Tonights Super Bowl is building up to be one to remember. And for reasons other than the Denver defence vs the Carolina offense, Super Bowl 50 could pave the way to how we watch sports in the future. The NFL and CBS are aiming big with the sort of technology they are using for the broadcast of the 50th Super Bowl and will go down as the most state of the art game in history. Here’s whats new.
The big game just got bigger. Quite literally. CBS is going to be using 70 cameras for their broadcast of Super Bowl 50. To put this in perspective, only 40 cameras were used in Super Bowl 49. Thats a whopping 75% more camera! These cameras will be shooting in stunning 5K resolution, a first for the Super Bowl. Despite this it won’t be broadcasted in 5K in the UK due to broadcasting limitations.
Eye Vision 360
This is a brand new camera system which freezes any moment and can give a first-person point of view of any player on the field. It uses 36 cameras which are spread out along the top level of Levi’s stadium and are placed around the 25 yard line of each red zone. It will allow us to see the field from the perspective of the Quarterback or any other player for that matter. This is definitely a big deal and if successful, will change the way we view any sport!
Everyones favourite camera. This was first used in the 1984 Super Bowl but has only been used on a regular basis in the NFL since 2001. The most recent updated which will debut at Super Bowl 50, allows SkyCam to travel at 25 miles per hour, almost double the speed than what is currently being used. This means the camera can outrun any of the players on the field. The usual limitations apply for the camera operators; no lower than 12 yards off the ground, unless its more than 20 yards behind an active player. The SkyCam is also equipped with a microphone, which will give us some rich sounds of Peyton yelling ‘Omaha’.
This isn’t new tech but will certainly give use some awesome angles. It was first trailed in the NFL last September, however this is it’s first appearance at a Super Bowl. Cameras are positioned in the small pylons which are situated in each corner of each end zone. The cameras also feature small microphones, which will no doubt capture some pretty tasty sounds.
Ever wondered what the dish shaped objects on the sidelines are? These are actually microphones and although nothing has changed, many people wonder what these devices do. A microphone is placed pointing towards the centre of the parabolic dish, allowing any sound which reflects off the dish to be ‘picked up’ by the microphone. This means sound operators can focus in on the action on the field.
The setting for Super Bowl 50 is Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, which opened in 2014 and was declared the “most high-tech stadium anywhere in the world” by Time Magazine. It features 400 miles of network cable and 1,200 WiFi access point, all accessible by the 70,000 fans that will be attending the game. It’s only fitting that all of the above cutting edge technology is being used in Silicon Valleys back yard.
The NFL has always been a leader in technology ever since trailing coach-to-player communication in 1956 and introducing the instant replay system in 1976. With the most recent additions such as Eye Vision 360 and Plyon Cameras, Super Bowl 50 will definitely make watching sports more engaging for us TV viewers.