NFL Refs Go Hi-Def

Officials finally get same quality replays as fans at home
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Aug 11, 2007 9:48 AM CDT
Referee Dick Hantak watches a replay of a potential touchdown catch by Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter as field judge Don Carey, left and back judge Scott Steenson, right, look on in this Aug. 8, 1996,...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The NFL is switching to high-definition signals for all review booths, a move that will allow refs to watch plays on feeds with the same quality as the ones many fans see. The league's instant replay equipment hasn't been upgraded since 1999, and in that time, many viewers have upgraded to HDTV, allowing fans at home a superior view of questionable calls.

Besides providing for more accurate calls, the higher picture quality should also result in quicker decisions. The league's HD provider says the upgraded picture is five times sharper than standard def, a particular boon on freeze frames and slo-mo, and it appears on a 26-inch screen, 6 inches larger than the previous incarnation.