There’s a lot of info about the V4 but not as much about the V4ex.
I’m intrigued by it as a potential last-device to compile all the composite and hd signals from various stuff and allow me to easily send a reliable HDMI output to The Stage for when I take the rig out for gigging.
Have you done this or do you have thoughts on how good it actually is at combining analog, digital, sd, hd, etc sources into a reliable hdmi out?
How does it compare to the V4 as far as feedback potential, effects, etc?
Any neat hidden features or gotchas that might change our perspective on it?
Any cool videos featuring the use of one we could investigate?
Perhaps a newb question but I don’t generally use bnc for anything - I can expect to reliably use adaptors to plug in rca or svid to these bnc ports, correct?
Thanks for any thoughts, pointers, suggestions, aphorisms, etc.!
yes, i have one basically for this purpose. i pretty much use it as a way to upscale & add a bit of “post-processing” to my feed (cropping, brightness, contrast, basic FX) before sending HDMI to projector.
a few thoughts…
it’s pretty expensive, and many projectors have composite input with decent upscalers, so for people just getting started they can usually get by without it.
of the four HDMI inputs, only one has downscaling (meaning it can take an HD signal and mix it in with the rest). the other inputs need SD HDMI signals to work as inputs. additionally, all the internal processing is SD, so even if you have a 1080 HDMI input and output, the image will be downscaled to SD and then upscaled again (meaning you lose resolution). this isn’t a problem for me since i am only working with SD inputs.
sometimes if you have effects going the output can get a bit jittery, like it’s working too hard and dropping frames. never seen that on an SD mixer, but it hasn’t happened often.
the preview monitor built in is very helpful.
i tried an upscaling setup with composite to SDI and decimator SDI/HDMI up down cross converter. and i like the v4ex better.
it also works as a USB capture device, but i have the blackmagic intensity shuttle which is much better quality so i have never used it for this. you can use it as an input for live-streaming and recording with a computer.
overall, for my budget and uses it’s been a worthwhile purchase.
and yes, the BNC inputs take a composite signal, you can use simple rca/bnc converters for this.
I’m making a face right now… I’m disappointed and confused. I don’t need a device that will destroy the detail from my HD source; I need a device that will upscale and mix in my SD sources and allow me to send a reliable HD signal to the house video gear, which as a standard asks for hdmi. Dang. Back to the drawing board, but maybe I can find something cheaper. Or if I’m stuck mixing in SD I can just scale up/down and use the gear I have.
roland makes various different mixers that either do only HD mixing or dual HD/SD mixing paths internally. if trying to keep things cheaper and having an HD signal at the end of yr chain is a priority then it probably makes sense to stick to mainly SD mixing and processing and upscale only at the end of the chain.
always worth noting: its not the number of pixels that really matters, its what yr doing with them. Palomas last show at ambient church was all done with SD stuff (plus the entrancer which works at 240p so even less resolution) and then upscaled at the end of the chain and i think youd be hard pressed to find anyone in the audience who was like ‘oh dang, what is this grody low resolution SD nonesense going on here’
I am going through the trouble of getting HD video (via cam) of a small CRT to get all the aesthetic goodness - it would be humorous to crunch that to SD then upscale it, ha. If I do that, I might as well not bother capturing HD video of the CRT and stick to all SD everything with an upscaler/converter at the end. That wouldn’t be a bad idea!
But I’m trying to sort out a way to combine (ideally with flexible chroma/luma keying) one HD video source and one [upscaled end-of-chain from a bunch of SD stuff going on] source into one HD video source i can send to [venue].
slightly off topic but just chiming in with my extremely basic upscaling & monitoring solution:
recently i have been just using my laptop as the up scaling end of my composite video signal chain
plug a composite capture card into the computer, open obs and output the usb device over the hdmi port (while also monitoring the feed on my laptop screen)…
then i hit record in obs so also as a bonus get full recording of my video set…
i also have one of those generic cheap hdmi-usb cards which are great so in theory could mix in an hdmi source with the sd source in obs - obs has some good effects like keying and colour correct and contrast etc built into it…
… i guess u might not wanna bring ur spenny lappy to every gig but for me this works well…
yeah realistically speaking a laptop with some decent gpu specs is a pretty great solution to upscaling sd and mixing with HD, for a couple hundred usd you can get some decent sd and hd capture cards and then use OBS or proprietary softwares to mix things together. vs spending 1k+usd on a dedicated hardware set up for doing the same.
taking a high resolution signal and then converting to lower resolution isnt silly, its just oversampling, is default method for maintaining/generating high quality signals with low to no aliasing/artefacting. on the other hand many cameras with direct SD output are literally already doing this, their sensors are processing much much more data than can actually be used in the SD signal. broadcast studio and prosumer run n gun DV era 3 ccd cameras are nice for this, i’m especially fond of these for feedback stuffs
Since what I am working on is a 1-man live set that already has a laptop involved I am desperately trying to avoid needing another laptop to buy/configure/maintain/setup/troubleshoot.
taking a high resolution signal and then converting to lower resolution isnt silly, its just oversampling
that’s not silly at all! what’s silly is converting it to a lower resolution when it is already at the resolution you want in the end. i want to bring up the sd to match the hd that i have. if i dont end up doing that, this thread (besides its general value which is great) becomes moot since i might as well do it all in sd.
What i’m thinking now is really leaning into the hd camera capture of the crt. perhaps i will do all the mixing in sd and display it on the crt, then use the hd capture of that as the final output, thus not needing a v4ex but instead having to more securely lock down the camera physically via some ad hoc contraption…
the blackmagic atem mixers are set up to do this at the lab at Alfred - i believe they just have composite to hdmi converters on the inputs being used for SD. i think they are pretty expensive but the setup was pretty cool.
I love my v4ex, but I am using a lot of SD stuff with HDMI and component so it’s good for me. The V4 has a major advantage in that there isn’t any HDMI induced lag. So if less frame delay is critical for a live performance, the V4 wins if you can work in SD.