A starter kit of television editing equipment costs upwards of $100,000, so most small companies haven't considered producing their own promotional or training videos. But now they can. With a video camera and a VCR, plus a new computer system called Video Toaster, commonplace presentations can be enlivened by such studio devices as spins, whips, flips, tumbles, and warps. You won't be able to create a rap spot for MTV, but you will be able to compose lively graphs, generate text within pictures, and illuminate points with 3-D animation -- techniques that convey business information far more memorably than a slide show can.

The system includes hundreds of high-end broadcast-TV effects but fits a restricted budget. (A dedicated workstation consisting of an Amiga 2000 computer, a plug-in board, and software costs about $4,600; the board and software alone cost $2,500; an interface to link the Amiga to a Macintosh is $600.) Call NewTek (800-765-3406) for a free demo video.

-- Robert A. Mamis