A pair of Roland XS-84H switchers has become indispensable for the Chicago office of this national event-production systems provider, offering enhanced features and functionality while also reducing manpower and simplifying AV signal routing
Los Angeles, CA — Audio Visual One Limited has been the go-to systems provider for clients ranging from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies for over a quarter century. For AV switchers, the company’s Chicago office has recently been leaning on the Roland XS-84H 8-in x 4-out Multi-Format AV Matrix Switcher. The two XS-84H switchers that the Chicago location has been using for the last year are rarely idle, says Art Sarlin, the company’s System Engineer. “They have become a huge part of what we can offer all levels of events and meeting productions,” he says.
Sarlin cites the XS-84H’s HDMI inputs, which he says match what he’s increasingly finding in the field. “Most computers have HDMI outputs now, and we need to send those outputs to multiple destinations. So the combination of the XS-84H’s native HDMI capability and eight inputs and four outputs makes it a neat little problem solver for us. We’re ready for whatever the client needs to have put up on the screens.” And yes: screens, plural. Sarlin says most high-level and even mid-level productions now use multiple screens – a main screen with flanking screens for secondary information and PowerPoint presentations, delay screens for large rooms, and downstage monitors and confidence monitors. “Instead of having to stack multiple switchers to handle situations like that, the XS-84H can do it all,” says Sarlin, who says he’ll now routinely use as many as six computers to feed content to screens simultaneously. “We can use the XS-84H’s program-preview mode to make sure everything is being routed where it needs to go. And the HDMI capability means we’re routing the audio along with the video, which means we can use a smaller audio console, all in one neat little package.”
The XS-84H can also be networked, a capability Sarlin says has become critical, since he now sets up local area networks on almost every production: “The XS-84H has a web interface, so we can monitor it through a web browser simply by entering its IP address onto the network. That’s incredibly convenient.” This also allows the XS-84H to be remotely controlled, which can free up personnel or in some cases even eliminate an extra switcher operator. Finally, the XS-84H’s HD Base-T outputs mean he can run the switcher using Cat-5 or Cat-6 cabling, which he says reduces costs compared to using DVI inputs over fiber. “Cat-6 cable is readily available, and it’s almost disposable, so that really makes things easier for us,” he says.
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