An advancement in digital broadcast technology, freeD (free dimensional video) made its premiere in major league sports this April on YES Network’s Yankees home games – known as YESVIEW. freeD, developed by technology company Replay Technologies, records reality not as regular two dimensional video, but as a true three dimensional scene. This enables the production team, and in the near future the actual viewers, to freely roam around a captured scene where no physical camera exists.
Replay’s freeD system utilizes powerful cameras and sophisticated algorithms to create three dimensional photo-realistic real-time scenes, comprised of three dimensional pixels that faithfully represent the fine details of the scene. This information is stored as a freeD database that can produce any desired viewing angle from the detailed information. The freeD system was first used in 2012 at the Players Championship PGA golf event and then at the London 2012 Olympic Games gymnastics competition. The system is currently deployed at Yankee Stadium in New York and is a regular feature of Yankees home games broadcasted by the YES Network with an average of 30 second rendering time.
The freeD system at AT&T Stadium in Arlington will incorporate 24 Teledyne DALSA Falcon2CMOS cameras. 12 cameras will be positioned around each end’s red zone – the area of the field between the 20-yard line and the goal line – to provide highly detailed freeD replays during the Cowboys/Giants NFL game to be broadcast on NBC Sunday Night Football. The Falcon2 camera’s 12 megapixel “4K” resolution significantly increases the image quality of the freeD system, allowing it to capture more of the action with the ability to ‘go in closer’ while retaining HD quality. The Falcon2 camera was selected for this system to deliver the speed and resolution required for this application. Teledyne DALSA Xceleraframe grabbers, which are optimized for the Falcon2 cameras, are being installed in the control room at AT&T Stadium to capture the camera data and to interface with the freeD system.