10/18/2014 5:39PM

Giwner: Addicted to Hi-Def video

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On Saturday I saw the future of racing. Quite frankly, it is the best thing to happen to off-track wagering since the ability to watch races from the comfort of your home.  Live HD-quality video!

NYRA offered up a free sneak preview on Saturday (and will do so again on Sunday) of their new HD video and I was captivated. The video quality from NYRA rivaled that of Major League Baseball games on the web.

As a harness guy, if I watch one or two races from Belmont a week it is a lot, but I didn’t miss a race once I found the HD video on Saturday.

Take a look at the split screen shot to the right and see for yourself. Every aspect of the HD video (left) is crystal clear. You can actually see all of the numbers, odds, and fractional splits. When the horses post parade, you can gauge the shine on their coats or see equipment. The detail is tremendous and much needed in this era of simulasting.

Let’s face it, people are simply not going to be flocking to the track on an everyday basis to see the races in person. Those that bet are doing it from afar. If two tracks of similar quality are racing and one is offering HD video, which one are you going to play?

Any serious handicapper who plays races remotely would not only love the new signal but would likely even pay a premium for the right to watch it. I’d quickly pay a small monthly fee to watch harness tracks in Hi-Def (though free is always better). Imagine being able to see equipment changes or watch the horses warm up. A sharp eye could catch some important details.

I’m sure adding the HD video is costly, but it is more than worth it. I applaud NYRA for the decision. Hopefully management at Meadowlands, Yonkers, WEG, and all the other top harness tracks are reading.

The races from Belmont are wrapping up for the day and I'm excited to watch a full complement of stakes races from Hoosier, Yonkers, and Woodbine . . . unfortunately in Standard Definition. 

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