Tech jazzes up NBA draft

Comcast offers new on-demand platform for player info

Basketball fans who love technology will have a lot to focus on during Tuesday night’s five-hour live cablecast of the NBA draft on ESPN.

Comcast digital subscribers will be able to tap into an on-demand platform to call up volumes of information on the backgrounds and abilities of more than 25 of the top prospects to be chosen by the 30 National Basketball Assn. teams.

Working with the staff of NBA TV, the association’s 24/7 digital cable network, Comcast on Demand will offer taped highlights and detailed analyses by experts of each team’s needs and of the skills of the newly drafted players.

During the ESPN cablecast, which kicks off at 7, tech-savvy fans will note that the live feeds of interviews from 17 locations throughout the U.S. will not suffer from the two-to-three-second delay that occurs when the transmission comes from satellite distribution.

Instead of satellite, ESPN will be using Sony/GlowPoint, which uses IP-based technology to create, in effect, a glorified video conference that delivers broadcast-quality pictures. The cost to ESPN of using Sony/GlowPoint comes to a fraction of the bill for a standard satellite feed, allowing the network to set up remotes in 17 venues.

Mike Tiricois ESPN’s host for the draft cablecast. The analysts are Jay Bilas, Greg Anthony and Stephen A. Smith.

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