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Tutorial: Live-Switched Production with the Roland VR-50HD Multi-Format AV Mixer

Shawn Lam guides readers/viewers through a simple, powerful, and versatile live-switched production and streaming workflow with Roland's VR-50HD all-in-one multi-format AV mixer.

Roland VR-50HD Video Switching

When it comes to video switching on the VR-50HD, I'd like to look at the inputs and the outputs. There are plenty on both sides. Essentially, there are 4 video inputs (Figure 7, below),  and you can have your choice of SDI, HDMI, VGA/RGB, Composite, and Component video inputs. The way that all these video inputs can work together is that each video input has its own scaler. 

Figure 7. Video inputs. Click the image to see it at full size.

The VR-50HD also gives you a lot of outputs. You have an Auxiliary output, a USB Streaming output, a Program output, a Preview output, and a Multiview output (Figure 8, below).

Figure 8. Video outputs.

So you can add as many monitors as you want or you can be very minimalist and just use the LCD monitor on the console, which has Preview, Program, Multiview, as well as a quadrant for the still image that's loaded in (Figure 9, below).

Figure 9. Previewing with the LCD monitor.

There are 4 video inputs that you can select from on the VR-50HD. The buttons are located at the front/bottom of the panel: Video Inputs 1, 2, 3, and 4 (Figure 10, below). In addition to using those inputs to switch between video sources, I can also use the touchscreen panel (Figure 9, above), where all 4 of my video inputs are available.

Figure 10. Video Inputs 1-4.

Roland also lets you determine how you want to toggle between inputs, depending on whether you prefer straight cuts or transitions. I click the cut button (second from the left in the Transition button panel in Figure 10), I get straight cuts. If I choose the Mix button (third from the left in Figure 10, above), it gives me cross-dissolves, the timing of which is adjustable using the black dial in Figure 10. The third option for transitions is the wipe, which I can choose by pushing the Wipe button (just to the left of the timing dial in Figure 10). By hitting the Setup button (just to the left of Cut), it reveals on the LCD screen all of my wipe options (Figure 11, below), so I can choose the traditional left to right, right to left, and so forth.

Figure 11. Wipe transition options.

Finally, the last transition we want to look at is the Output Fade, or Fade to Black option, located on the far-right side of the console (Figure 12, below). You can adjust the duration of the Output Fade using the transition duration knob, just as you would a cross-dissolve or wipe.

Figure 12. Output Fade.

In the System Menu, shown on the right in Figure 13 (below), is where you load in (or delete) images from your USB stick (shown on the left in Figure 13, below) by hitting the Still Load/Delete function. There are 4 different destinations to choose from, so you load in the bitmap image, and assign it to whichever input you want.

Figure 13. Click in the System Menu (right) to load still images from the USB stick (left). Click the image to see it at full size.

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Increased demand for web streaming services led Mobeon to look for a cost effective, multi-purpose live production and web streaming solution and the VR-50HD fits perfectly into their model