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A chat with Tony Romo about Intel's True View (Q&A)

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and CBS Sports announcer talks at CES about ways technology can bring fans closer to the action.

Referencing the Alabama-Georgia game playing on a TV in front of us, Tony Romo discusses the different ways people could watch a game using True View tech.
James Martin/CNET

Tony Romo thinks immersive, 360-degree television will change the way you watch sports

Just before Intel's keynote CES presentation Monday at the Monte Carlo's Park Theater, I interviewed Romo -- a presenter at the event -- backstage about the chipmaker's True View technology.

True View, previously called FreeD, uses dozens of cameras pointed at a sports field to capture in-motion, 360-degree views of the action. Broadcasters can then use this data to show fans more unique angles for replays, as the NFL has done this season in 11 stadiums. Intel plans to use True View technology to let fans watch games live in virtual reality from whatever angle they want and to help filmmakers create new kinds of shots for movies.

Here's an edited version of the interview with Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and now an NFL announcer for CBS Sports. (CBS also owns CNET.)

Q: What's it like being at CES?
Romo: It's fantastic, you can feel the energy of the week.

Tell me a bit about about Intel True View.
Romo: We've used it in our broadcast before. It's really unique in the fact that it's a 360-degree camera. They're doing it where you can almost be in the game. If you look at the teams out there right now [pointing to the College Football Playoff championship game playing on a TV in front of us] and you're far away, you can go right in and be that player. It almost looks like there's a camera on that player's head. Think about if you had a camera on the quarterback, right in his facemask, see what he's looking at. And this technology has the ability to do that. You can go right down and be that guy holding that football, see that snap, because of all these cameras around.

How close is it to the real thing for you?
Romo: It feels like you're out there. You'll feel the energy, the speed of the game. It's going to change the way you watch television. From a fan perspective, you're going to have an app and you're going to be able to sit here and be like, "Oh, I want to see that closer up." And you'll be able to zoom right in and see your favorite player, and on top of him, all of a sudden you're going to have fantasy stats, too.

But can too much technology and so many graphics overlaid on a screen be distracting for viewers?
Romo: Sometimes you can do too much, this isn't that. This right here, you don't need any [graphics] to do that.

One last question: I'm a big Philadelphia Eagles fan. Do you think they still have a chance in the playoffs?
Romo: The Eagles definitely have a chance. People are underselling them right now.

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