Major League Baseball’s new instant replay relies on Apple Macs

In keeping with our early-morning Major League Baseball focus (not really, it just seems that way), Ronald Blum reports for The Associated Press, “Baseball’s replay central is an 18-by-24 foot room on the fifth floor of a former baking factory in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District that’s crammed with so many computers and television screens that it looks like NASA’s Mission Control.”

“Five monitors stretch across the top of the wall, and beneath are eight, 46-inch screens split into two rows. Each television can show one picture, or be split into nine, 16, 25 or 100 angles at once,” Blum reports.

“In the third row are two white Macintosh computers with 19-inch screens, each adjacent to a 26-inch TV. And, finally, below that are dozens of buttons on a router panel. Some are blue, some green, some red, some yellow. This is where the technicians and supervisors will sit,” Blum reports.

MacDailyNews Translation/Educated Guess: “Two white Macintosh computers with 19-inch screens” most likely means “two iMacs with 20-inch screens.”

Blum continues, “The room is called the NOC – the Network Operations Center for MLB.com. It’s where video from the 30 major league ballparks is already being collected, and will be made available to umpires starting Thursday to help them with home-run calls. Technicians can zoom in on replays, run them at any speed.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: MLB’s new instant replay relies on Apple Macs. Guess they want it to work. By the way, congrats to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig who, despite being one of the last people on Earth who we’d picture bringing baseball into the 21st century, is not only leading baseball into inventive, inclusive (excellent compatibility with Apple products) and innovative technology areas, but leading all major sports in doing so. Whomever is advising MLB on technology issues is doing an excellent job.

16 Comments

  1. My best guess is they are using 20 inch iMacs. I was under the impression that they would employ “local” playback systems but I guess I was wrong. Obviously this is a less expensive way to do it and offers the league better control and monitoring of their efforts.

  2. Possible Mac Mini’s hooked up to its each 19″ monitor? Not sure if it has enough processing power to run the instant replay video on demand….I guess it could just be iMac’s that they have mis-measured.

  3. Warning: Don’t get ahead of yourself MDN…you should know by now that 2 iMacs couldn’t possibly drive a bank of 8 monitors that could be arranged to display 800 (8×100) separate video feeds…There is more (much more) to this than what we see on the surface…

  4. Apple’s made the big leagues, sits in the catbird seat and could cleanup on this endorsement. Kudos for stepping up to the plate.
    They must have run a better sales pitch and covered their bases. MLB fielded the alternatives but probably didn’t bat an eye when they were coached on the foul alternatives. It’s clearly a strike at bush league competitors who were thrown a curve and are now in a pickle.

  5. @Spudly:

    I was thinking that, too. While I’m a huge Mac-evangelist, and there’s obviously no reason at all that a bunch of Macs (not just 2) could run an operation like this, those 2 Macs aren’t the whole story. There’s surely a closet or back room with more machines… Linux? Windows? OS X? Who knows…

    At least they’re using two Macs for their operations console, which is nice. Hopefully they’re using an X-Serve or 2 behind the scenes.

  6. Bud Selig is a used car salesman and deserves NONE of the credit here. He’s surrounded by some people who do get. Bob Bowman deserves the credit for MLB.com, not some hairpiece from Milwaukee.

    Now again, could someone please bring back the Montreal Expos!

  7. Wow! Two iMacs!.

    To think that their entire operation is running on them. That’ll show up the Windows crowd.

    I was expecting to read about the bank of Mac servers, or Mac Pro’s.

    I think the article title should be; “Two old iMacs spotted in MBL command center.

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