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17 Oct 2017

Review: Roland XS1-HD Multi format matrix switcher

By Julius Grafton.

Some time ago Roland got into the video control business as Edirol. These days they are using the Roland Professional A/V brand, and producing a growing family of professional switchers and mixers.

Now the XS1-HD matrix switcher is here, a compact multi purpose 4 x 4 combo tool that does many things in a competent manner. One of the virtues of Roland is that they build things very well, having a long history as a quality Japanese manufacturer.

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This imbues the little XS1-HD with switchgear and buttons that feel ‘broadcast right’, and design features that ensure the little device will almost certainly keep on keeping on. Like isolating the RCA outputs from the main board. This is a particular concern for a product like this, which is mission critical.

The device can operate in three different modes-Split, Matrix, and Switcher. Switcher being a standard high quality ( 10 bit 4:4:4  colour) presentation switcher; Matrix allows any input to any output function with a major feature being the output scalers allow you to create screen spans for video walls. Split mode has the most flexibility for compositing and allows custom screen layouts like the ticker tape, logo and PiP arrangement.

You connect 4 anythings (video outputs, iphones, media servers, whatever) and send them to 4 anything screens. One of these would typically be your presentation monitor, the other 3 could be three projectors, or 3 screens together or even around a venue.

The big deal is that every input has a scaler, so whatever comes in, you can arrange it. Same deal with every output too, so you can be running different devices and screen formats for each of the four.

You can easily arrange picture in picture, and drop a logo or a ticker onto one screen in split mode. You can choose to sacrifice an output if you want to have cross dissolves when you switch between inputs. This ability is also possible in Matrix mode.

It will handle resolutions up to WUXGA/1080p.

Two-channels of line level audio input and output are provided through RCA jacks. Audio can be mixed internally with HDMI audio via the built-in mixer.

There is an audio delay feature, so when audio hits the PA before the video hits screen you can slow down the audio. On this, the Audio follow function works so as you change sources audio follows.

There is a USB port for loading still images or backing up – this is not for video streaming.

This is a versatile, bang-for-your-buck device for installed and live production applications.

$3299 SSP (suggested sell price, September 2017)

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