July 21st, 2015
A few weeks ago, news of Panasonic’s ambitious ultra-widescreen four-camera system had us trying to desperately imagine what it must be like to watch an entire sporting event on a single 64:9 panorama. But thankfully we don’t have to strain our imaginations any further, because Panasonic has posted some sample footage of a football game shot with the prototype camera system.
For the full effect you’d need to stretch this footage across four high-def TVs, but for most of us full-screening the YouTube video is close enough. What’s wonderful about the system is that it can help recreate the effect of actually being at the game from the comfort of your home—albeit with nosebleed seats.
As any football fan will tell you, the receivers, defensive backs, and linebackers running out of the frame on every play, even in widescreen, is the big limitation of watching football right now. The camera stays on the quarterback or running back, and a ton of the action is lost unless you watch the overhead coach's film. Getting support for camera systems like this into NFL stadiums would let fans with a few extra TVs see the whole field, which would be pretty great.
But for others, part of the enjoyment of watching sports at home are the close-up angles of the action, which this system lacks. And that's why Panasonic's researchers are pitching it as a way for coaches to better analyze their team's performance after a game, instead of a way to sell four side-by-side HDTVs to consumers.
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