The V-4 gets an HD makeover – complete with T-bar, for those of you who love and hate those. This really is an HD, 1080p, multi-format switcher and mixer in the mold of the V4. Just expect to pay for it – and expect HDMI as the preferred connection.

At last, Edirol – now, make that Roland Systems Group – has a successor to the V-4 that works with HD inputs and outputs. The V-40HD is called “switcher,” but multi-format “mixer” would be just as apt. It handles resolutions up to 1080p, with a variety of inputs – including standard-def composite and component up to VGA and HDMI. Roland also mentions DVI-D, but to do that you’ll need to break out HDMI connections. (Only HDMI jacks are available on the hardware; see our gallery.)

Our friend Grant Davis, aka VJ Culture, apparently has one, so we’re looking forward to his feedback, and working on getting one for review at Create Digital Motion.

Now, the bad news: Roland has gotten the price under 5k, but we’re still talking US$4,495. That means the V-40HD isn’t going to be quite in reach of the independent VJ/artist the way the V-4 was, at least not yet. And we’re talking more money than competing switchers, not to mention computers with input devices (especially with Thunderbolt).

That said, Roland is now in the game, and in integrated hardware you can use right away.

Spec highlights:
Input sampling: 4:4:4 (Y/Pb/Pr), 10 bits / output signal processing is 4:2:2/8-bit.
HDMI audio
HDMI video
Output HDMI video, HDMI audio, RGB/component, composite, and a dedicated HDMI preview
MIDI, USB jacks, plus RS-232C and Tally
Luma, chrome key
Mix, cut, wipe, with nine patterns (unfortunately, none of the effects found on the V4 otherwise – ah, invert…)
Audio delay (for latency compensation, clearly – seems that’s all they added)
3.4 kg (7 lb, 8 oz)

Details: http://www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/products/100118

This is unlikely to put a damper on DIY efforts – but, then, those in turn seem unlikely to put a damper on the people who generally look to Roland to buy their gear. It’ll be fun watching HD mixing battle it out.

Images courtesy Roland Systems Group. Click for a closer look.
  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.pallas TJ Pallas

    “Audio delay” implies that at least one part of the chain adds a measurable amount of latency to the output. It’s for using the box as a broadcast switcher.

    • Nick Wade

      Copy what TJ said. The variable audio delay is useful to correct for possible video delay introduced by other pieces of hardware in your system. Cameras, cabling, projectors can add their own delay. The audio delay is not necessary to achieve AV sync, but is there if you need it. The mixer is very low latency 1-2 frames delay (99% of all digital video mixers introduce a min of 1 frame delay, many come it at 1-3).

  • Sune P

    you would of course need 2 more to slave off the first one for your triplehead setup

  • paul

    At a street price of 4,500 USD, the diy movement isn’t going to die too quickly. But it’s got a really useful collection of inputs. Fairly priced package if it “just works”.

  • MrE23

    Scaling…?

  • http://twitter.com/lotechnz SB

    Apparently scales all inputs as required to main output resolution.

    A shame theres no analogue audio _output_ and so adaptors will be required. Also how do you control the audio? Is it AFV or Master of all? This could make for a nightmare at a show and make the whole audio part pointless.

    Also no PC connectivity or control?

  • kidkadian

    what bums me out is the loss of performance tools that the v-4 and v-8 had… simple things like auto BMP switch, FX or even a transform button would be nice at this price… plus getting stuck w a t-bar sucks

    • Nick Wade

      The auto button could perform a “transform/cut” if you set the transition time to
      0. I know it’s not built in, but you could have the V-40HD “auto mix”
      using MIDI out from your VJ software. Maybe an oscillator set to transmit the
      commands associated with the T-Bar? A while back the guy’s from LIVID
      Instruments had a MIDI app to control multiple EDIROL V-4′s. I’ve also used the iPad
      Lemur app to automate controls of the Roland V-1600HD and V-800HD. Not sure
      what artists are using besides a T-Bar when talking hardware mixers. Would
      you prefer a “DJ style” cross fader, or something else? I myself have
      been looking for a MIDI T-Bar to control my VJ software for ages; one
      controller type I think is missing from preconfigured, or custom controllers
      (just my own opinion though, to each his own).

  • onbeat_visuals

    What the f***!!! Why don’t they talk with VJs during the developement. Even the V-8 made me angry crashing at the live performance on a big festival. For V-4 users this is a useless product update for a way too high price. Every day I love my old V-4 more and more …

  • Elias

    Waste of money. I need to upgrade from my V-4. Anyone know of a simple/low-cost hdmi mixer for two sources?