The NFL still needs more time to examine how having video replays on the Microsoft Surface tablets that players and coaches use on the sidelines will affect the game.
For the past two seasons, players and coaches have used the tablets to review still screenshots of past plays, replacing the traditional printed paper black-and-white images.
Having video replays on the devices of plays that just occurred on the field would perhaps be even more beneficial than still images. The NFL tested this functionality during preseason games last year and each of the past two Pro Bowl games, and it was met with generally positive feedback.
But at the league’s quarterly meeting on Tuesday, a proposal to allow video replays on the tablets was tabled, just as it was at the annual meeting in March. Charlotte Observer reporter Joe Person noted that the NFL “wants to study the tablet issue further” and will again test video replays on the Surface during preseason games this fall.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told GeekWire that the video streaming technology is “game-ready.” But he noted that “there was a suggestion among the clubs yesterday that coaching staffs wanted to spend more time exploring the competitive impact of including video on the Surface tablets.”
That speaks to how much of an impact this new technology can have on the outcomes of games. Adding video replays would provide even more opportunity for analysis of what just happened on the field beyond looking at screenshots like this:
As SBNation noted, the NHL already allows players and coaches to watch replay video during games. The MLB, meanwhile, just approved the use of Apple iPads in the dugout and bullpen, but does not allow for video replay viewing.