If you’ve ever been to a Mavs game, you must have noticed the jumbotron. Who doesn’t? The thing is huge and the picture is crystal clear.
The only problem with the Texas-sized scoreboard is that it can only show you a replay from one angle, or what you can also see on TV. And, let’s be honest, we’re seeing a lot of highlights this season. After all, the Mavericks lead the league in dunks — Tyson Chandler and Brandan Wright are practically human highlight reels. Dirk Nowitzki is still letting the one-legged fades fly from all sorts of angles. Monta Ellis seems to defy gravity with the way he moves through the air at such high speeds. Whether you’re watching the game live or from home, there are so many replays we want to watch over and over again from every angle possible, but until now, we haven’t been able to.
That’s where freeD comes in. An innovation by Replay Technologies, freeD essentially “frees” a video. Replay Technologies will install cameras at 26 different positions around the AAC, which will provide 360 degrees of coverage (in 5K resolution, no less) and will turn a two-dimensional space — what’s caught on camera — into a three-dimensional one.
For example, let’s say JJ Barea and Tyson Chandler run a pick-and-roll. With freeD, you’ll be able to see the play develop from every conceivable angle, allowing you not only to see how Chandler gets so open, but you’ll also be able to see what Barea sees. You can almost get into the minds of players as you see things as they happen from 26 different viewpoints. Suddenly, we can dissect yet another alley-oop from all sorts of angles. And we won’t have to wait long, either: The technology is currently being tested in the arena and will be available for broadcast and use within the next month.
The technology will benefit the team, too. Replay Technologies is placing cameras in different areas of the arena that will allow coaches to see games from above, side-to-side, and even in-between players. They’ll have 360 degrees of coverage to dissect play after play run both by them and their opponents.
So the next time you’re at the AAC, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to catch as many different angles of that replay as you want. Same goes for if you’re watching at home. And if there’s a team in the league that deserves that many angles, it’s these Mavs. The offense is the talk of the league and odds are it’s only going to get better.
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