Coach Jon Embree and his staff at Colorado were the first in the nation this spring to shoot all football practice video in HD quality thanks to a long-standing relationship with XOS Digital, Inc., a Florida-based provider of content management and digital media services for college and pro sports teams.
Five other programs, including arch rival Nebraska also began using the technology shortly after the Buffs this spring as XOS tested the product before releasing it to the rest of the college and pro football world.
Jamie Guy, director of sports video at CU, is one of the most respected names in his field at the college level. Guy said shooting practice video in HD vastly improves the experience for coaches and players when they study film later.
"It`s unbelievable," offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. "I don`t have to wear my glasses to watch film any more."
The clarity of the video is important because it will save time for coaches in the future as more programs begin using HD. Guy said it has already cut the time it takes him to edit and prepare the video by 45 minutes after each practice.
"On kick off and kick off return it was difficult for coachesto see the numbers on the opposing players jerseys," Guy said. "When they would compose their depth charts they had to zoom in on each individual player and it still wasn`t very clear what their jersey numbers were. It was time consuming and cumbersome. Now the video is very clear and they can see the numbers easily."
Bieniemy spent the past five seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and said the technology would have made a big difference in maximizing preparation time. Guy said the San Francisco 49ers are supposed to be the first NFL franchise to use HD when NFL teams are allowed to practice once again.
The improved technology will ultimately make coaches and players more efficient in when and how they are able to watch film. In the past, they have set aside time at the Dal Ward Center to study and coaches have taken video with them on the road on laptops or DVDs.
The Colorado staff is now able to watch film on iPads purchased for each coach. It allows them access to much more content as they are on the road recruiting during the spring evaluation period over the next six weeks and at other times of the year when they leave campus to recruit or coach road games. If they are on a plane with wifi capability, they can study film while in the air.
Getting players to watch film isn`t as easy as one might believe. Coaches have had the ability in the past to see who is studying film and who isn`t through a tracking system in the software. Embree said nine players on last year`s Colorado team never even logged into their machines the entire season.
Athletic director Mike Bohn is exploring the possibility and the funding to provide each member of the team with an iPad to make it that much easier for players. If they are able to provide iPads to all the Buffs, players will be able to study film between classes on campus, off campus at their favorite local eatery or at home at night before bed.