DVSport HD Instant Replay Makes Debut at BCS Series
By Ken Kerschbaumer
DVSport was one of the big winners during the college football bowl season as its instant-replay systems were used at 20 of the 34 games. But it was the use of four HD replay systems during the BCS games, including the national championship game, that is capturing the industry’s attention.
“HD Replay has arrived, and we are very excited about our new HD system. The clarity of HD makes a huge difference in the ability for the replay official to make the right decision in the most efficient amount of time,” says Brian Lowe, DVSport president/CEO.
DVSport’s HD Replay system was in use at the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and BCS National Championship game. It makes use of proprietary server technology coupled with a controller.
“HD technology has progressed to the point where we are now able to provide a cost-effective HD Replay solution without compromise,” says Lowe. College conferences are now ready to follow the NFL, which made the switch to HD replay two years ago.
“It worked great,” says DVSport COO Keith Lowe of the HD system. “We’ll be looking to roll it out for the 2009 season as it now meets our level of quality and we’re pleased with the results.” Feedback from conferences like the ACC, the Big East, the Big Ten, the SEC, and, most important, the head officials was also positive.
Doug Rhoads, football officials coordinator for the ACC, is impressed with the DVSport HD Replay technology and its ease of use. “This was the first National Championship Game utilizing this integrated and well conceived system,” he says. “Student athletes, fans, coaches, media, administrators, and officials all benefitted from this flawless operation.”
DVSport utilized redundant systems by running its Standard Definition and HD Replay side by side so everyone could see the stark contrast between the video qualities of the systems. “DVSport’s HD instant replay is a big step forward and puts college-football replay on par with the NFL,” says Terry McAulay, coordinator of football officiating and current NFL referee. “The video quality at the Fiesta Bowl was outstanding, and I believe it will be a difference-maker for college football.”
DVSport has supplied standard-definition instant-replay systems to major conferences for four years, and today the Big East, ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Mountain West conferences as well as schools like Notre Dame, Army, and Navy use a total of 60 DVSport replay systems.
“The availability of HD-quality video in every household, stadium, broadcast booth, and public venue almost demands the use of HD in the replay booth,” adds Brian Lowe. “Now that affordable HD Replay technology has caught up with the demand, we see no reason why all BCS football conferences wouldn’t be using HD Replay in every game starting next season.”
For officials, the new system means improved clarity when zooming in on a play via a jog wheel and click-and-zoom system. During an instant replay, the TV-broadcast production team pumps various camera angles out of the production truck and into the server. Once on the server, the official uses a jog shuttle to control the video even as it is still recording the other angles.
“When you are reviewing every play, the production assistance that ESPN, ABC, Fox, CBS, and NBC provide from the truck is a major part of the workflow,” notes Brian Lowe. “Fox and ABC provided upwards of 26 camera angles to the replay booth at the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, and National Championship games. That’s a lot of great HD camera angles to help get the call right.”