Channel Nine to introduce 'bullet time' in Tests with 'Matrix- like' replays
Cricket broadcasting is famous for its gizmos and tricks but the latest innovation to the Test summer, which would be rolled out at next week's Boxing Day Test at the MCG is a virtual Matrix-inspired 3D replay that will be part of Channel Nine's latest broadcasting gimmick for Australia's second Test against Sri Lanka
Playing on the famous bullet-dodging scene, featuring Keanu Reeves, in The Matrix, the technology will allow the network's production crew to give viewers a slow-motion, rotational panoramic view of replayed moments, whether they be wickets, pull shots or mid-pitch confrontations.
The groundbreaking effect, which is made possible by combining the shots of the broadcaster's on-field cameras, was popularised by the Wachowski brothers' movie 13 years ago when it earned the industry name 'bullet time'.
Channel Nine believes it can also make a significant impact on cricket, in which it has never been used.
"Basically it sticks together all our separate camera angles into a virtual world but with real pictures," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Brad McNamara, the network's executive producer of cricket, as saying.
"Say you wanted a shot of Dave Warner switch-hitting from down the pitch, and then you wanted it side on. In years gone by, we could do a split screen, or we could roll the replay from down the pitch and then roll the replay from the side," he added.
"Now we can stitch them together, so if you want to get that replay from halfway down the pitch, you can go round the side whenever you want and freeze it. Rather than having to look at it from five different camera angles and five separate bits of tape, we can basically circle him," he said.
McNamara added: "It's the same sort of thing as The Matrix. We can look at it in one continuous sequence. We can freeze it if we want to, we can move it on, we can stop it if we want, telestrate [put graphics on] it, we can make him disappear, we can make him come up again, we can move him."