For the first time, the Rugby World Cup (RWC), which begins this week, is making use of Sony-owned Hawk-Eye’s Smart Replay system for the Television Match Official (TMO). The technology will ingest all 32 individual camera feeds, synchronise them and make them available over a network and in a single interface for referees to make final calls on certain aspects of play such as whether a foot was in touch before the ball was grounded over the try line, for instance.
At the RWC, a 48-match tournament held in England over the next six weeks, the TMO will be located in a Hawk-Eye OB unit on-site with operator Harry Todd.
“During live play it will act as a personalised replay for the TMO but it can also fit into replay packages for broadcast,” explained Todd. “We can synchronise split screens and zoom in. The technology means we can distribute the feeds to as many different independent clients as we want to.”
The same multi-angled feeds from Hawk-Eye will also be available to touchline medical staff for viewing on iPads as an aid to diagnosing a concussion incident and to the citing commissioner where the ability to freeze frame and zoom in on a frame comes in useful. The Smart Replay system from Hawk-Eye has already seen action in Australian Rules Football, horse racing and the NHL.
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