“We’ve pretty much pushed the limits of video, but audio is untapped,” said Tony Petitti, the president of MLB Network.
On March 7, the network will try to take a leap in audio, televising a spring training game between the Indians and Diamondbacks in which up to six players a team will wear microphones. What they say, what they sound like while running the bases and what a batted ball sounds like will be broadcast almost live, after a short delay.
Coaches will also be wired. When they and the players step on the field, their microphones will be on.
Generally, the first, second and third basemen, the shortstop, the catcher and the center fielder will be wired.
The players’ and coaches’ microphones will be augmented by those at each base, down the base lines and along the outfield walls to a greater degree than is currently the standard.
via NY Times
Big League Stew has a 3-minute clip from test-run of this technology ran last year during Spring Training 2011.
Check it out.
It turns out that ambient sounds, rather than player conversation, are the most intriguing elements of this audio-everywhere approach. Things like the crack of the bat, a player running the bases, and the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt, stand out.
As MLB’s Advanced Media division continues to evolve, I expect we will someday have a televised broadcast pumping out surround sound that replicates the “feel” of sitting in the stadium. Then, maybe going beyond that in some way.
If you get the MLB Network catch it live on March 7 at noon (PST).