Football Refs Test HD Review Monitors at USC Upset

While field refs stuck with the old game plan of reviewing plays (when necessary) on typical SD screens, execs for the Pac-10 watched HD screens at the back of the same review room, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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While viewers both HD and SD were more than preoccupied witnessing Oregon State's huge upset of top-ranked USC during ESPN HD's Sept. 25 broadcast from Corvallis, Ore., the Pacific 10 Conference was using that contest to test new equipment up in its instant-replay booth, which includes HD monitors.

While field refs stuck with the old game plan of reviewing plays (when necessary) on typical SD screens, execs for the Pac-10 watched HD screens at the back of the same review room, according to the Los Angeles Times. The set-up allow both groups to compare pictures—and notes—to determine what enhanced details could be seen with the higher-image format and how crucial it could be in future games.

On the pro level, in response to growing concerns in recent seasons that HD viewers at home could see contested plays better than the officials on the field reviewing them in SD, the NFL last year switched to HD replays.

In a somewhat condescending comment on the Pac-10 experiment that serious football fans might not appreciate, a conference official told the L.A. paper, "It's always easy to say the toy is fun and we should buy it. They'll decide if it's worthwhile for what they're looking at."