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Review: vMix Go Portable Live Production Solution

vMix GO is an affordable, portable, SDI-based live production and recording solution that showcases the vMix 4K live production software, which, in my view, is probably the best software in the space that you've never heard of, though it is Windows-only.

If you have Microsoft Office installed on the GO system, you can import PowerPoint files directly into the program and page through them slide by slide, a great feature for those producing with PowerPoint. You can also input streaming files into your productions, but not files from an iDevice on the same LAN a useful feature supported by several other software mixers.

You can create a duplicate, virtual input from any input. In my tests, I configured the single camera in full screen mode for viewing full screen (top content line on the extreme left of Figure 2), and then cropped out a headshot to use in a picture-in-picture webinar configuration (second and third tiles from the left on the top content line). You can also easily adjust the color and positioning of any input.

All inputs are stored individually on the lower left of the interface; there’s no need to group content within a specified number of DVRs, graphics inputs, or virtual inputs. You can freely move content around within the input area, and use color codes to hide and reveal groups of content.

vMix has the de rigueur virtual sets with GUI-based greenscreen, which is eye-candy that most producers never use. One of the virtual sets is blank, and you can use this to create a composition from up to five inputs in the project. This is how I created the webinar-like composition shown in the preview window in Figure 2, using the controls shown in Figure 3 (below). Beyond this feature, you can add any input to any other, making it very simple to create multiple picture-in-picture effects, or unique compositions with your different inputs. This flexibility is one of the strengths of the programs.

Figure 3. Creating a webinar composition with PowerPoint, background. and PiP. Click the image to see it at full size.

Titles and Social Media

vMix has an integrated titler with a useful assortment of templates, including scoreboards that are compatible with Sportzcast input, and a template creator. If your event is not supported by Sportzcast, you can have one person updating the title in real time on a computer or tablet using vMix’s web interface while the main producers mixes the event on the GO box itself. This HTML interface enables two people or more people to work on the same production—a useful feature typically found only on very high-end systems. If you’re producing sports events, you’ll also appreciate vMix’s instant replay feature, called Video Delay in the interface, which saves short bits of content that you can later play back in slow, fast, or normal motion.

You can also link titles to Twitter, Facebook, and IRC Chat accounts to have feeds from these accounts automatically appear and update in your productions. However, while you can ingest this content from your social media accounts, there’s no way within the program to push images or videos out to social media, which is a nice way to keep your viewers (and non-viewers you’re hoping to convert to viewers) engaged.

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In this article, I'll explain how you can do a multi-camera 4K live streaming production with all the equipment--including the video cameras--for under $20,000.
This tutorial will explore the capabilities of vMix GO, an affordable, highly functional, and easy-to-use live production system.