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NFL testing tablet video, new communication system in Pro Bowl

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Sunday night’s Pro Bowl is essentially an exhibition and an infomercial, but there’s a chance it impacts the NFL beyond the three or so hours of content it provides for ESPN.

The league is using the game to test a new a coach-to-coach communication system and is making video available on the teams’ sideline tablets.

“We want to take the best technologies and test them under as close to real-game experience as possible,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said.

The league tested making video available on teams’ sideline tablets at last year’s Pro Bowl and during the 2015 preseason. Teams currently can use their sideline tablets to view still images that let coaches zoom in, make annotations, review plays and tag plays to review later. The league statement said “logistical and technical adjustments” have been made to the system since last preseason.

The league said if the communication system technology works in the Pro Bowl, the new system could be used as early as next season.

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29 Responses to “NFL testing tablet video, new communication system in Pro Bowl”
  1. rcali says: Jan 31, 2016 5:22 PM

    I’ve heard they are off shored the replay reviews to India.

  2. patsfan says: Jan 31, 2016 5:42 PM

    You mean the multi billion dollar NFL enterprise might finally have reliable game day comms?

    They aren’t honest enough to tell you how many game day comms failures there have been in any given year, but they will gladly tell you how many players wore their socks too low.

  3. kelsey59 says: Jan 31, 2016 5:43 PM

    The Surface has less than 2% of the market. It is stupid for the NFL to use them. It forces players and coaches to learn how to use another tablet OS. I guess money trumps efficiency.

  4. rjbell4 says: Jan 31, 2016 5:56 PM

    If they add new capabilities to the tablets, then they also need to add a rule that if the tablets aren’t working for one team, the other team can’t use them. It’s silly that rule doesn’t exist now, but at least there’s not a substantial difference between still photographs on the tablets, and printed photographs. But if one team is able to have video, and the other team can’t, that situation would need to be addressed to ensure a level playing field.

  5. cheating is bad says: Jan 31, 2016 6:02 PM

    The Surface is much more difficult to hack than Apple or Android systems, and the league is trying to stay one step ahead of Belichick.

  6. bobsnygiants says: Jan 31, 2016 6:17 PM

    this is cheating isn’t it.

  7. bobsnygiants says: Jan 31, 2016 6:17 PM

    isn’t that cheating.

  8. vjllsduckfan65 says: Jan 31, 2016 6:21 PM

    Any Microsoft product is easier to hack than an Apple product, you’ve obviously not used Apple products.

  9. moses74 says: Jan 31, 2016 6:26 PM

    rcali says:
    Jan 31, 2016 5:22 PM

    I’ve heard they are off shored the replay reviews to India.

    ——————————-
    LMAO

  10. lance19 says: Jan 31, 2016 6:29 PM

    So, even the NFL doesn’t consider the Pro Bowl to be a “real-game” event :0

    And no matter how many “new” versions they claim to have learned from, or how many hundreds of millions of $$ Microsoft dumps on the NFL to try to change our minds about this tablet…it ain’t working…just makes MS look more and more desperate…

  11. mmack66 says: Jan 31, 2016 7:07 PM

    kelsey59 says:
    Jan 31, 2016 5:43 PM

    The Surface has less than 2% of the market. It is stupid for the NFL to use them. It forces players and coaches to learn how to use another tablet OS. I guess money trumps efficiency.
    —————————

    What are you talking about? Windows is used on about 90% of computers.

    Neither Android nor Apple have anything that is comparable to the Surface.

  12. randomguy9999 says: Jan 31, 2016 7:31 PM

    the Surface is a full blown windows 10 PC meaning 90% share, 4+ million apps, exponentially more available tools for custom business applications like the NFL, and since win8, sandboxed applications that can’t hack the OS itself unless the user does something dangerous like surfing questionable websites

    Phone / tablet ecosystems that have 150,000 versions of Angry Bird ripoffs and restrictive architecture are nowhere near being able to do what the NFL needs

    and communication failures? not surprising when you’ve got 100,000 phones in one place (you can probably cook a turkey on your lap in the stands with all that radiation), practically all talking at the same frequency, and need to have rock solid, secure communications for teams…. eventually the NFL will get their stadium networking issues worked out, but it’s no small task

    Windows? there’s literally no other way to do this, and MS definitely wants people to see the Surface hardware, so why can’t they work out a deal for advertising with the NFL? everyone else does…

  13. cinzano08 says: Jan 31, 2016 8:18 PM

    NFL management can never do anything that comes out right. The game succeeds in spite of the morons on park ave.

  14. mitybuc says: Jan 31, 2016 8:27 PM

    “NFL management can never do anything that comes out right. The game succeeds in spite of the morons on park ave.”

    Ditto that.

    And how can you root for a team now with no Traditional AFC vs NFC.

    Still watching, but not near as fun as it used to be.

  15. 6250claimer says: Jan 31, 2016 8:45 PM

    randomguy9999 says:
    Windows? there’s literally no other way to do this…
    ********************************
    “…literally no other way to do this”? Please. The individual teams – both NFL & college – virtually all use an iPad-based product for their playbooks, video review, etc. The ONLY reason the NFL is using Surface on game day is because MS scratched a massive check. “Literally”

  16. 34defense2014 says: Jan 31, 2016 8:49 PM

    On would suspect the Patriots to hire the best Hackers Boston University has to offer. Code name ” Interns.”

  17. nhstateline says: Jan 31, 2016 9:14 PM

    Kessler: mr Vincent prior to this had you ever heard of the ideal gas law?” Vincent: “no”. Kessler: “were you aware that footballs could deflate in the cold ?” Vincent: “no”. And yet this guy’s claiming to have ideas about the best technology? Based on the above he’d struggle in a sixth grade science class

  18. marima07 says: Jan 31, 2016 9:42 PM

    Videos? Taken during a game and used during the same game? Even the Patriots didn’t do that and they were fined and lost a first round draft pick.

    Did the NFL just lose it’s freaking mind or does it have any idea what it was outraged over back in 2007?

  19. imodan says: Jan 31, 2016 10:09 PM

    Gee, I thought one team was fined and lost draft picks because having video available was the worst crime known to man. At this pace HGH should be legal by Super Bowl Sunday.

  20. beavertonsteve says: Jan 31, 2016 10:33 PM

    Yeah, I mean it’s obvious the NFL would be showing video of the opponents signals on a league issued Surface. C’mon people, the league will control the available feeds, they aren’t going to show Patriotesque videos that could be used to spy on other teams play calling. There’s a big difference.

  21. imodan says: Jan 31, 2016 11:07 PM

    beavertonsteve says:
    Jan 31, 2016 10:33 PM

    Yeah, I mean it’s obvious the NFL would be showing video of the opponents signals on a league issued Surface. C’mon people, the league will control the available feeds, they aren’t going to show Patriotesque videos that could be used to spy on other teams play calling. There’s a big difference.
    ——————————————————
    “C’mon people, the league will control the available feeds,”
    Seriously? That’s what you’re relying on? The league controls what feeds individual teams get to see? Yep, sure, no way that’s going to end well.

  22. eddievortex says: Feb 1, 2016 12:06 AM

    So, game time video is in the possible works for the NFL? Didn’t NE get fined and a #1 draft choice taken away and a 500K fine on the head coach? The same video that at the time there was no way they could use it in game time situations?

    In all seriousness the Jests Retirement Home @ 345 Park Avenue needs to be swept clean…

    Deflategate is a proven scam, just look at Brady’s appeal testimony, (under oath, with perjury looming), that the NFL wanted SEALED…!

    Not a NE fan, and believed when the story came out that it was true, then I started listening, reading, and watching and started researching and when Judge Berman ordered that the appeal transcripts be opened, (the NFL wanted them sealed despite the arguments from Kessler and the NFLPA, after the appeal at NFL HQ) the NFL and Goodell were shown to LIARS.

    I guess my point is to the haters…Don’t just read the headlines and be a sheep…Take a few minutes and try Google, Bing, Ask, Blekko, etc.

    The NFL has tried to fool me, you, and anybody else that cares about pro football, imo.

  23. crik911 says: Feb 1, 2016 3:25 AM

    I hate all Apple Products.

  24. captainwhodat says: Feb 1, 2016 3:53 AM

    gee, maybe they can define what a catch is before next season…wait, they have defined what a catch is…sorta…

  25. rootpain says: Feb 1, 2016 8:19 AM

    Well the real benefit to the new system is that we don’t need Goodell anymore. So you can go out and fire him any time now. And his minions.

  26. cinzano08 says: Feb 1, 2016 8:30 AM

    Jimmy Johnson admitted to using vhs tapes during the games back in the 90s. It worked pretty good back then why reinvent the wheel.

  27. RegisHawk says: Feb 1, 2016 9:49 AM

    Apple products aren’t used widely enough to make them worth the time to hack. They’re not inherently safer.

  28. randomguy9999 says: Feb 1, 2016 12:01 PM

    randomguy9999 says:
    Windows? there’s literally no other way to do this…
    ********************************
    “…literally no other way to do this”? Please. The individual teams – both NFL & college – virtually all use an iPad-based product for their playbooks, video review, etc. The ONLY reason the NFL is using Surface on game day is because MS scratched a massive check. “Literally”

    ——————————————————————

    IOS and Android don’t have all the tools… that’s why the NFL wrote all this sideline and replay review software for Windows, and they are on the record saying that they chose the Surface for it’s all weather durability

    MS didn’t scratch a massive check, they made a bid proposal with everyone else and got chosen for a lot of very serious reasons.

    I’m sure there are some using Ipads at camp and training to show PDF playbooks and stream video playback on a network with 50 people connected, but the reason you see Surface and 50 MS guys wearing the same Hawaiian shirt on the sidelines at the Pro Bowl is because it outright body slams Ipad…. Ipad tablet marketshare in the last 5 years is down to 20% from 90% for some very good reasons

    No real big business IT customer writing mission critical applications is using anything but Windows

  29. switchwitch59 says: Feb 1, 2016 4:36 PM

    Great. Let’s get some more things the NFL can screw up and blame on the Patriots, cause you know it’ll happen. They’ll cross feed the videos to the wrong teams but it’ll only be a big deal when it happens at Gillette.

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