Ars Techinca, a site I discovered only very recently and now cannot live without, has a survey of the advanced technologies used in broadcasting the Super Bowl. It's another reminder that today just about all media are new media. If you watch the game's broadcast over the air on a conventional set with a tube, you are still experiencing the product of numerous advanced digital technologies.

For instance, the yellow first-down line requires a detailed digital model of the stadium that syncs with computers to track each camera's position, zoom, and tilt data. The cablecam, strung up over the top of the field for overhead shots, is controlled using a Linux-based computer that updates its position 200 times per second. Supervision replay cameras shoot in HD, 2400 x 1800, and up to 480 frames per second. The cameras require so much memory (24 gigs) that they can shoot only a few seconds at a time. Even if not cranked to full capacity, the cameras still shoot "fast enough to make even a center's gut jiggle a thing of slo-mo beauty."

Unfortunately, this year we will not see EyeVision, which configures 33 cameras around a stadium's perimeter to create a "Matrix" effect. The producers can "pause the action, rotate 180 degrees around it, and resume viewing from the other side." But switching from standard to HD cameras, among other issues, meant that this option would be off the table this year.

Finally, NFL Films still shoots many thousands of feet of 16mm every year. That's old media. But to watch it, you probably need cable TV. Or better yet, YouTube.

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