Hows that


A few days ago I umpired a cricket match. It was a very pleasant afternoon, marred only slightly by the almost continual drizzle, but it was August in southern England.
The game was held at a lovely village cricket club, and so my fellow umpire and I did not have the benefit of replays or other technology. To be honest, I think they would have been of very dubious benefit: the game was between Quantel and the Soho post production industry, and given their combined skills a replay could show absolutely anything.
(As an aside here for the cricket fans amongst the readership, can I recommend the album The Duckworth Lewis Method (you can hear it on Spotify). It includes a song called Jiggery Pokery which recalls, from Mike Gatting’s point of view, the famous Shane Warne delivery that bowled him comprehensively.
One line in the song has Gatting saying he might as well have been holding a contra-bassoon as his bat. Given a Soho post artist and a Quantel iQ, a replay could easily show the batsman to actually be holding a contra-bassoon, which would not help the umpire reach a safe decision.
So I umpired in the old-fashioned way, and the only LBW decision I had to make was absolutely plum. Although even then the batsman argued about it in the pub afterwards.
It did set me thinking, though, about sport and technology. Test match cricket, even by its fans, is regarded as very much a traditionalist sport, something to be savoured for its rituals and gentle pace. Is there another game in the world which can last for five full days and still not reach a result at the end? And that no result can be absolutely thrilling?
Yet cricket is on the cutting edge when it comes to adopting new technology. Hawkeye is a brilliantly executed idea, using multiple cameras and some heavy duty processing to track every ball throughout its flight. All credit to the creative minds of Sky Sports producers who endlessly find new ways to process this data, too: a recent test match had all the deliveries mapped as a mountain range down the middle of the pitch. Granted it did not clarify anything, but it kept the commentators amused for quite a while.
Thermal imaging cameras? Acoustic analysis? This is all good stuff. And it is not just in the broadcast coverage, either: the cricket authorities are using this information to get better, fairer decision making.
Tennis – another traditionalist sport – has also picked up on Hawkeye to use for line calls. That is a sensible, practical decision when you have players whacking the ball around at 200 km/hour. Knowing the line calls are fair does not make tennis in any way interesting, though.
There was some sort of big football event this summer, at which the crowd was noisy and the football was, by and large, not very exciting. But in one game there was one of those “did the ball cross the line” incidents that have cropped up in football since 1966 and probably before then.
This is precisely the sort of issue that Hawkeye can resolve, quickly and decisively. Yet the rulers of football refuse to countenance it. If dull old cricket can move on with the times (not to mention tennis, which is just dull), why is the world’s most popular team game so set against it?
One argument is that the rules should be the same at all levels of the game, and if it is not practical for a kick-around in the park then it should not be used at all. Which is, of course, just plain silly. A World Cup game with national pride at stake and a television audience of half a billion is clearly more important than division four of the Borsetshire Sunday League.
There is also the thought that it undermines the referee, which would be a plausible argument if football referees had any control over the game at all. Cheating is absolutely endemic in football, from carefully choreographed dives to stealing at least five metres and usually more on every free kick or throw-in. Getting a second opinion on whether the ball crossed the line can hardly diminish their stature any further.
And taking advantage of improving technology is hardly new. Athletics championships replaced the stopwatch with electronic timing some years ago, and we have been separating the winners of horse races with photographs for a century or more. In an episode of the cartoon Futurama an electron microscope is used for the photo-finish, leading to a debate about whether the measurement itself affected the result.
Provided it does not disrupt the rhythm of the game too much, I’m all for using innovative technology to ensure that the best man, woman or team wins. Having said that, I have to add the rider that even if they introduced an atomic clock to determine precisely how synchronised they are, it is not going to make synchronised swimming anything other than affront to decency.

Tags: iss045 | cricket match | umpire | quantel | quantel iq | sports | tennis | football | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2013

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2013

  • QUANTEL CEO at NAB 2015

    QUANTEL CEO at NAB 2015

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

  • Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

    Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

  • Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

    Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

  • Quantel at IBC 2012 Part One

    Quantel at IBC 2012 Part One

  • Quantel at IBC 2012 Part Two

    Quantel at IBC 2012 Part Two

  • Quantel at IBC2011

    Quantel at IBC2011

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) at IBC 2015

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

    Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

  • DALET SportsPack at NAB 2015

    DALET SportsPack at NAB 2015

  • LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

    LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

  • Dejero at IBC 2016

    Dejero at IBC 2016

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

    NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

  • Glensound on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Glensound on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Stream UK on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Stream UK on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Polecam talk high speed on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Polecam talk high speed on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Dalet at IBC 2013

    Dalet at IBC 2013

  • i-Movix Slow Motion and D-Flicker at IBC 2013

    i-Movix Slow Motion and D-Flicker at IBC 2013

  • ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

  • Gearhouse Broadcast on Tour May 2013

    Gearhouse Broadcast on Tour May 2013

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013

  • Sonifex at NAB 2012

    Sonifex at NAB 2012

  • Glensound at NAB 2012

    Glensound at NAB 2012

  • The Vision Charity at BVE North 2011

    The Vision Charity at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • Show 20 - July 17th 2013

    Show 20 - July 17th 2013


Articles
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
An Obituary to Timecode
Bruce Devlin - new A stoic and persistent character that stubbornly refused to change with the times, Timecode has finally passed on, but no-one has noticed. A long-lasting industry veteran, Timecode was brought into this world at an uncertain date in the late 1960s due to the needs of analogue tape workflows and the demand for synchronisation between audio and video devices. A joint activity between SMPTE and the EBU led to the work on Time and Control codes starting its journey to standardisation in the early 1970s.
Tags: iss134 | timecode | smpte | ebu | edit | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
The Wireless Way to 4k
JP Delport DTC’s AEON group of products have been specifically designed for the 4K market. We encode with the more efficient HEVC algorithm, which means we are taking a 12G signal and compressing it to a bitrate that can be managed over an RF link. So what makes this a leading idea in the 4K revolution?
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | JP Delport
Contributing Author JP Delport Click to read or download PDF