Shutdown Corner

New ‘Matrix’-style replays to be debuted during ‘Sunday Night Football’ opener at Dallas

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

The technological advances in television have changed the way we watch football. Check out a classic game from 20 years ago. You'll notice the difference, and not just because the score isn't always on the screen and there's no superimposed first-down line.

What's next? A "Matrix"-style replay system, starting with Sunday Night Football broadcasts at Dallas, according to Buzzfeed.com. Because, as of now, AT&T Stadium is the only football stadium set up for the complex system. Of course it would be in the Cowboys' palace first. The report says the system will be used for the first time in a NFL broadcast when the Cowboys host the Giants on Sept. 8 in each team's regular-season opener, and again when Notre Dame plays Arizona State at AT&T Stadium on Oct. 5

From PetaPixel.com (which has some intricate details if you want to really geek out), the technology is called "freeD" from Replay Technologies. There are 12 cameras placed around each team's red zone, allowing these replays from the 20-yard line on in.

It has been used in golf, gymnastics and Yankees games, and the story says that it's expected the technology will be installed at more NFL stadiums once fans see its capability during those AT&T Stadium games. It will give television producers a tremendous amount of ways to show a replay while maintaining a clear picture.

“Fans will think they’re playing a video game or watching a Sci-Fi movie, but they’ll actually be viewing real NFL football as never presented before," NBC Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli said, via PetaPixel.com.

If the replay system catches on and is in all NFL stadiums before long, perhaps it could help the officials on replay reviews as well. It looks like a nice step forward in the way we watch games. Who knows what other advances we might see in the next 20 years.

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