FOX Sports Arizona to debut Phantom Cam for D-backs' weekend series
As part of this weekend's telecast of the Diamondbacks' series against the Padres, FOX Sports Arizona will debut Phantom Cam, an ultra-high-definition camera that will give viewers new insights into the game with never-before-seen detail.
Phanton Cam -- which has already debuted on FOX Sports San Diego, FOX Sports North, FOX Sports Detroit, FOX Sports Milwaukee and FOX Sports Kansas City -- can record at up to 5,000 frames per second. In contrast, the high-speed X-mo camera often used for slow-motion replays records in the range of 400-1,000 frames per second. This technology has proved popular in previous regions gven its ability to pick up detail not observable by standard high-def cameras or even the human eye.
FOX Sports Arizona will be experimenting with the camera this weekend and again from Sept. 16-19 for the Diamondbacks' series against the Dodgers (and possibly for other games late in the season), and if deemed successful, it could be used more frequently next year.
The Phantom Cam has already drawn some publicity given its capabilities. In last week's series between the Tigers and Royals in Kansas City, the Sunday FOX Sports Kansas City broadcast demonstrated ways in which the technology could aid umpires in instant replay.
On Saturday night, the Royals' Billy Butler argued that a called strikeout -- with runners on the corners in a one-run game -- was actually a foul tip. The Phantom Cam picked up the dust at the end of the bat from contact between the bat and ball, showing that there was in fact contact. And on Sunday, the Royals' Mike Moustakas claimed he was struck by a pitch that the home plate umpire said did not make contact, and he struck out on the next pitch. The Phantom Cam picked up the circular indentation in Moustakas’ right thigh as the ball went by, again demonstrating contact that the umpires were unable to perceive.
The camera also provides remarkable images of the game itself, with this image coming from FOX Sports Detroit's Phantom Cam picking up a ball coming off the bat of the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera:
For more on what Phantom Cam can do, check out this video: