NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents gave the official OK to for OU to purchase its new video displays and scoreboards, but the school isn't stopping its game-day improvements at equipment. Plans presented by OU President David Boren and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione for scoreboard and message board upgrades were approved by the Board of Regents during their meeting Thursday in Oklahoma City. The next step is upgrading the production of what is shown on the new video displays, said Kenny Mossman, OU's associate athletics director. "We've been talking for a couple of years now about what I think could be a fairly dramatic overhaul of game-day video presentation, and this will certainly help spearhead some of that,” he said. "We'll now sit down with our video staff and take a real hard look at what we can do that maybe we couldn't do before, and I think the same will hold true for our sponsors.” The changes could involve everything from personnel adjustments to ways to make in-game broadcasts more timely. The new Daktronics boards would be installed over a two-year period at Owen Field and the Lloyd Noble Center for a projected cost of about $9.6 million. The resolution on the boards will be among the sharpest available and represents some of the latest technology. "We are making upgrades that will greatly enhance the fan experience at our two most visible venues,” Castiglione said. "This technology is on the cutting edge of what is available in today's market, and we're thrilled to bring this kind of innovation to our fans.” Mossman said OU is always keeping an eye on what other teams, both college and professional, do during games to keep fans entertained, and they'll do the same in preparation for utilizing the new video boards. "Professional sports organizations do a particularly good job of maximizing what you can do with those boards,” he said. "They've found creative ways to involve sponsors and yet not turn off fans. We see interactive promotions now when the fans are featured on the board at a time when it's really a commercial.” More improvements to production quality still lie ahead. When the equipment upgrades are completed, the video boards on both the north and south ends of Owen Field will be high-definition-compatible, but HD cameras — which carry a hefty price tag themselves — were not part of the current purchases. "I don't think we bought that HD-compatible equipment just to say we have it,” Mossman said. "We have every intention of using it. Along the lines of picture clarity, what we're going to have up there now is going to be a dramatic improvement, but I think if we can, in the coming years, get it up to HD level, then we'll have something pretty special.”
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