Roland V-4EX

Edirol V4 was the standard for mixing videos in analog video times, replacing chunky but cheap devices like Panasonic MX and Panasonic AVE series or Videonics MX-1. The successor Edirol V8 brought us the possibility to mix a PC/VGA signal with analog video while streaming out analog – when having a decent capturing device for analog video this mixer was somewhat unnecessary. The last two or three years there have been several attemps to enhance the functions of TV One 1T-C2-750 videoscaler with external controllers.

Now Roland (former subsidiary company was Edirol) finally has announced a new completely integrated HD video mixer, the Roland V-4EX. This new creature has basically the same interface layout and all the classic effects and transitions as the Edirol V4 or V8, but also four 1080p HDMI in ports with HDCP support, an up-to-date touch screen MultiViewer for video feedback, a USB out port for web, audio in, without forgetting the famous T-Bar that can be changed to horizontal and vertical mount. The Output can get up 1920×1200 pixels or 1080/50p:

– 3 Input (HDMI/Composite) + 1 Input (Up to 1080p HDMI/RGB/Component/Composite)
– PGM Output (Up to 1080p HDMI + RGB/Component + Composite) + PVW Output (PVW/Multiviewer)
– max. resolution 1920 x 1200px
– 480p/576p Progressive internal processing
– Built-in multiviewer with touch control
– Built-in frame synchronizers on all inputs
– Scalers on CH 4 and Output
– Transition: Mix, Cut, Wipe (259 patterns)
– Composition/Filter FX: Picture in Picture, Luminance Key, Chroma Key, Strobe, Negative, Colorize, Feedback, Emboss, Multi, Mirror etc. (148 types)
– Other FX: Output Fade, Freeze
– HDCP compliant
– Audio Embedding (on HDMI stream + one separate Cinch input)
– Audio Mixer & Delay -up to 4 frames
– USB Streaming for webstreaming (USB in, out, thru) with Video Capture for VR by Roland

But: The big flaw seems to be the resolution (1080p vs. 480p/576p Progressive internal processing). So this device seems not to be able to mix a standard Matrox Triple Head resolution like 2400×600 or bigger multi screen setups: When mixing 1080p footage it seems to scale them down for mixing/processing and scaling up again for output. This makes almost no sense, the only advantage to the V4/V8 is the HDMI in/out ports, so you won’t need a composite2RGB converter on the outputs of your mixer anymore and the scaling happens digitally and internally. (In fact it’s a V8 with HDMI in and out, but not a better image quality.)
Another flaw of the V4ex might be the delay of two or more frames, depending on the input format.

Until now, Triple Head resolutions can only be achieved with the TV One and controllers like Tobyz mixer or the HDrabbit which still is in a prototype stadium.

roland-v-4ex-introsheet

Scheduled release of the V-4EX is the second quarter of 2013. No price announced yet (rumors say it might be around €1700,- excl. VAT.)
More in the brochure (PDF) and on the product website.

Thread at VJforums.com

If you like to discus: Does this device make any sense? What is currently the best device for mixing HD content?