HDNet reduces clutter for HDTV sports broadcasts

In an era when fast-paced graphics and an overload of announcer chatter has become the norm in sports broadcasting, Mark Cuban’s high definition network, HDNet, is trying a new experiment that looks to reverse that trend.

Stating that his network, which televises sports, entertainment and news programs 24 hours a day in HDTV for DirecTV subscribers, Cuban said the new “Sights and Sounds” approach will provide sports fans with more of the actual sights and sounds from the stadium.

During the New Mexico State versus Utah State college football game last Saturday, HDNet announcers planned to speak only during opening and closing segments, end-of-quarter recaps, and the occasional controversial call. For the majority of the game, viewers will see and hear the sounds of the game and the crowd as if they were in the stadium.

HDNet has also been testing the concept during portions of other live sporting events.

"Sights and Sounds" takes the best of what the announcers have to offer, and combines that with the experience of enjoying the high-definition sights and sounds of the game from a live fan's perspective,” said Cuban, co-founder and president of HDNet.

The "Sights and Sounds" approach will also include: alternate camera angles that show views from stadium seats, including scoreboards, sidelines, and crowds; four parabolic microphones to pick up sounds from the field; microphones on every camera to capture crowd noise; a direct audio feed from public address system; and minimal graphics that will only show a small score box in the upper right corner. In addition, viewers can send feedback and questions through a link on the HDNet Web site.

For more information visit www.hd.net.

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