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)


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.