Panasonic just announced a partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles to build and install what it touts as "the highest-definition boards in the National Football League," a pair of scoreboards that will measure 27 x 192 feet and 27 x 160 feet, respectively. The installation is part of a two-year refresh of Lincoln Financial Center field—aka The Linc—which also saw the installation of solar panels and windmills in the eleven year old facility.
The Linc is getting high-definition scoreboards to go along with its windmills and solar arrays
I contacted Panasonic's rep to find out exactly what the company means by "highest definition." Panasonic responded that the use of panels with a 10mm dot pitch was the reason for the claim. I ran a quick calculation and discovered that the larger of the two boards will boast a resolution of 823 pixels x 5790 pixels, for an approximate total pixel count of 4.75 million. While that is a lot of pixels, it is not as many as you'll find on a UHDTV, so I was curious how the claim of "highest-definition in the NFL" would hold up to some fact-checking.
I checked out a list of largest video screens on Wikipedia. Reliant Stadium, where the Houston Texans play, has a board that measures 277 x 54 feet with a total pixel count of 5.28 million. The new Levis Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers will play starting this year, also features a 5.2 million pixel board. By that metric, the new screen at the Linc is actually #3 in the NFL in terms of resolution. However, Panasonic argues that the new boards at the Linc deserve the highest-definition title because they utilize 10mm dot pitch panels, a first for a display that large.
Solar and wind energy will help power the new high-definition scoreboard
It might be splitting hairs to argue about which scoreboard has the highest definition. The Eagles will have the advantage in terms of pixel density, the Texans and 49ers will have a slight edge in terms of total pixel count. I think the real news is that Panasonic scored a major contract ($25 million) and has a huge task ahead of it. Besides the two scoreboards, the company will install over 1200 displays throughout the facility, as well as a number of other boards that feature a 20mm dot pitch.
This rendering shows the scale of the new scoreboard
Stadiums need to keep up with the home viewing experience and one of the ways to do that is to provide a video spectacle such as a high-definition mega-scoreboard. What do you think—does a giant display make going to a football game more appealing or do you prefer the high-definition screen in your own living room?
Edited by imagic - 2/6/14 at 6:55am