The Roland V-60HD is a professional high-definition video switcher. It has a lot of features that you would traditionally think were reserved for higher-priced and larger units. It’s a very compact, all-in-one video switcher that has audio as well as video controls.
With a price point of $2,995, it's very affordable. It's easy on the budget, and it will bring you excess returns on your investment very quickly. It's one of the reasons why I use it in my own business.
To begin, let’s take a look at the V-60HD’s video inputs. There are six video inputs for bringing in live video. Four of them are HD-SDI and two of them are HDMI. In addition, that HDMI can be switched with one of the RGB component or VGA inputs. If you need to work with legacy video inputs such as VGA, you can.
The best part about this video switcher is that the HDMI and the VGA inputs both have internal scalers on them, so you can work with non-HD or non-standard video signals. In my own workflows, I like to work with 1080/30p for interviews and filming conferences, and I reserve 60p for faster-action events like sports and dance recitals.
One step that I need to take that I wanted to point out to you is that, in-camera, I need to change my 30p recording to a 30p-over-60p signal output . It's actually a pretty simple step, but it's one that's required because the V-60HD only works with 60i or 60p in HD signals and not 30 progressive frames per second.
Audio I/OOn the audio input side, the V-60HD has four XLR inputs, as shown on the top right in Figure 2. Roland has equipped this model with a proper pre-amp so you can mix and match line-level and mic-level audio inputs. In addition, the HDMI and HD-SDI video inputs also can carry embedded audio that you can mix in the switcher. There's also an RCA stereo input and output on this model, which is really useful when you want to connect legacy devices, whether it's just the headphone out from your cellphone to play some music and you use a cable to convert that to RCA, or an audio input from a CD player or something like that. On the output side, you also have two XLR outputs, so you could actually use this as an audio desk or a sound mixer to power PA speakers, and to send a signal back to your video cameras. The program and preview outputs and aux outputs can all be programmed to carry in embedded audio as well. You can control different signals, an aux signal, or a program, or a master signal for each of these embedded audio inputs. The V-60HD is a powerful switcher that Roland offers for only $2,995. All in all, the V-60HD has a wide range of video and audio inputs that give you a lot of flexibility in your productions.
Control SurfaceNext, let’s take a look at the V-60HD’s control surface. In Figure 1, you can see notice a lot of dedicated buttons and knobs, and a T-bar. It used to be that a T-bar was standard fare on a video switcher, but nowadays you can't always take that for granted. The tactile feel of a T-bar is something you just can't replace that with pretimed fades, which this switcher does have. At the bottom of Figure 1 you can see a Preview and Program row of dedicated buttons. We've talked about the six video inputs already. Inputs 7 and 8 can be reserved for logos and USB Still Store memory. Figure 4 (below) shows a diagram of the audio workflow on the V-60HD. The Videoguys logo is on one of the other inputs here. You can very easily switch between the inputs on the program side by pushing buttons, or you can cross dissolve from your preview to your program bus using the T-bar, or do an auto take. There are also a lot of other effects like picture-in-picture, as well as different presets and splitscreen, and wipes going left-to-right and top-to-bottom. One of my favorite features on the V-60HD is the auxiliary row. These buttons allow you to directly output any of the inputs on the Aux bus. The Aux bus is separate from the Preview, Program, and the Multiview outputs. It allows you to send an independent feed. Sometimes I produce webcasts in which I’m also sending a live video signal to a projection feed, a live IMAG signal, or producing a recording that might have a slightly different mix from one of the other outputs. That's where I use the Aux output. Some switchers have Aux outputs that are buried deep in the menu. Having dedicated buttons that I can push to toggle between the Aux outputs really saves me a lot of time. It allows me to be way more efficient with one operator operating and controlling the switcher, the Aux outputs, and the program at the same time rather than having to have two control surfaces and a submix going. It’s really a lifesaver in many workflows that I produce. This has been an overview of the Roland V-60HD, a video switcher that I use in my own business on a daily basis. In our next video we'll get a bit more in depth and have a look at Roland's smart tally system and audio mixing capabilities within this very same video switcher. Thanks for watching.
To see Part 2 click here