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Volume 20 No. 42
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YES Network puts 3-D spin on important replays

The YES Network has begun using YES View, an advanced panoramic replay device, for its broadcasts of New York Yankees home games.

Developed by broadcast technology outfit Replay Technologies, YES View provides a 360-degree view of key game moments, such as close plays at the plate or home runs. The product bears some similarity to EyeVision, the 360-degree replay system prominently used by CBS in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. But unlike that technology, YES View provides full-motion, high-definition panoramic replays; offers a deeper, almost 3-D-like viewing experience without the need for a special TV or glasses; and has much more flexibility in the angle and tilt of the camera rotation.

“We’re taking a leap of faith on this, trying to find the right applications,” said Ed Delaney, YES senior vice president of broadcast operations and engineering. “But the early feedback has been great, and we think it is additive in our storytelling of the game.”

YES View uses nine cameras positioned around Yankee Stadium. Using proprietary algorithms, the cameras collectively create a blended replay image, somewhat akin to principles of animation. The system was tested last year during the global feed of gymnastics competition for the London Olympics, but the YES alignment represents the first regular deployment of the technology.

“This technology is sort of a marriage between computer graphics, visual effects and military tracking technology,” said Diego Prilusky, creative director for Replay Technologies, which features operations in Israel and California.

Financial terms of the agreement between YES and Replay Technologies were not disclosed. Both sides termed the deal as mutually beneficial, one in which YES gained access to the technology at a discounted rate given the exposure it is providing to the firm. YES is now evaluating whether to seek out a sponsor to attach to the YES View replays.

The implementation of YES View continues a practice by the YES Network of being among the earliest adopters of new technologies, such as high-definition, 3-D and in-market digital streaming, though some such pursuits have not turned out to be commercially viable.