Saville Audio Visual choose Roland Systems Group for webcasting

Saville Audio Visual have recently installed two Roland VR-5 AV Mixer and Recorders. Saville are the UK’s largest specialist supplier of audio visual, multimedia and videoconferencing technology. They believed that the feature set would provide a solution not only for their own webcasting environment, but also for one of the branches of Saville who needed a compact unit for live action camera relay work at smaller conferences.

Gareth Lloyd, digital events service manager, explained that the webcast VR-5 is being used primarily to feed the Mediasite webcasting platform from Sonic Foundry but they also use the USB to PC function of the mixer regularly. Connecting a PC to the RGB connector of the VR-5 for various applications such as PowerPoint presentations, slide shows and movie playback enables them to be recorded directly to the VR-5.

“For our purposes, the VR-5 has just the right number of inputs – 3 in total being used for cameras – but we can also bring in the PC input and put that into a video feed,” he said of the VR-5. “This is great because we work with a lot of PowerPoint so we can capture the PowerPoint separately from the webcasting platform. Usually the PowerPoint’s have video in them so now we can bring the video through the mixer.”

The VR-5’s 2 ‘all-in-one’ solution greatly simplifies production, recording and streaming of any live event as the design incorporates a video switcher, audio mixer, video playback, recorder, preview monitors and output for web streaming all in a single unit.

Lloyd went on to explain that the compact size makes it easily portable which is ideal as Saville undertake a lot of international work which requires travelling abroad. “The two outputs are also just right as we don’t need any extra distribution amplifiers,” he went on to say. “With the audio input, we have no need for a separate mixer to get the audio and send it to the recorders and we have enough bass and treble within the mixer to sort out the feed from the in house audio. The built in touch screens are great because no external monitors are needed.”

The built-in recorder can record the final output of the VR-5 to SD memory card and the VR-5 can also playback video, still images and audio files from an SD card. The record to SD memory has also come in extremely useful right from the start for Saville. As there is always a chance of a problem with the webcast, the fact that the whole thing can be recorded at high quality to disk means that there is always a back up. The webcast video mixed via the VR-5 is usually highly compressed video which doesn’t lend itself to all applications, so the ability to simultaneously record in high bit rate MPEG-4 format on the SD card enables easy re-purposing of the recorded video.