I wrote today about the Critter Board DIY synth/controller board for CDMusic, but I’m even more excited about the Video Critter:

Video Critter DIY, open-source audio/visual electronics platform

US$74.95 buys you a fully customizable, programmable DIY board with video out. (There’s also a $45 “mini” board that looks equally tantalizing.) The video routines are already programmed into the board, so you can write really easy, higher-level video code to put stuff on the screen. Just as with the Critter Board, you can use C programming from any Linux/Mac/Windows computer.

Of course, it’d be great to go even further, and have a totally open-source video mixer / effects unit. It’d be pricey, I’d imagine, but imagine an Edirol V-4 you could program yourself. (Uh, Edirol — ever fancied getting into open source yourselves? After all, no one could compete with your sales and manufacturing volume. Yeah, I know — snowball’s chance of this happening — but I can dream.)

In the meantime, this is a brilliant way of creating some quick, retro-looking custom video effects, and it’ll be ideal for installation work. I have too many other toys to play with to pick one up for at least a couple of months, but if you get one, dear readers, send photos and video.