There’s been the stigma for hockey (besides the lack of coverage on ESPN’s SportsCenter) that fans have trouble following the puck. For those of fans who have watched for years, this seems to be silly, but that’s the rap against the sport even as high definition has raised the TV production to where fans can keep up with the action, but there’s one feature that may raise the stakes even higher.
The NHL conducted a virtual reality test at the Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks at Levi’s Stadium last month and the league has called it a success.
According to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, mounted cameras around the stadium rink picked up HD images and sent them to a Los Angeles company which could then stream the footage in real-time to smartphones. Now this is ultra, ultra high definition, in 6K, not 4K, 6K.
With this, it can reach fans who wish to be in the rink, but can’t. Not only can they watch the game, but viewers can feel that they’re inside the arena with a full 360° angle experience. They can be at home, but can watch the game from any seat in the arena whether it be at center ice, behind the nets or even behind the penalty box to get the in-game experience in their living rooms.
In addition, using virtual reality, fans can zoom in on the puck anywhere on the ice. It’s an interesting concept and while hockey fans know the in-game experience is hard to duplicate on television, perhaps virtual reality can.