Even with fan presences limited or eliminated due to COVID, sports stadiums continue to host games. Now Levi’s Stadium — which launched as a “temple of football and high technology” six years ago — where the 49ers play is leaping forward with the first 8K replay system. While the case for 8K in broadcasting and home usage is still controversial, the implementation in Levi’s Stadium is important enough that 49ers Vice President of Game Day Production and Broadcast Operations Aron Kennedy told Engadget that they consider it a “home field advantage.”
By adding five 8K cameras to “digitally map the field” (across the goal lines, sidelines and from above with an All-22 camera angle), the new system has enough information to zoom in close on the action without losing any detail, and broadcast a 1080p feed to the stadium’s 200x48 foot video boards. The cameras capture everything at 120 fps, so slow-motion video and freeze-frame stills are possible with little or no motion blur. At that resolution, the team can zoom in up to 400 percent without losing any detail in 1080.