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Where Technology and Football Meet, Part II - The Fan Experience

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With video boards like this one providing 3,689 square feet of viewing surface the fan experience has completely changed at college stadiums. 

Last week we discussed how advances in technology have changed the way the game of football is officiated and the way coaches prepare. As drastic as that has been on the game it is even more so for the fans who are experiencing it. Crystal clear high definition televisions practically put the view on the field and even the audio is broadcast in such a way that a decent set of surround sound speakers could transform your living room into a extension of the stadium, only with cheaper concessions.

The way we view sports was changed with the arrival of surround sound audio and then when digital television came on the scene it was an even better experience from there. Now with digital audio and video on the market it has never been better for the fan to watch sports from the comfort of their home. Even the radio experience has improved with a shorter delay time and the invention of stadium radios that allow a fan to listen to the game, while watching, with no delay at all. Satellite radio brings crystal clear broadcasting with no static or interference.  

However, technology improvement isn't just for the fan at home or on the radio either. In addition to the already mentioned stadium radios the size and quality of the jumbo screens for fans to watch live action and replays on is absolutely insane. Take Oklahoma's Memorial Stadium for an example. The Sooner Vision in the south end zone measures 113.5 feet wide by 32.5 feet tall for a total viewing area of 3,689 square feet. Its one of the five largest in the nation and allows fans to view up close replays, see the team come out of the locker room and get score updates from around the nation without having to squint their eyes, no matter where they're sitting in the stadium.

For all the headaches that technology has given over the years with down satellites, broken internet streams, and the cost of maintenance it sure has made watching football a lot more enjoyable. Regardless of where I'm watching it from.