You need fast memory for it and at least two drives. Even with that minimal system it will work, but it would have little editing horsepower and the cost will be around $700 minimum. He doesn't absolutely need the Dual Xeon as some have suggested, and a good dealer can set him up with a single CPU system as stated above for just a hundred or two over the cost of parts.

He has stated that he won't spend even that much to make a $3,000 card work, yet it's not a hobby, and he's serious about it. I don't know what else to say in light of that. It's baffeling. I can't even begin to think about what's going to happen when he tries to edit something on whatever he ends up going with. I understand the concern about costs, we've all been there believe me, but this aparently isn't about finding a reasonably priced workable solution. At this rate it sounds like throwing more bad money after bad. I'm sorry if I sound harsh at this point, but man this is a frustrating thread. It's also addictive. Why when you tell someone their pants are on fire would they not buy water to pour on them, but also not change pants because the ones on fire cost too much?? Spitting on them is never going to put out the fire. :eek:

Last peice of constructive advice outa me: spend $1000 with a dealer to get a minimal functioning system, or sell the thing and get something more suited to your circumstances. If you're worried about depreciation, don't be. You got taken by the guy who sold you the thing in the first place. Sitting on an expensive edit card you have no intention of investing even a minimal amount in to make it do anything for you is only digging you a deeper hole.

12-10-2004, 02:58 PM
I think it's a little harsh to suggest that he was taken by the guy that sold him the card to begin with. This card works. It needs a good computer to make it work but it works. I don't think he paid to much for it. I think he got the wrong computer to put it in but that is not the fault of the guy that sold him the card.


12-10-2004, 03:03 PM
True enough, but he got the card when he thought it was a complete system. If he thought he was getting a complete edit system for his $3,000 then somebody got taken. I'm just sayin he needs to cut his losses or go with it. Continuing to spit on the flames is just gonna get him burnt. :o

12-10-2004, 03:35 PM
The VT also is great for those who shoot film because it can print how the film would be spliced from a video edit. Also if I do shoot on film I'd have to spend a ton of money with places to color correct it.
Basicly you can make DV features look more like film and improve the quality of the final product. It is also something that I can use with film and it is the right tool. That is why I bought it in the first place.
Not to stir the pot even more but I've never heard of such capabilities beng discussed before concerning the VT. For anyone who knows about film, is RetroDistortion going to be disappointed even if he does get his VT card fully up and running?

12-10-2004, 03:49 PM
Not to stir the pot even more but I've never heard of such capabilities beng discussed before concerning the VT. For anyone who knows about film, is RetroDistortion going to be disappointed even if he does get his VT card fully up and running?

I'm right there with you on that comment. I just read his last post about all the things he was told it could do (concerning film) and I don't think VT can do that.

Considering he has Toaster NT, can Razor do this?


12-11-2004, 04:10 AM
I think the suggestion is to put the VT card back in the closet (if you dont want to sell it for the current market price) and work with a different cheaper card as suggested.

Based on what you have posted it sounds like you want to fly but cannot even walk at the present time. (This is meant in the most positive way).

Perhaps you can start by working in some related field either with some business and/or on your own whenever you have time, and work that angle. You probably have other needs that need to be addressed first before dealing with the VT (since you mentioned you are unemployed)

See if your location has a public cable TV channel, become a member and attend their courses and produce programs there.

However, based again on all your posts, my suggestion is to put the VT card away or sell it for whatever you can get and purchased the suggested cheaper solutions.

Having the VT collect dust in my opinion is worse than selling it at a loss and getting something within your means so that you can make money doing smaller scale productions.

12-11-2004, 05:02 AM
He has stated that he won't spend even that much to make a $3,000 card work, yet it's not a hobby, and he's serious about it. I don't know what else to say in light of that. It's baffeling. I can't even begin to think about what's going to happen when he tries to edit something on whatever he ends up going with. I understand the concern about costs, we've all been there believe me, but this aparently isn't about finding a reasonably priced workable solution. At this rate it sounds like throwing more bad money after bad. I'm sorry if I sound harsh at this point, but man this is a frustrating thread. It's also addictive. Why when you tell someone their pants are on fire would they not buy water to pour on them, but also not change pants because the ones on fire cost too much?? Spitting on them is never going to put out the fire.

Ok first off you must not have read anything I wrote, I said "I can not afford to spend $4,000" not that I "won't." If I had it to spend, I would've spent it years ago. If you would've read them all, you would know that what most of you spend on your editing bays, I don't make in a year. I came here asking for low cost solutions. WHY? Because I DON'T HAVE IT TO SPEND! Due to Sept. 11th I went belly up. I just got out of debt by selling my house and moving to Vegas where wages are better and houses are cheaper. Since I had to make settlements with credit companies, my credit is bad. Like I said, if anyone here honestly thinks I'm not taking their advice is dead wrong.
As far as the pants on fire thing, it made me laugh but is WAY off the mark. Here is how I would explain it to you, imagine you bought the car of you dreams but when you get it, it needs a ton of work. You spent your wad on getting it but it wasn't what you were expecting. You don't want to get rid of it because you spent way too much for it and no one will give you what you paid for it even if you sold it. You can't afford to fix it and you know you could only get about half of the money you shelled out for it if you sold it. You've been catching the bus for years because you are trying to scrape together funds to have the things done to it you need. Then you go to a car club to talk to other owners of the same car and they tell you that it is the best thing in the world and nothing else comes close. Then when you tell them that it isn't road worthy and you have X amount of dollars to spend, they laugh in your face. You also know that every month you don't have it fixed, it is worth less and less but it is what you've always wanted. Fast forward to when you have some money to spend to get it at least get you to and from work but the guys at the car club tell you "it can't be done for what you have to work with." Now don't forget, you still have to get around so you have to pay for the bus or cab ride every day and that takes away from what you could be saving to fix the car. Then you get someone like yourself that tells you, "Cut your losses and sell it. You can't afford to spend the money to have it fixed right so get rid of it. I mean if you can't afford the money to fix it, you don't deserve it anyway. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to own a thick wallet."
That is how I look at it. Now do you understand where I'm coming from? Yes you do sound harsh, I'm looking to get this thing to edit because it hasn't yet. Sure I have an editing system that works but does it do what the VT could do even if the VT is running at half speed? No. I've already outgrown the other editing system and I'm looking at trying to get the VT to work. Does it have to render in seconds? No. Do I plan to put more money in it when I have it? YES! BUT, the first step is to get it working enough to let it start making money for itself. After that I could become JReble and get mad when someone says "I can't afford it."
Right or wrong doesn't matter in this case, like I stated before I'm trying to cut those corners because I have to, not because I want to. That is all.

ONCE AGAIN THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR THE ADVICE AND INSIGHT, IT WASN'T WASTED WORDS!!! Believe me, you are all allot more help than I've gotten from Newtek.


12-11-2004, 07:44 AM

There is some level of frustration here. The initial post looks very angry and the title implies a problem with the board itself. Over and over you have been directed to talk to a dealer to get the correct machine to make this work and one person suggests eBay and you jump on it. I know people get good deals on eBay but you have already seen that a "good deal" can cause you greif. I have built computers for over 10 years. I have a 4 year degree in computer science. I would not buy a machine off eBay to make this card work. I know you could get lucky and I know there are smarter people out there than me but I also know the kind of greif you can have to go through getting this to work in a machine that isn't built for it. I worked to help a dealer try to get a non approved machine to work with the card because a buyer wanted to save a couple hundred dollars and it was so frustrating he finally told the buyer that he needed to get an approved system or he couldn't help him. This card is software driven and realtime and because of this it uses more resources than most.

Some of the frustration is due to the fact that the amount of money may seem a lot but it isn't when you look at what you are getting and what you could make with the system if you treat it like a business. I worked with someone on a project using only this machine and together we won a Telly for that work. We were up against people who used Avids. We all understand not having the money to do what we want. Rather than looking for ways to save and get by, look for ways to afford what you want. They both take the same amount of effort. Address the problem not the symptoms. We all believe you can do this. (sorry, I've been listening to my Tony Robbins tapes again) :o

Additionally, Greg and "robewil" bring up legitimate concerns. If you truely are intending to use this to edit "film", you need to find someone who is doing this now and talk to them. I have had a VT system since it came out and I have never edited "film" with it and I would say there are precious few who have. I know of people who edit film with Final Cut but even that is expensive and takes additional equipment.

Lastly, if you still feel that you cannot afford to get a machine that will work with this, sell it now. VT4 just came out and with it, new hardware. You just took a hit in what this card is worth. When HD-VT is introduced and if it requires new hardware, the card you have now will be worth even less and at that time you will want to be editing HD especially if you are working with film.


Paul Lara
12-11-2004, 08:01 AM
If you're truly looking to make this version operable, I would add that you likely CAN afford a compatible system!

Since you own Video Toaster [1.0] for the PC, I borrowed the keys to the NewTek Time-warp (don't tell Tim), and checked out the system specs for what was considered cutting-edge requirements as of March, 2000. Here is what it said:

Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 4
PIII 450
128MB RAM (256MB recommended)
One free Bus Mastering PCI slot
60MB free hard drive space
Ultra ATA/33 or Ultra ATA/66 controller (if IDE hard drive used for audio. See FAQ.)
PCI sound card
Video drive system (seprate from system drive) capable of continuous 22MB/sec sustained datarate

...that's it! Yeah, Speed Razor will run on a P III 450 or higher.
The point here is that any single-proc 1Gig or 2Gig Pentium 4 far surpasses this.
Also note: Athlon was not part a recommendation even in 1990

I hope this helps put things in context for you. :D

12-11-2004, 01:45 PM
Also note: Athlon was not part a recommendation even in 1990

Whoa!! Wish I would have had one of these in my A2000 back then!! I'd have been the MASTER!!!

:p Just messing with ya, Paul.


12-11-2004, 11:23 PM
Now that's a good idea, Paul! I think you have really given him a workable solution! That kind of computer you probably could buy for $250!

12-12-2004, 12:33 AM
PCI sound card I don't think it's quite that simple Paul. I know this is ancient history, but I distinctly remember how most audio cards had real problems working with VTNT. Mostly, it was a latency problem and it prompted most VTNT users to get the Lynx card.

Neil Rothal
12-12-2004, 01:46 AM
Recently there was a thread that many users listed the computer configurations they were using. Does anyone know where that thread is?

Jim Capillo
12-12-2004, 04:30 AM
Recently there was a thread that many users listed the computer configurations they were using. Does anyone know where that thread is?

YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS THREAD ? (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=15292&highlight=configuration)


Neil Rothal
12-12-2004, 09:21 AM
Yes, Thanks. I can not find any new P4 Xeon 2.4 400mhz CPU's, therefore I am going to have to build a new system for my new VT4. Problem is spent most of my funds on the VT4. Going to be interisting.

12-12-2004, 12:14 PM
Are you just looking for the processors? Try here. I get parts from them and they are very reliable.



12-12-2004, 12:16 PM
Oops, just noticed they were out of stock but you can have them email you when they get them back in.


12-12-2004, 12:21 PM
I just purchased the VT3 with VT4 software upgrade. Do not have much in the way of funds left. Can anyone suggest some different scenarios that may work so I can figure out the cost of a system that will meet my current needs and leave room for expanding in the future with minimum cost. :confused:

Jim Capillo
12-12-2004, 03:44 PM
I just purchased the VT3 with VT4 software upgrade. Do not have much in the way of funds left. Can anyone suggest some different scenarios that may work so I can figure out the cost of a system that will meet my current needs and leave room for expanding in the future with minimum cost. :confused:

Call Newtek's resellers. As I've mentioned before, many of them have demo units for sale from time to time.

My dealer is Video Hardware (http://www.videohardware.com)

12-12-2004, 09:26 PM
I just purchased the VT3 with VT4 software upgrade. Do not have much in the way of funds left. Can anyone suggest some different scenarios that may work so I can figure out the cost of a system that will meet my current needs and leave room for expanding in the future with minimum cost. :confused:

You've just opened the same can of worms that did. If you read back into a bunch of these posts, most will tell you that, "You need to spend at least $3,000 for the computer to run it. If you can't, sell it now because you aren't worthy enough to own one." I personally hope that is not true because as you can read, I'm in the same boat. I was asking what the minimum was that I could get away with to make mine work and I was treated like a moron by certain people. On the other hand, others have given a ton of info on what you could use. Listen to those guys and don't let the naysayers get you down. It's kind of funny to read all of the posts though, the pants on fire thing made me laugh even though he is way off the mark.
I wish you luck and it looks like there my be a light at the end of the tunnel for me since I'm now talking to an Arthorized Dealer/Service Center in Las Vegas. He should be able to tell me if a system I'm looking into is right or wrong WITHOUT having to commit to buying his product. If the info posted in this thread isn't a big help, I say you should look for the same in your area. Believe me, Newtek wasn't much help for me BUT that doesn't mean that you won't have luck. ;)


Paul Lara
12-12-2004, 10:07 PM
Newtek wasn't much help for me BUT that doesn't mean that you won't have luck. ;)

I'm not sure what address you tried to contact NewTek at, but please feel free to e-mail me directly ([email protected]) if you have any further questions, and I'll take care of you.

12-12-2004, 11:03 PM
Thanks Paul

12-14-2004, 01:28 AM
I'm just wondering, how did the subject of this post change to something I DID NOT WRITE? The subject was "VTNT Hasn't Worked Since Day One." Now it's "My VTNT Needs A New System." That seems kind of strange and it doesn't follow exactly what I was saying as well as asking. If I was asked to change it I would've wrote "Can Anyone Help Me To Get The VTNT Running" but I wasn't asked. That seems a little shady to me.

On a different note, I talked to the Las Vegas Reseller and one thing that not one person told me (Newtek or you guys) was the card I have isn't what everyone is using. It seems that Newtek sent out new boards with an upgrade to VT [2]. Also not only will I have to pay for a VT upgrade but I'm also going to have to get a Lightwave upgrade. That is over a $1,000 in upgrades PLUS $3,000 to $5,000 for a system, the SCSI drives may or may not be included. I gathered that it wasn't going to be a new system either so it may include the SCSI drive but the smart money says no.

So even if I did take everyone's advice, the Compaq W6000 still would not work with what I have. Thanks anyway guys. I guess in another year or two, I may be where the hobbiests are. :rolleyes:

Honestly guys thanks for all of the info. I did get an education but it isn't going to do me any good at the moment. I'm still not any closer to getting this VTNT to run than when we started. By the time you guys hear from me again, the VT [5] should be out. Maybe I should wait until that version comes out to save on another upgrade package price. So I guess I should sock away my pennies now or maybe I could sell my car, that will get me about $3,000. No wait, then I'll have to find a job on the bus route until I come up with the other half. :rolleyes:

See you guys, (I'm sure you guys can't wait to see me go.)


Jim Capillo
12-14-2004, 04:53 AM
I talked to the Las Vegas Reseller and one thing that not one person told me (Newtek or you guys) was the card I have isn't what everyone is using. It seems that Newtek sent out new boards with an upgrade to VT [2]. Also not only will I have to pay for a VT upgrade but I'm also going to have to get a Lightwave upgrade. That is over a $1,000 in upgrades PLUS $3,000 to $5,000 for a system, the SCSI drives may or may not be included. I gathered that it wasn't going to be a new system either so it may include the SCSI drive but the smart money says no.

AFAIK, the [NT] to [2] upgrade just requires a flash of the onboard chip, not a new board. VT[4] is different than the rest, THAT requires a new board - OR you can run it on the [3] board.

LW is included with VT, unless you want to buy a standalone version. That requires a dongle on the machine.

Paul Lara
12-14-2004, 06:44 AM
how did the subject of this post change to something I DID NOT WRITE? The subject was "VTNT Hasn't Worked Since Day One." Now it's "My VTNT Needs A New System." That seems kind of strange and it doesn't follow exactly what I was saying as well as asking. If I was asked to change it I would've wrote "Can Anyone Help Me To Get The VTNT Running" but I wasn't asked.

I changed it, and having read your alternate title, have used that instead.

Paul Lara
12-14-2004, 06:53 AM
the card I have isn't what everyone is using. It seems that Newtek sent out new boards with an upgrade to VT [2].

not true. Your VTNT will likely need to make a quick visit to NewTek World Headquarters for a few minor modifications, and it's good to go.

Also not only will I have to pay for a VT upgrade but I'm also going to have to get a Lightwave upgrade.

Also not true. LightWave has been bundled in with every shipping version of VT.
If you are preparing to jump from VT[[1] to VT[4], you can do so directly without penalty or extra imposed costs from NewTek.

I'm still not any closer to getting this VTNT to run than when we started.

Did you consider running your VTNT system based on the system specs I had posted above...the ones suggested by NewTek at the time? What used to cutting-edge then is garage-sale affordable now. ;)

12-14-2004, 07:34 AM
Jim is right, VT1 through VT3 use the same board. VT4 has the option of using a new board or the same board as VT1 through VT3. I am running VT4 on the same card that I ran VT1 on. If the card does need modifications, Newtek has always been very good about making these and I don't recall hearing about them charging for this service.

I don't think everyone told you to get a Compaq and most suggested that you see a dealer. We cannot verify what the dealer told you but we can go back through the posts and see that you may be prone to exageration so I am not inclined to blame the dealer for misinformation.

If you read my post of 12/8 I did mention that you may need a software upgrade in the first sentence. The upgrade from VT1 to VT4 may well be $1000 but Lighwave comes with the upgrade at no charge (this is a wonderful gift from Newtek).

If you look back to my post on 12/11 and read the last paragraph you will see that I did mention that VT4 has new hardware. You don't need it to run VT4 but it is because of the new hardware that I suggested you sell rather than wait to get it running, not because you aren't worthy but because the card you have still has value now and if you wait till there is an HD solution that value will diminish significantly.

Take Paul's offer and email him directly if you have any questions, he is a great guy and he can get you on the right track. He has posted some options for you to try if you don't mind using Speed Razor as an editor and he can explain the upgrade cost and procedure if you want to upgrade to VT4.


12-14-2004, 11:26 AM
I was being sarcastic on allot of stuff but one of the users, (I forget which person or persons) said the Compaq W6000 was what they use and there's been no problems. Now what the dealer mentioned was that I have the very first version of the VT that Newtek made (that's the Video Toaster NT). I assumed that it was a VT [1] but that could be wrong. He said we would have to send back my board for the updated board, now if that was for the NT to [4] I might've just misunderstood. So for saying it changed in version [2] I'm sorry but I was told the board had to be upgraded. Has anyone here started off with the VTNT?
Now onto the Light Wave thing, the dealer said I was going to have to pay $500 for the VT [4] upgrade and $500 for the LW upgrade totaling the upgrade to $1,000. Is this true or untrue? Because now I'm confused. Is the upgrade going to cost $500 or $1,000?
Now does everyone understand what I'm talking about? I get conflicting reports from almost everyone on costs. I understand that different people use different parts and that effects the bottomline price but I'm not sure what is what.
I guess I could take Paul's advice and pick up the first system spec-ed but if memory serves correctly, I need to run Windows NT as the OS. The VTNT software didn't like Windows 2000. If I did that though, I'm sure I'd still be treated like a weirdo here for not having the latest version. :p Does anyone run the old system still, anyone at all? I'm just wondering if I'm going to run into software problems right off. I prob will or why else would there be upgrades.
I'm not mad or anything, I'm just at that point where after talking to someone directly, was a little different that just reading posts.
I was poking a little fun but like I said, maybe in a year or two I'll be at the hobbist level. For now she goes back into the closet. Sorry, I tried babe...


12-14-2004, 11:42 AM
If you stick with the board you have, you will have to send it to Newtek for an update, but this is NOT the update to the brand new and separate VT4 board. This is a quick free overhaul of the VTNT1 board you have.

If you keep that board you can get a SOFTWARE upgrade to VT4 for $500. This INCLUDES Lightwave 7.5 which is just fine.

IF you keep that board you can get a SOFTWARE upgrade to VT4 AND LIGHTWAVE 8 for $1000. The 500 dollar difference is for hte newly unveiled LW 8.

If you want the new VT4 HARDWARE CARD then that runs around 3 grand I believe and comes with LW8.

VT4 comes in 2 separate upgrades. Software only (LW 7.5<-$500 or 8,<-$1000) or Software and Hardware (LW 8<-$3000).

You do not need the VT4 hardware card to run the VT4 software. It just adds some more options such as preview out, alpha out etc.

Unless you are doing live switching work, the Software only LW 7.5 upgrade ($500) will suit you just fine.

So you are looking at $? for a new system. and $500 for an upgrade to VT4 WITH Lightwave 7.5. Thats it.

It was me who suggested the Compaq W6000. We use 2 of them. If you get one, wait for one with dual processors, don't get one with a single proc.
You will lose a few of the newer computer options with the Compaq. No 64 bit pci and the onboard scsi is only 33mhz, but it still screams the VT and you can get a dual xeon pretty cheap.

Rich Deustachio
12-14-2004, 11:45 AM
I am running my system on Windows 2000 pro and have been since VT2 so if you upgrade to VT4 you should be ok.

I got my VT4 upgrade software only which came with Lightwave 7.5 for around $500. some dealers even discount it a little more.

I am using the same VT board I used with VT2 to run VT4 so as Paul stated you can have NewTek upgrade your VT1 board.

You can pick up dual Xeon system on ebay at very reasonable prices.

12-15-2004, 03:00 PM
We can sell you a new system that works great with all versions of VT for much less than $3k. If you don't need to do eight layers of video in real time you can save a ton of money by not buying a SCSI array and use SATA. We have well over 100 such systems (IDE Arrays) in the field with happy users.

Call us at 1-800-692-6442 if you want more info.

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