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FedExField Goes HD: The Finale

Posted by Matt Terl on August 8, 2010 – 4:45 pm

Well, it became official today. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder led members of the media on a tour of the new upgrades at FedExField, and the new videoboards are now a live, working thing. Because of my travel schedule back from Canton (you guys, did I mention that I was in Canton? I’m not sure if you got that or not!) I was unable to attend today’s event. That was a bummer.

But I did attend a wonderful suiteholders event last week that let me get a sneak peek at the boards. And I cannot emphasize this fact enough: they are seriously awesome. The picture above, which looks kind of like a photoshop of a sharp picture pasted onto the videoboard space, is 100% untampered with and real. I didn’t even do any color correction on it. (Click image to enlarge.)

Most of my pictures came out a little blurrier, probably because I wasn’t quite sure how to set my camera for shooting a gigantic outdoor high definition television screen at dusk, but here’s another one anyhow.

Less visible to fans but arguably just as impressive as the new videoboards is the totally renovated control room for the boards. Here, to refresh your memory, is my 2008 post about what the control room used to look like. And here’s the money shot from that post, the single image that — to my mind — best sums up the old control room: Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 7: Daktronics To Deliver HD Boards, CEI To Provide Infrastructure

Posted by Matt Terl on April 29, 2010 – 4:59 pm

If you were at FedExField for the Draft Day Party, this is what one of the endzones looked like — no longer completely gutted and beginning to show what it will one day be.

Today, the team announced that Daktronics had been selected to design, manufacture, and install the high resolution video boards at the stadium, while Communications Engineering, Inc. would be upgrading the infrastructure to handle the capabilities of the new hardware.

The team sent around a Video Board Fact Sheet that includes some Fun Facts about the Video Boards, which I’ll post after the jump. (NOTE: amount of “fun” received from these facts may be relative.) But before that, an answer to one of the questions I’ve heard most since the Draft Day Party: yes, there were some leftover Lite Brite pieces, and the folks at the Charitable Foundation should be getting in touch with people on the waitlist at any moment. So if you’re on the list, hope for a call in the next week or so.

Without any futher ado: Fun Facts and further details! Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 6: An Update (With Steelwork)

Posted by Matt Terl on April 14, 2010 – 11:57 am

An update on the ongoing work at FedExField. Looking at previous entries in this series will help to provide some context and comparison for these shots. The main change of note is that demolition seems to have largely halted, and construction is underway.

The welders you see in these shots — shots, I might add, which abjectly fail to capture the fiery awesomeness of the actual welding process — are doing steelwork, installing vertical and horizontal struts to support the new videoboards and the roof behind them.
Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 5: Cooley Sells The Lite Brite, Talks About The Offense

Posted by Matt Terl on April 8, 2010 – 1:37 pm

When I visited FedExField to see the first stage of scoreboard demolition, the old JumboTron was in pieces on pallets in the concourse. After I wrote about it, there was some question about what would be done with the pieces, and now we know:

They’ll be given to fans who make a five dollar donation at the Draft Day Party, and Chris Cooley addressed the media at Redskins Park today to explain how the whole process works.

“They’re tearing down the scoreboard,” Cooley said, holding up a piece of the JumboTron. “They come in these tiny cells that, I guess, look like Lite Brite pieces. A bunch of ’em make up a module; then they all make up the entire scoreboard. So we ripped it down, and instead of just throwing it away, of course we want to make money.” He paused. “No, I’m just kidding — it all goes to charity. Everything’s for charity. We’re selling ’em for five bucks apiece at Draft Day. It’s first come, first serve; it’s ‘the original FedExField Scoreboard’. Get ’em for five bucks, charity, cool stuff.”

What he means by “it’s ‘the original FedExField Scoreboard'” is that each piece is affixed with a sticker authenticating it as just that. (Pictured below.)

“The new scoreboard’s gonna be cool,” Cooley continued, “but when Jerry Jones built that great big scoreboard … I mean, we HAD to have a big one. So it’s gonna be 30 by 100 feet. It’s gonna be great. This old scoreboard was, like, 25 by 30, so it towers over what we used to have. It makes us more impressive than ever.”

Cooley majored in Art in college, is an avid potter, and is a generally creative guy. So you just know he’s not going to just toss the Lite Brite piece onto a shelf. He’s got plans for that ex-scoreboard.

“When I get home,” he explained, “I’m gonna build this little wooden trophy case and frame it in nicely, and then it’s gonna go over my mantle in my living room. I want it to be more of a formal piece, so I’m thinking about walnut or Brazilian cherry, but definitely [with] a plaque, and maybe Dan [Snyder] will autograph it for me. It’ll really complete the room. That’s what I’m hoping for my Lite Brite.”

Eventually, of course, people changed the subject to non-JumboTron matters, to Cooley’s (feigned) disappointment “Seriously?” he asked. “I thought we were talking about the scoreboard.”

And then he described, as so many others have this year, just how excited he is about the new offense. For example: Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 4: Demolition Continues

Posted by Matt Terl on April 7, 2010 – 9:42 am

As Extreme Makeover: Roster Edition seems to be picking up speed at Redskins Park, Extreme Makeover: JumboTron Edition rumbles cheerily on at FedExField. When last we checked in, the control room had been gutted, one panel of one endzone scoreboard had been removed and the bits of the old JumboTron were stacked on pallets in the stadium concourse.

As you can see, things have picked up a bit since then.

That’s the east endzone has now had all three panels removed, clearing the necessary space for the new HD board. And now the west endzone is coming along as well.

Read more »

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Wednesday, January 20: High Definition Comes To FedExField

Posted by Matt Terl on January 20, 2010 – 10:00 am

Many of the most popular complaints about the gameday experience at FedExField surround the video presentation of the game. The Jumbotron is low quality. There aren’t enough out of town scores or stat updates from other games. Not enough replays. (If you’re not familiar with the litany, listen to Steve Czaban on ESPN980 for a bit.)

For the 2010 season, a lot of those complaints should go away: the team is installing two state of the art HD LED video boards, one in each end zone. The video boards will each be approximately 100 feet wide and 30 feet high; that’s a few feet larger in each direction than the video boards in Philly, and taller than the boards in Baltimore, and I can tell you from experience that both of those places offer an excellent in-game video presentation.

That’s just an artist’s rendering to give you a sense of scale on the project (click on the image for a really large version) because … well, because the thing hasn’t been built yet, frankly. But it will be in place for the 2010 season, there will still be no increase in general admission ticket prices, and the in-game experience at FedExField will be exponentially better than it has been, right off the bat.

“It’s all about the fans’ ability to interact both with and within the game,” said team owner Daniel M. Snyder. “We want everyone to be able to get the full impact of the competition on the field. These boards will enhance the experience of every fan in the stadium.”

Gary Fitzgerald has more details over at Redskins.com, including quotes from chief operating officer Dave Donovan and more photos of what the boards are expected to look like. After the jump here, a video demonstration of roughly what we can all expect to see next year. Read more »

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