What is Fiber?

Fiber optics is the science of transmitting digital information as light pulses through optically pure glass or plastic fibers only slightly thicker than a human hair. Depending on application and budget, a fiber based data transfer system can be built with cabling that contains a single fiber or multiple fibers housed inside insulated casings. The light pulses that are transmitted over these fibers are typically generated by an infrared Laser or LED diode, and capable of carrying large amounts of data over great distances with only a mild reduction in attenuation (signal loss). Due to this high efficiency, fiber systems are rapidly replacing traditional copper cabling for longer distance transmission.

Fiber Advantages

Compared to traditional copper cables, Fiber cables offer several advantages:

  • Higher Capacity:
    Fiber has much greater data bandwidth capacity over copper cable.
  • Greater distance:
    Fiber has very low attenuation, allowing for longer cable runs without repeaters.
  • Low power:
    Less attenuation allows the use of low-power transmitters.
  • Less interference:
    Signal is resistant to electromagnetic interference, so cables can be grouped closely together without requiring shielding.
  • Decreased size and weight:
    Fiber weighs less, and takes up less space than similar capacity copper cable.
  • Security:
    Meets the security requirements of many government, military and medical applications for sensitive data transmission.

The process of transmitting data as light pulses over fiber is more complex than traditional copper wired connections. There are multiple fiber technologies available in the market which can be implemented depending on the system requirements, but all share some common components:

  • Transmitter:
    Encodes and sends data by converting the electrical signals to optical through a light source such as a Light Emitting Diode (LED) or Laser Diode.
  • Receiver:
    Receives and decodes data by converting optical signals back into electrical through a semiconductor photo-detector.
  • Transceiver:
    Contains both transmitter and receiver hardware in a single housing and arranged in parallel for independent operation and transmissions in both directions.
  • Cable Connectors:
    There are multiple fiber cable connector options available on the market for connecting transmitters and receivers, the most commonly used in current video production systems are ST, SC, and LC. Each of these connectors are available as simplex (single) and duplex (dual) connections.

SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) and SFP+

A compact, interchangeable optical transceiver module with SC, LC, or ST simplex or duplex connectors. Modules are typically hot swappable and connect to a SFP port commonly found on fiber hardware. SFP modules permit cable connectors or optical transmission wavelengths to be changed quickly. SFP connections can handle up to 4.25Gbps.

SFP+ modules offer higher bandwidth and offer data rates of up to 16Gbps with most common implementations around 10Gbps.

ST Connector

Most popular connector for Multi-Mode connections. It has a bayonet-style metal mount and a long cylindrical 2.5 mm ceramic ferrule.

SC Connector

Also known as a ‘square connector’ with a push-pull plastic coupling and spring loaded ceramic 2.5 mm ferrule. An older connector but still widely used and known for reliability.

LC Connector

Considered more recent, smaller replacement of the SC, and commonly used for Single-Mode Fiber systems. Contains a push-pull plastic connector with a latch and a smaller 1.25 mm ferrule.


The size, type and number of fibers in a fiber cable that carry the optical signal between the transmitter and the receiver can vary, but always consist of three main components:

  • Core: thin glass fiber or plastic pathway for the transmission of light pulses
  • Cladding: surrounds the fibers and reflects the light back into the core
  • Buffer: protects core and cladding from damage and moisture

A light pulse enters the fiber cable core and reflects off the cladding in a series of zig-zag bounces, known as total internal reflection (TIR). The light pulses travel at speed approximately 30% slower than the speed of light in a vacuum due to density of the glass or plastic fibers and impurities.

Single-Mode & Multi-Mode

When planning a fiber system, the first decision is often whether to use Single-Mode or Multi-Mode fiber cabling. Understanding the differences between the two modes will help determine the best choice for a facility or remote production. Both modes have their benefits and should be selected based upon the application requirements such transmission distance, connector type, data rate and budget.

Single-Mode fiber cables have a small diameter core (~9 microns) and have a single mode (or path) of light transmission. This eliminates signal dispersion and allows receivers to work well even with very long fiber lengths. Single-Mode Fiber systems provide the highest transmission rates over greater distances.

  • Single mode (path) of light transmission
  • Very low attenuation (signal loss)
  • Very high bandwidth
  • Ideal for long distances (up to 10km @10GbE)
  • More expensive system cost

Multi-Mode fiber cables have larger cores (~62.5 microns) that have multiple modes (or paths) of light transmission. Due to the various light paths, signal dispersion will occur and will increase with fiber length. Although more cost effective than single mode systems, Multi-Mode can cause overlapping reflections and increase the attenuation rate. This reduces the quality of the transmission over long distances, making Multi-Mode Fiber ideal for applications that require high bandwidth over medium distances.

  • Multiple modes (paths) of light transmission
  • Increased attenuation (signal loss)
  • High but limited bandwidth
  • Ideal for medium distances (up to 400m @10GbE)
  • Less expensive system cost

Single-Mode Fiber systems can travel up to 50 times further, but are often 2-4 times more expensive than Multi-Mode. They both can handle 10 GigE speeds but Single-Mode has the capacity for even higher data rates. The two modes are incompatible with each other and cannot be mixed between two endpoints. Single-Mode is often used when transmitting data between facilities, whereas Multi-Mode is used between rooms or even between buildings in the same facility.

Fiber Solutions from AJA

AJA provides a range of products and options to allow you to make the most of your fiber infrastructure. The FiDO line of Mini-Converters are specifically designed to enable conversion and transfer of baseband video and raw video data across Fiber and the wide range of model choices allows you to address Single-Mode and Multi-Mode needs.

Additionally many of our other product lines are offered with SFP cages, so that you can add Fiber SFP inputs and or outputs for recording and playback in the case of the Ki Pro line or handle Frame Sync and complex conversions with the FS line. A handy SFP Configurator is available to assist you with choosing the correct SFP for both the product at hand, and the input or output connectivity you wish to address.

Optical Mini-Converters

Optical Fiber Converters (FiDO) offer unmatched flexibility and cost efficiency for 12G-SDI, 6G-SDI, 3G-SDI, and HDMI 2.0 Fiber conversion, allowing for long cable runs up to 10km for Single-Mode and up to 700m for Multi-Mode fiber systems. Transceivers, transmitters and receivers are available with SC, ST and LC connectivity. All Optical Fiber Converters use a compact, robust, low-profile enclosure designed for tight spaces around equipment racks, trucks and on camera.


  • Transport of 12G/6G-SDI, 3G/HD/SD-SDI, and HDMI 2.0 over optical fiber cable
  • All signal data is passed, including Ancillary Data with SDI signals
  • Simplex or Duplex models available
  • All inputs, either SDI Coax, HDMI or Fiber, are equalized and re-clocked
  • DVB-ASI compatible
  • Useful for eliminating ground loop problems
  • 5-20VDC power supply (included)
  • Five year warranty

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12G-SDI Transceivers, Transmitters and Receivers

FiDO-T-12G-ST 1-Channel Single-Mode ST Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-R-12G-ST 1-Channel Single-Mode ST Fiber Receiver

FiDO-TR-12G 1-Channel 12G-SDI/LC Single-Mode LC Fiber Transceiver

FiDO-T-12G 1-Channel 12G-SDI to Single-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-R-12G 1-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 12G-SDI Receiver

FiDO-2T-12G 2-Channel 12G-SDI to Single-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-2R-12G 2-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 12G-SDI Receiver

Single Channel 3G-SDI Transceivers, Transmitters and Receivers

FiDO-TR 1-Channel 3G-SDI/LC Single-Mode LC Fiber Transceiver

FiDO-TR-MM 1-Channel 3G-SDI/LC Multi-Mode LC Fiber Transceiver

FiDO-T 1-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-T-MM 1-Channel 3G-SDI to Multi-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-R 1-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

FiDO-R-MM 1-Channel Multi-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

FiDO-T-SC 1-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode SC Fiber Transmitter, with SDI loop out

FiDO-R-SC 1-Channel Single-Mode SC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver, with dual SDI outputs

FiDO-R-ST 1-Channel Single-Mode ST Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver, with dual SDI outputs

FiDO-T-ST 1-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode ST Fiber Transmitter, with SDI loop out

Dual Channel 3G-SDI Transceivers, Transmitters and Receivers

FiDO-2T 2-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-2T-MM 2-Channel 3G-SDI to Multi-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-2R 2-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

FiDO-2R-MM 2-Channel Multi-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

Quad Channel 3G-SDI Transmitters and Receivers

FiDO-4T 4-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-4T-MM 4-Channel 3G-SDI to Multi-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-4R 4-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

FiDO-4R-MM 4-Channel Multi-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

FiDO-4T-ST 4-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode ST Fiber Transmitter

FiDO-4R-ST 4-Channel Single-Mode ST Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver


12G-AM 12G 8-Channel AES audio embedder/disembedder

12G-AM-TR with LC Fiber Transceiver

12G-AM-T with LC Fiber Transmitter

12G-AM-T-ST with ST Fiber Transmitter

12G-AM-R with LC Fiber Receiver

12G-AM-R-ST with ST Fiber Receiver


12G-AMA 12G-SDI 4-channel analog audio embedder/disembedder

12G-AMA-R with LC Fiber Receiver

12G-AMA-T with LC Fiber Transmitter

12G-AMA-R-ST with ST Fiber Receiver

12G-AMA-T-ST with ST Fiber Transmitter

12G-AMA-TR with LC Fiber Transceiver

HDMI Converters

HA5-Fiber HDMI 2.0 to Fiber ST

HA5-12G HDMI 2.0 to 12G-SDI

HA5-12G-T HDMI 2.0 to 12G LC Fiber Transmitter

HA5-12G-T-ST HDMI 2.0 to 12G ST Fiber Transmitter

Hi5-Fiber Fiber ST to HDMI 2.0

Hi5-12G 12G-SDI to HDMI 2.0

Hi5-12G-R 12G-SDI to LC Fiber Receiver

Hi5-12G-R-ST 12G-SDI to ST Fiber Receiver

Hi5-12G-TR 12G-SDI to LC Fiber Transceiver

openGear Cards & Rackframe

Open architecture, 2RU modular rack frame system supported by a diverse range of terminal equipment manufacturers, including AJA Video Systems. The frame has a 20-slot capacity with excellent cooling capabilities and power handling for high-density applications including broadcast, OB truck and live event environments. Supports a wide range of openGear cards for HDMI conversion, Scaling conversion, SDI audio embedding/disembedding, and Single-Mode/Multi-Mode Fiber extension. Fiber capable openGear cards listed below.

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openGear-Compatible 2RU Rackframe

The AJA OG-X-FR is a 2RU high openGear frame which is compatible with any openGear card and offers DashBoard support for the latest AJA DashBoard compatible openGear cards. The frame has a 20-slot capacity with excellent cooling capabilities for high-density applications and compatibility with advanced openGear connectivity options for supported cards including AJA Fiber OG cards.

Optical Fiber Converters - Single-Mode

OG-FiDO-TR-12G 1-Channel 12G-SDI/LC Single-Mode LC Fiber Transceiver

OG-FiDO-2R-12G 2-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 12G-SDI Receiver

OG-FiDO-R-12G-ST 1-Channel Single-Mode ST Fiber to 12G-SDI Receiver

OG-FiDO-TR 1-Channel 3G-SDI/LC Single-Mode LC Fiber Transceiver

OG-FiDO-T 1-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

OG-FiDO-R 1-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

OG-FiDO-2T 2-Channel 3G-SDI to Single-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

OG-FiDO-2R 2-Channel Single-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

Optical Fiber Converters - Multi-Mode

OG-FiDO-TR-MM 1-Channel 3G-SDI/LC Multi-Mode LC Fiber Transceiver

OG-FiDO-T-MM 1-Channel 3G-SDI to Multi-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

OG-FiDO-R-MM 1-Channel Multi-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

OG-FiDO-2T-MM 2-Channel 3G-SDI to Multi-Mode LC Fiber Transmitter

OG-FiDO-2R-MM 2-Channel Multi-Mode LC Fiber to 3G-SDI Receiver

SFP Configurator

AJA provides a wide selection of SFP fiber modules. The fastest way to ensure the accurate selection of SFP modules that meet application requirements and ensure seamless AJA product integration into facility infrastructures, is to utilize the AJA SFP Configurator.

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Frame Syncs & Converters

AJA provides a range of 1RU frame synchronizers and multi-capable converters for systems from SD to 4K. Fiber options available on the FS2, FS4, and FS-HDR, plus up to 4 channels of HD support and advanced workflows including real-time HDR transforms.


HDR 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD frame synchronizer and converter

FS-HDR, a 1RU, rackmount, universal converter/frame synchronizer, is designed specifically to meet the High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) needs of broadcast, OTT, production, post and live event AV environments, where real time, low latency processing and color fidelity is required for 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD workflows. Developed in partnership with Colorfront, the FS-HDR’s HDR/WCG functionality is powered by Colorfront Engine™ proprietary video processing algorithms.

FS-HDR also serves as a full, 1-Channel up, down, cross-converter for 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD HDR transformation, conversion and frame sync needs and in 4-Channel mode, offers 4 independent channels of 2K/HD conversion including HDR transformations with a wealth of digital and optional 12G-SDI Fiber LC and 12G-SDI BNC SFP connectivity.

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4-Ch 2K/HD/SD or 1-Ch 4K/UltraHD Frame Sync and Up/Down/Cross-Converter

FS4 is a 4-Channel 2K/HD/SD or 1-Channel 4K/UltraHD frame synchronizer and up, down, cross-converter. AJA’s flagship frame synchronizer and converter offers incredible versatility and connectivity in a sleek 1RU frame for all your 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD/SD conversion needs, with a wealth of digital and optional 12G-SDI Fiber LC and 12G-SDI BNC SFP connectivity. Offering a wide range of connection options for both video and audio, FS4 can do the work of four separate devices in 2K/HD/SD or combine all processors and channels together for maximum flexibility for 4K/UltraHD productivity.

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Dual-channel converter and frame synchronizer

Offering huge flexibility and the power to adapt to meet the needs of rapidly changing environments, FS2 offers unprecedented conversion and frame synchronization power in a single 1RU space.

FS2 can be used as two separate Frame Synchronizers/Format Converters, or the two channels can be linked with the internal FS2 keyer to do the work of three or more devices - for example HD sidebar keying where both the video and background graphics are up-converted and combined.

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Digital Recorders & Players

Ki Pro Ultra Plus digital file recorders and players cover a range of raster, codec and connectivity needs including direct SFP connectivity for 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD recording and playback. Designed to be both portable with a built-in carry handle or rackmountable with half rack wide 2RU high dimensions.

Ki Pro Ultra 12G

Ki Pro Ultra 12G is a multi-channel Apple ProRes® recorder offering up to 4-Channels of simultaneous HD recording, or in Single-Channel mode, a 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR® recorder and player. Avid DNxHD® MXF is also supported up to HD formats in Single-Channel mode.

Ki Pro Ultra 12G offers 12G-SDI single cable simplicity for large rasters and HDMI 2.0 digital video connectivity with HDR support for recording and playback plus a wealth of analog and digital audio connectivity answers any project’s demand for efficient, powerful and flexible workflows. For distance and remote needs, Fiber SFP+ options are available.

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