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Review: Roland V-02HD Multi-Format Video Mixer

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As a live event livestream director, I’m always on the lookout for new devices that can make reliable live event production simpler. As an avid user of Roland’s V-60HD and V-1SDI video switchers, I’ve already become familiar with common configurations and settings. While these are fantastic switchers, there are occasions when I need only a couple of inputs on the video switcher or when I’m working in extremely tight quarters for a boardroom presentation.

The new, extremely compact Roland V-02HD (Figure 1) can likely fulfill all your requirements in such situations. The V-02HD (retail price USD $595) can be used to mix multiple sources for live event streaming and/or to output audio/video to in-house projection systems.

Figure 1. Roland V-02HD top view

The Basics

The Roland V-02HD is designed to work with HDMI inputs and outputs. While I’d much prefer to keep the signal chain over SDI inputs and outputs, it’s understandable why Roland designed this switcher with HDMI connections, as many digital cameras, devices, and projectors can work with this standard. Like other Roland switchers, the unit uses 4:4:4 (Y/Pb/Pr) color space with 10-bit Video Processing. The V-02 HD can accept two HDMI inputs, and provides two programmable HDMI outputs (Figure 2). All HDMI inputs and outputs on the V-02HD have built-in scalers, enabling you to work with a wide range of video frame sizes and frame rates, and output to a common standard such as 1080i59.94 or 1080p59.94.

Figure 2. Connections on the Roland V-02HD

Unlike other Roland switchers I have used, the V-02HD’s HDMI outputs can be configured to use projector resolution standards, such as XGA, WXGA, and WUXGA, to name a few.

You can operate the V-02HD with any of the physical controls available on the unit, from mixing between HDMI inputs with the button transitions or fader bar to enabling transition type, PiP (Picture in Picture), or DSK (Downstream Keyer). You can also use a Boss FS-6 foot pedal (Figure 3) to control your transitions between your two HDMI inputs, freeing you to control camera movements and direct the live output with the foot pedal. You can buy the foot pedal separately or as a bundled product with the V-02HD. As the connection with the foot pedal is a standard 1/4” audio cable, you can position the foot pedal near your camera and tripod while the controlling the V-02HD located elsewhere in the room.

Figure 3. Boss FS-6 foot pedal

As of the Rev 1.10 firmware for the V-02HD switcher, you can operate the switcher via an iPad connected over USB. The Roland V-02HD Remote app (Figure 4) is a free download from the Apple App Store. I used the Apple Lightning to USB3 Camera adapter to connect a USB Type B cable between my iPad Pro and the V-02HD. With the iPad app, you can control settings much more quickly than using the OSD (On Screen Display) menu over the Preview HDMI port. You also have access to more finely tuned audio settings for each HDMI input and output as well as the analog audio Line In source.

Figure 4. Roland V-02HD Remote app (iPad)

You can store a still image in the memory of the V-02HD, to use with DSK features or as a fade in/out graphic. To load a still image, use a computer input on one of the HDMI inputs of the V-02HD. Make sure the computer is displaying the image in full-screen mode on the connected computer, and use the OSD menu controls to freeze the image from that HDMI input to the still image store. Note that you can store any frame from either HDMI input of the V-02HD.

Unlike pricier Roland switchers, the V-02HD actually has some incredible visual effects features, labeled “VFX” on the top controls. The Part Mosaic feature, for example, can be used to pixelate a specific area of the video frame, such as the face of an individual in an interview to hide one’s identity. The V-02HD also has audio effects processing, with EQ presets tuned for interviews, windy environments, and ambient audio.

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