All-in-one streaming video mixer - Roland V-4EX

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Products that do everything don't do anything really well, at least that's what we've been led to believe.  If I were making a similar statement, I would change it to "products that do everything don't do anything perfectly."  And for many of us, the quest for perfect gets in the way of very good, not to mention that the more expensive options still aren't perfect. 

A few years ago, I was in search of an order management system for our company, and one of the vendors suggested that I quickly review the system and to figure out whether it would meet 80% of our needs and then if it did, to call him back for a full test-drive.  The system wasn't perfect, but it met more than 80% of our needs.  And it cost less than 10% of we would have paid for better (yet imperfect) systems.  There's something to the concept of "good enough" without making critical sacrifices in performance. 

The Roland V-4EX is an amazing piece of equipment.  It's a 4-channel video mixer with effects, it features a PC input with built-in scan converter (converts computer images to video signals), downstream keying and titling (for text or graphics to overlay the video), has HDMI and composite video inputs and HDMI output, allows audio to be embedded and de-embedded from those HDMI signals, has a video streaming output via USB with a 4-frame audio-for-video delay (helps match up audio with the video signal that is inherently delayed), and it's $1995 -- about 15-20% of what something like this would have cost just a couple years ago.  I almost forgot that it has a built-in touchscreen quad video monitor so that you can view and select the input signals.  You can hook up your iPad, camera(s), recorded video and/or your computer. 

So what's the catch?

Really, there is no catch.  Some might complain that it's not true HD, and it's not.  All of the internal processing is at 480P (standard definition), the same resolution you've come to expect on movie DVD's.  The scaler at the output adjusts the 480P signal to 1080P, but it's not quite the same as full HD at 1080P, but it meets the criteria for "good enough" (and even better than that, in my opinion). 

For some, 1080P is a requirement, and this would be the fatal flaw, but most video streams are not viewed at 1080P.  Most of your projectors are about 720P.  YouTube is 320P or 240P, so the V-4EX is perfectly acceptable (and rather amazing) at just $1995. 

My guess is that more than a few of the V-4EX will find their way into churches to replace presentation switchers with additional features and/or to add out-of-the-box streaming capabilities to existing video systems for a very reasonable price. 

If you'd ask some of the churches we have worked with on basic streaming projects in the last couple years whether the V-4EX is worth $1995, my guess is that many would most would have picked the V-4EX, if they had the chance.  We're glad that the V-4EX is now shipping, and that we've sold some already.  If you're wondering about whether streaming is right for you, give us a call.