The $8000 Roland VR-50 HD video mixer features 12 inputs with 4-channels of video (plus still channel) and supports SDI, HDMI, RGB/component and composite video up to 1080p (3G SDI). There’s 12 channel digital audio mixing with 4 layer compositing with a built in preview monitor and external multi-view HDMI output. It even has USB3 video/audio output for web streaming/recording. It would be interesting to test this to composite video for use in a Jabber or even WebEx video call.
The $2200 Roland VR-3EX multi-format AV mixer features composite and HDMI inputs with an SD engine that scales the output up to 1080p. There is an 18 channel audio mixer with USB 2.0 for streaming up to 480i with a 2.5″ touchsreen multiview monitor. There is picture and picture, a keyer and some video effects.
The under $2000 Roland V-4EX video mixer features an SD engine with HD scaling on output featuring HDMI inputs/outputs, USB streaming, HDCP support, built-in touch multi-viewer, and audio embedding. There are 259 Transitions and 148 Effects and a built in touch screen multiviewer.
The Live Wedge is a $1000 4 HDMI input switcher with chroma key, picture in picture and can be operated using a really well designed iPad interface or by using it’s interestingly designed hardware control surface – hence the name Live Wedge. It can also live stream to YouTube or record directly to an SD card.
The SONY MCS-8M is a compact yet full featured video switcher with a street price of around $5400. The MCS-8M comes equipped with a built-in multi-viewer and has 4 HD-SDI inputs, 3 HDMI inputs and 1 DVI-I input with s 4 HD-SDI outputs and 1 DVI-I output in HD Mode. While the interface and features may not be as compelling as the Roland or Wedge, it is Sony quality at a very good price.
The SONY Anycast got a hardware refresh and is now the $20,000 Anycast Touch. The sleek new dual touch interface and compact hardware is really compelling however the price point still seems high for our needs due to its support for HD-SDI sources. It does have built-in ability to record to hard disk and stream simultaneously and is similar to offerings from NewTek in it’s ability to do custom transitions and titles. The Anycast can also control PTZ cameras, either manually or by automatically focusing on a subject as shown in the video clip below.
Darim iStudio is a complete self-contained production studio, similar to NewTek’s TriCaster but designed to be used by a presenter, not a video professional. There are portable and rackmount versions and offer virtual sets, Skype integration, virtual camera presets, a purported simple to use real time chroma key and recording.