In 2014, I made a decision to close the doors and work on a specific project for vMix. Their parent company is based in Australia and we set up a subsidiary in Colorado to design, build and sell turnkey live production systems. Martin Sinclair had used a lunchbox configuration and specified this form factor as the first unit. After identifying a couple of good vendors for these units, we did an RFQ and awarded the work to Acme Portable Machines.

Our goal was to create a powerful, portable workstation that would run the vMix top-end version flawlessly. At the time, vMix had just gained 4 channel Instant Replay and we knew we wanted 8 HD-SDI bi-directional inputs. The project came together quickly due mainly to my longtime connections at places like Matrox and AJA. Acme already had a fairly lightweight luggable designed for military application. This made the process of customization easier. We had very specific needs; full-size BNC connectors, balanced audio card and jacks, high powered GPU graphics and removable storage.

vMix GO Computer Modeling
AJA Corvid 88 Multi-port SDI I/O

Version 1 turned out well. We sourced a high quality German PCI card for audio and specified a Neutrik combo jack so customers could use either XLR or standard 1/4″ guitar style connectors to access legacy analog equipment. We settled on AJA as their cards offered bi-directionality and Matrox was still pulling that together. The AJA OEM cards use mini-BNC jacks which are a pain to connect and require a dongle, so we routed cabling thru the chassis to a custom faceplate on the other side of the unit. I’m really proud of this part because it seems so simple but really involved a lot of design work to fit it into the chassis properly. Finally, I specified a decent computer configuration with an Nvidia graphics card as vMix makes use of both GPU and CPU.

We decided to call the unit the vMix GO and so the last step was specifying a nice powdercoat black paint with a vivid silk-screened logo. When I received the first prototype, I was floored. It was a stylish unit that weighed less than 20lbs. Each unit came with a cloth roller bag. Now that we had a product, the next step was channel development and initial marketing.

It was an easy choice to go with long time business partners Broadfield to act as a master distributor for the new vMix hardware line. From there, I started contacting critical reseller partners to pitch the new line. This would be a global effort and we set up resellers in the APAC, EMEA and North American markets. A reseller in Florida would handle Latin America. One might think this amount of effort required a couple of years, but we were extremely proud to have pulled it off in less than a year such that we had units on display the following year at NAB. We followed the vMix GO up with a prebundled laptop solution called the Thunder, but that product was probably a year or two ahead of its time.

The GO line did well with solid reviews from Streaming Media and other outlets. After 18 months with vMix, I realized I was looking for the next challenge and decided to move on. I was a bit surprised to learn after I left the folks at vMix decided they didn’t want to continue supporting a hardware product. Because the resellers like the solution, the GO line was turned over to the manufacturer (Acme Portable) to continue on. This unit is known today as the Acme GO and is built by a subsidiary called Acme Video Solutions. See our full lineup of Acme GO rigs here.

In the next post, I’ll detail an offer that pulled me away from vMix to design another really cool project/product, also one we sell here at DVStreamLine.

vMix GO Plus Side Panel