Most consumers by now have heard all the reasons why they should buy a 4K TV, and many are probably asking, “But where can I see some examples of this 4K technology at work today?” If you’re watching this weekend’s broadcast of professional football’s championship game, look closely.
There will be more than 100 Sony professional HD cameras broadcasting the game, but six of those cams will be 4K – that’s four times the resolution of your current HD set.
No, the game won’t be broadcast in 4K. But FOX Sports is using these high-tech 4K cams for its Super Zoom technology, where they can do “cut outs and zoom-ins.” What that means is they can isolate one piece of footage, maybe a close play where a player may be in or out of bounds. Then they can zoom in multiple times on the play and still have the picture be tack sharp.
That’s because they’re using 4K cameras to capture these plays, starting out with a much bigger picture. Think about what happens when you take a picture with your own digital camera at low resolution. When you try to blow it up bigger, the pixels begin to come apart and it gets blurry; there just simply isn’t enough information in the picture to hold it together at a larger size. Same idea here.
They’re starting with a picture that has 4 times the resolution (4 times the pixels) as HD), so the picture holds together and looks sharp even at extreme magnification.
“It’s all about the clarity of the replay and giving viewers the best possible look at a play,” said Jerry Steinberg, senior vice president, technical operations, of FOX Sports. “You see everything in extreme detail, in fact with an extra amount of detail you wouldn’t see in a traditional replay.”
FOX Sports will use six Sony 4K cameras (five F55s and one F65) for its “Super Zoom” technology. The cameras will be down each sideline and in each end zone, with another high, wide position to capture overall field shots.
And while there’s no football team yet to win the championship for 9 consecutive games, Sony cameras have been there the past nine years to capture the moment of who takes home the Lombardi Trophy. So while we can’t choose which team will win, we can at least make sure those close call plays are crisp enough to debate them for years. Enjoy the game!