Penn State Football: New Scoreboards Pass Eye Test But Fail In Actual Usage
September 10, 2014 11:00 AM
by Ben Jones
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Penn State paid $10 million to replace both scoreboards inside Beaver Stadium. It was a reasonable investment in the fan experience and with the old scoreboards nearly a decade behind the current technology it was probably time for an upgrade. A replay on the old scoreboard looked like it had been filmed with a toaster. Was that a catch? I think those pixels represent his feet. Nobody complained when the renovation was announced.

The return on the investment was a great big place to show ads for sponsorships. 

As a matter of fact, the scoreboard didn't even have the score.

It doesn't even have the time.

The down.*

Or the distance.*

To be fair these kinds of things take some tinkering around. When the Bryce Jordan Center got a new scoreboard the staff spent several weeks figuring out how best to use it. It took time to see what it could do. So in that respect maybe it's a little premature to simply say the scoreboards won't get better.

But in terms of a first impression, it was a little lacking. That is unless you needed to be reminded about where you could buy a hot dog, the fact you were at a Penn State game, or what company wants to help with your health and life insurance needs.

However, the ads do look fantastic in HD.

Not everything was bad. The full screen shots of the field and players warming up showed real promise. The replays are crystal clear when they are shown. The NBC style entrance video for each starting player is fantastic. So it's obvious that there are a lot of ways to take advantage of the two biggest TVs in town.

But right now it's just kind of annoying.

And that's coming from a guy who can watch the game on a TV above his head, click through every possible stat you'd want to know in real-time, and gets food and admission for free. Tough life.

The folks sitting out in the elements who paid for tickets though? They aren't any more impressed.



*The down, time and distance are now on a very small ribbon board at the each end of the stadium behind the uprights.

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