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Roland Switches Power AV Chicago

 Justin FrickCHICAGO—Established in 1981, AV Chicago is an audio, video, lighting and live- event staging company that specializes in conferences, conventions, trade shows, private events, fundraisers and outdoor lighting and video design. We run the gamut from equipment rental to full production consulting and services, and are involved in more than 2,800 events annually.

Our first introduction to the Roland video mixer line was through Roland’s V-1600HD system for live-event production. We’ve been very satisfied with this piece of equipment and it has served as a great transition piece, allowing us to mix and match HD video and data sources all in one switcher.


With the number of events we do every year, we needed additional digital switch- ers at a good price. Our experience with the Roland V-1600HD switcher’s quality and versatility led us to purchase their V- 800HD and V-40HD models. As with the V- 1600HD, being able to mix HD video and digital data sources is very important and the built-in multiviewer in the V-800HD and V-40HD switchers is also a big plus.

The V-40HD is the most cost-effective mixer in our rental fleet and is attractive to many of our clients, as it allows us to take feeds from up to four DVI or HDMI digital data sources and mix them with other video and camera sources. Our research showed that there’s no other switcher in the V-40HD’s price range that allows you to take digital feeds from four laptops or other such devices and switch and output them along with SDI video sources.

One of the big reasons for purchasing the Roland switchers for our production inventory was our desire to establish an all-digital workflow. I’ve always been an advocate of taking our signal transmission in the digital direction, totally removing analog from the mix. We like the ability to use HD-SDI, or a DVI signal over Cat-5e to produce the most accurate color representation and detail in video images. We’ve been purchasing all digital source equipment so our laptops either have HDMI or DVI ports, allowing us to plug them directly into any of the Roland switchers and acquire all of the signals digitally without the color or signal loss you’d get with an analog workflow.


Some of our clients are designers, colorists and graphic artists, so image quality is very important to them. It’s really great when we can meet their expectations and the Roland switchers have helped make this possible with the all-digital workflow implementation they’ve been part of. Going all-digital has also paid off in another way by saving time. With analog equipment we had to build-in time for adjusting hue, saturation, brightness and other parameters.

You know that you have chosen the right equipment and are doing a great job when everything is plugged in and you hardly have to make any adjustments. This goes a long way in impressing clients.

Justin Frick has been with AV Chicago for 10 years and has an extensive background and experience in touring production. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact the Roland System Group at 800-380-2580 or