Intel changing the way NFL replays are handled

Did you check out any of those instant replays on the Fox Sports broadcast of Super Bowl 51? Or maybe you were distracted by the amazing comeback of the New England Patriots who won in overtime despite a 25-point deficit over the Atlanta Falcons.

During Super Bowl 51 Intel Corp. showcased its 360-degree replay technology. This 360-degree video technology displays an immersive view for fans.

Intel is branding the 360 replay as “Be the Player” and it’s the first time the chip-making giant has worked with Fox Sports, the Super Bowl broadcaster, for the big game.

The “Be the Player” technology produces plays from a player’s point of view and, according to Intel, allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the action of the game.

What’s unique about this Intel technology is that it captures the 360-degree view with attaching any cameras to the players involved.

Take a look at this video from Intel on how the 360-degree view looks from the eyes of a quarterback.

Now this 360-degree technic could have come in handy after Julien Edelman’s improbable catch in the late stages of the game where he was surrounded by Falcon defenders; but still managed to pick up the ball – double clutch it – an inch from the ground. The play will go down in NFL history as one of the best catches ever along with David Tyree’s helmet grab in the 2007 Super Bowl.

Michael Davies, the senior vice president of Fox Sports’ field and technical operations, said the broadcaster tasked Intel to push the Intel 360 Replay technology to the limit of what it could do, using an array of cameras circling the stadium to synthesize a player’s view on the field.

The cameras, backed up by a huge bank of Intel computing power, allow a moment to be recreated in 3D space, so that a ‘virtual camera’ can be placed at the player’s eye line; not unlike how limitless camera views can be created in video games.

“From the beginning, seeing and breaking down the play from the player’s point of view is the undiscovered country of sports broadcasting,” Davies said

“This broadcast with the Intel enhancements brings the audience down to the viewpoint of the player at the critical decision-making moment. What other choices did he have? Was his sight blocked? It all looks much different from field level, and can assist our announcers in describing what actually happened on the field,” he added.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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