STAMFORD, CT (November 16, 2006)—VERSUS, the national cable television home of the NHL, today announced that the network will debut a high-definition rail camera (Rail Cam) on Monday, November 20, when the Colorado Avalanche take on the Dallas Stars at 8 p.m. ET at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, host of the 2007 NHL All-Star Celebration. The Rail Cam, which was developed and supplied by the technology firm of Fletcher Chicago, runs on a small rail system situated just above the glass on one side of the arena. The camera shot will be used extensively during live-action play, as well as in replay sequences. VERSUS is using the Monday, November 20, game as a trial run for the Rail Cam and, if the new technology proves successful, VERSUS will use the Rail Cam during the NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, January 24, in Dallas.
“The Rail Cam gives viewers a unique perspective, bringing them significantly closer to the action," said Marty Ehrlich, Vice President of Production and Executive Producer for VERSUS. “The camera gives viewers an appreciation for the speed and strategy of the game with the way it tracks the action on the ice. We’re excited to introduce this new technology and we could not have done it without the help of the NHL, the Dallas Stars and the dedicated operations staff at the American Airlines Center.”
Although there have been some experiments with Rail Cam in other hockey telecasts—previously during the nationally televised Frozen Four, a college level hockey tournament—this is the first time that the camera is being used extensively in a nationally televised NHL game in the U.S. It is also the first time that the Rail Cam has been used in native high-definition. Recent improvements to the Rail Cam provide better and smoother-moving shots than ever before.