ExpressVu HD PVRs score for NHL Instant Replay

By Andrew Lippe

The National Hockey League is using ExpressVu HD personal video recorders to view video replays of Stanley Cup playoff action in HD. “The upgrading of HD recording equipment in our facility is part of the
NHL’s three prong attack to move to HD,” says John Shannon, executive
vice president, NHL Broadcasting and Production. The NHL also uses
Panasonic HD cameras, an overhead camera system, and a Trilogy digital
intercom system for in-arena review by referees. Three HD recorders are located in each arena to capture replay angles from the Panasonic cameras.

The newest HD PVRs from Bell are dual-tuner 9242 receivers and are capable of capturing 30 hours of HD content. The NHL currently has 15 HD PVRs installed for use in five replay stations located in the NHL video replay room in Toronto. The NHL has used ExpressVu’s HD PVR’s and HDTV service since the start of the 2006-07 NHL season.

The PVRs in Toronto record up to four incoming satellite channels that can include a U.S. broadcast feed, a Canadian broadcast feed, and a home and away feed. Thanks to the 9242’s 320 GB hard drive, up to 30 hours of HD NHL action can be recorded (200 hours SD).

During a review the referees will watch the in-arena camera feed and then consult with the replay officials in Toronto. “The PVR is nimble and effective,” says Shannon. “Replays need to be viewed this way.”