Replay booth at the big house

Submitted by Bluefishdoc on June 15th, 2016 at 10:14 AM

I had a guided tour of the big house and locker rooms last week and I was surprised to see that the official replay booth had 4 small rather outdated 24 inch (at most) computer monitors and one old small flat screen TV (at most 40 inches). I guess this explains why the reviews take forever and are of such questionable quality. For some reason I expected giant screens with 4k ultra HD. Considering the amount of money that changes hands based on their decisions I was shocked at how low-tech it was.



June 15th, 2016 at 10:23 AM ^

I wonder if the equipment is standardized or even provided by the Big Ten to ensure a consistent experience across the conference and for the replay officials in different stadiums?

That would help explain why it appears to be low tech.

Otherwise, if Michigan equipped the replay room, I would have expected large, professional video monitors - well beyond old computer monitors or old consumer flat screen TVs.

This was also a good reminder that I can't wait until college football goes to 4K...


June 15th, 2016 at 10:34 AM ^

Meh...Michigan is a big money school, no doubt, but it's not quite Jurassic Park ("spared no expense") either. The idea after all is for replays to overturn obvious and conclusive situations, in which case I think the limiting factor would be camera angles and positioning, that sort of thing. I can't imagine screen size and resolution making the difference to sway a call one way or the other.


June 15th, 2016 at 11:58 AM ^

is not just used for obvious and conclusive situations though.  That is how the rule was written but it is certainly not how it is applied.  They go to the monitor for everything now and reverse calls that are 51%-49%.  If they are going to rely on it as much as they do they should have very good technology.


June 15th, 2016 at 1:47 PM ^

in the suites needed to be replaced 2 seasons in (unless they have been upgraded since i stopped working in the suites after the 2013 season)... they are all crappy commercial grade LG's that you could go and buy at Best Buy and they are too small for the suites... i want to say that the ones hanging from the ceiling are 32's and the ones on the walls are 42's... 


June 15th, 2016 at 11:19 AM ^

For some reason that I still cannot understand, my parents have kept the small 10" black and white TV that used to sit on the kitchen counter some 30 years ago, complete with the ability to change channels (all 10-12 of them) by turning a knob. It doesn't really function in today's HD world, of course, but I can only imagine reviewing plays on that thing (although we tried to do that very thing all those years ago when games were on).


June 15th, 2016 at 10:57 AM ^

got a tour of the whole stadium then you got to see the suites and should have seen that the TVs in the suites or on the club levels aren't anything special either. They're all digital setup and not HD... even the AD's suite, school president's suite and Al Glicks suite (Alro steel) has the same setup...  


June 15th, 2016 at 11:12 AM ^

All of that $$$ that fkin Delaney supposedly brings in, and they can not afford decent monitors?  Delaney has been commissioner since 1989...think about that...1989! Desmond Howard was a Freshman at Michigan.

How does Delaney get a lifetime contract?  The guy is 70+ and its time for his ass to get retired...not due to age...but due to passive ineffectiveness and myopic thinking.


June 15th, 2016 at 11:26 AM ^

No one broadcasts the game in 4K resolution.   They are just picking up the feed from the TV broadcast, so the best signal they have is the HD feed we all have.  As long as the TV they have is HD, that is the best quality they are going to get. 

And if they are sitting right in front of the screen, you don't need it to be THAT big.  Distance from the screen is an important in terms of what size you want.

I would think they should have more than just one flat-screen (those 24-inch monitors are stupid), but as long as the flat-screen is 1080i HD quality, 40" sounds about right for people sitting right in front of it. 

Hell, I think ESPN & ABC actually only broadcasts their HD content in 720p to be honest, meaning that you could use a 720p TV from 10 years ago and be fully "up-to-date". 

Don't think I'm defending the replay guys--I think they suck.  But it isn't because they don't have 4K monitors. 



June 15th, 2016 at 6:09 PM ^

720P actually tends to be a lot better for things like sports with fast paced movement because it runs at 60 fps.  1080i is running at 30 fps.  The doubled frame rate is much better for sports and is why ABC/ESPN went with 720P instead of 1080i.  Both 1080i and 720p use about the same bandwidth.

Luckily they have completely dropped interlacing from the 2160P/4K standards and will only support progressive scan.  It still remains to be seen what frame rate the US broadcast standards will take.  Hopefully we'll follow/adopt the Asia semi standard of 120 fps instead of the EU 50 fps.


June 15th, 2016 at 11:34 AM ^

24" is plenty big if you're sitting right in front of it as you would a computer monitor. The limitation is the resolution and clarity of the source material. They can blow up sections (enhance!) on the screen to get a better view, but the pixels don't get any finer. 


June 16th, 2016 at 1:03 AM ^

if they are actualy HD flat-screen computer monitors.   He made it sound like they were the old CRT computer monitors.  

As you said, the limitation is the resolution of the source material.  At 720p, the TV signal has less resolution than any good computer monitor made since at least 2000 or so. 


June 15th, 2016 at 11:42 AM ^

The biggest problem is the people they use to make the decisions.  When you see a guy come in wearing wrap-around sunglasses over his coke-bottle trifocals, you know there might be an issue.


June 15th, 2016 at 1:15 PM ^

A bit off topic but not really....the guy doing play-by-play on the Tigers FSD with Rod yesterday (Dan Dickerson?) was very good... I liked him better than Mario and Mario is pretty good...

Anyway so he was saying that some in MLB would like the reviews to be done by an official in NYC who does not know if the play was called safe or out...that way the official would not be biased towards the official making the call.

Sounds like a good idea, but that would require the ability to block the umpire out of the shot... I dont know how they would do that?  Ump signalling safe or out is often in the shot.. Rod did not ask that obvious question...