Baltimore-based Focal Point Productions has provided live production services for events of all sizes since 2000, evolving over the decades to accommodate customer demand. As the company began taking on more complex projects involving multiple cameras, TVs, and projectors, SDI cable runs quickly became unwieldy. Looking to simplify and extend cable runs to reduce setup, breakdown, and troubleshooting time, Focal Point Productions integrated AJA FiDO and Hi5-Fiber optical fiber Mini-Converters into its workflow.

“AJA FiDO and Hi5-Fiber Mini-Converters are essential for nearly all our large-scale projects,” noted Focal Point Productions Owner/President Marty Jenoff. “With the SDI cables we typically run between gear on-site, we’re limited to 300 feet and can only run one signal per cable; there’s nothing worse than having to run a bunch of 300-foot cables. The AJA fiber Mini Converters allow us to run multiple signals thousands of feet simultaneously, without issue.”

Focal Point Productions’ arsenal of 12 AJA Mini-Converters includes FiDO-4R, FiDO-4T, FiDO-2T, FiDO-2R, FiDO-TR, FiDO-R-ST, FiDO-T-ST, and Hi5-Fiber. Beyond streamlining set up and tear down, the Mini-Converters also give the team more options for equipment placement. This flexibility is especially crucial in large venues, as more events resume sizable gatherings. “FiDO Mini-Converters make our job a lot easier; they’re rock solid and trustworthy, which is important because we usually only have a couple of hours to set up on location,” Jenoff explained.

Prior to the pandemic, Focal Point Productions primarily created videos for corporate marketing, training, and event recap. While its focus tipped to live streaming with in-person gathering restrictions, demand for its traditional services has rebounded, with live streaming remaining a key component for many projects. By remaining agile and adopting the right technology to accommodate industry shifts, Focal Point Productions has grown nearly 200 percent in the last three years.

“We’re a small business with a heavy project load, so I look for versatile solutions, like the AJA FiDO and Hi5-Fiber Mini-Converters, when evaluating new equipment,” concluded Jenoff.“Lighting, camera, switcher, conversion, and I/O gear are a priority. I’m also interested in NDI and SRT and have experimented with both, but still prefer hard-wired fiber or SDI connections.”

While Focal Point Productions typically handles local projects, teams will travel for larger engagements, such as the upcoming BBYO international convention. Held annually in a different city, the event attracts over 3,000 Jewish teens and 1,000+ additional speakers, volunteers, and philanthropists. Focal Point Productions has managed their production needs for the past five years, with the next convention set for February in Dallas, Texas, and expects its AJA fiber Mini-Converters will undoubtedly be put to good use.

About AJA FiDO Mini-Converters
FiDO Mini-Converters offer unmatched flexibility and cost efficiency for 12G-SDI, 6G-SDI, and 3G-SDI fiber conversion, allowing for long cable runs up to 10km for single mode FiDOs and up to 700m (2296 ft) for OM4 and 300m (984 ft) for OM3 multi-mode fiber optic cables when using models with optional multi-mode SFPs. FiDO converters use a compact, low-profile enclosure that works well in tight spaces around and behind equipment racks, trucks and on camera. www.aja.com/optical-fiber-converters

About AJA Hi5-Fiber
Hi5-Fiber converts 3G-SDI over single mode 1310 nm Fiber optic cable (ST-style Fiber connector) to HDMI for driving HDMI monitors. Embedded 8-channel 3G-SDI audio is supported in the HDMI output allowing a convenient single cable audio/video connection. Hi5-Fiber provides 2-Channel RCA style audio outputs for separate audio monitoring if needed. www.aja.com/hi5-fiber

About AJA Video Systems
Since 1993, AJA Video Systems has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high quality, cost effective products to the professional broadcast, video and post production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.