Skip to main content

Fast Forward Provides Texas-Sized Replays

The super big screen displays are Cowboys Stadium are fed by Fast Forward Video Omega HD DVRs.
Like most things in Texas—this display is really big. The video display screen installed in the new Cowboys Stadium here is the largest high-definition television screen in the world. And it's also one of the most talked about innovations in sports video technology. The four-sided, center-hung display measures 11,520 square feet on each sideline face, and extends from one 20-yard line to the other, guaranteeing there will be no "bad seat" in the house.

How big is it exactly?

Well, it's so big that the NFL had to create a new set of rules to account for a high flying punt that might hit it during play.


Behind the scenes of this gigantic video display is the system that supports the boards. It spans three control rooms and is a showcase of the latest in HD television technology. There are a total of 16 HD cameras located throughout the stadium that provide video feeds via an extensive fiber optics and triax infrastructure. There's also a commensurate amount of signal routing, monitoring, communications, graphics generation and playback system necessary for providing an optimum spectator experience at the facility.

As the integrator in charge of designing and installing such a large system, we at Burst faced some daunting challenges. As the action on one side of the screen goes in the opposite direction from of the action taking place on the field, Cowboys' personnel decided long before the first game that two shows would have to be produced—one for each side of the display board. In order to make that concept a reality, high quality HD instant replay systems had to be designed and deployed and these also had to be cost-effective and user- friendly. This meant an instant replay format that would not compromise the top-shelf HD picture quality that Cowboys management demanded and fans deserved. Another consideration was a system at a price point that would fit within the project's budget.

With help from Fast Forward Video (FFV), we implemented what we believe to be the perfect solution. We chose three FFV's Omega HD dual-channel digital video recorders (DVRs) with two industry-standard DNF controllers. This system provides high-quality simultaneous HD record and playout capability for capturing and replaying key plays during any event. The Omega HD uses JPEG2000 compression at speeds of up to 100 Mbps in order to provide nearly lossless video quality.

When we first began the Cowboys Stadium project, the expectations were very clear. We had to help provide a gameside experience that would rival what viewers would have while viewing a 60-inch 1080p screen in their living rooms.

Thanks to technologies such as FFV's HD DVRs, we created a system that we feel will set the standard by which other professional stadiums and arenas arewill be judged. The FFV Omega HD provided the perfect combination of high-quality and cost effective HD outtput.

Equally important, the FFV team worked closely with us at Burst in order to provide solutions that amounted to much more than the sum of its products. This was a truly full-service approach that took into account all of our system variables and requirements.

Barry Samuels is a Dallas-based sSenior sales engineer with Burst, a systems integrator specializing in video broadcast technologies with headquarters in Denver, Colo. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Fast Forward Video at 949-852-8404 or