The inventor of Hot Spot, Warren Brennan, believes his technology can now pick up even the faintest of edges after the development of more sensitive cameras. The BCCI's opposition to the DRS means that the system is not in place for the ongoing Australia-India Test series, but viewers at home are being given access to Hot Spot and Eagle Eye through Channel Nine's coverage.
Brennan said the new cameras being used in this series were vastly superior to those that had been part of the DRS in the past. Testing during the Sheffield Shield season revealed the difference between the older cameras and the new ones, with blurring of the ball and marks on the bat no longer an issue.
Brennan said faint edges could be seen much more clearly with the new cameras, but a significant investment was required to replace all the old Hot Spot equipment. While Australian TV viewers can see the sharper images of the newer cameras this summer, the third umpire in the South Africa-Sri Lanka Tests, where the DRS is being used, has access only to the older cameras.
"We had both cameras down on the boundary line [in the Sheffield Shield], an old one and a new one side by side," Brennan said. "What we found was that the old cameras had so much blur. On the new cameras the ball is completely round, on the old ones there was a lot of motion blur. If we do get a faint edge we will be able to see it. It's just a much more sensitive camera, I'd say five times more sensitive.
"I'm confident we will get a much higher proportion of faint edges now. But we're getting a bit sick of putting all the dough up and trying to improve, somebody has got to meet us half way. I would love to throw out my old six cameras and buy six of these new ones so we have eight in total."
India's captain MS Dhoni said after the Melbourne Test that he had been a fan of Hot Spot before India's tour of England last year, but he was no longer convinced he could trust the technology. Several appeals during the England-India series went to umpire reviews and Hot Spot showed inconclusive results, which Brennan is confident will no longer be the case with the new cameras.
At the MCG last week, Gautam Gambhir and Peter Siddle both fell to faint edges that Brennan believes would not have registered on the old Hot Spot cameras. The new cameras clearly showed a mark on the bat in both cases, although TV viewers initially were shown a replay of the Gambhir dismissal in which the edge was less clear. Brennan said that was due to "sharpening" being turned down on the software; once it was turned up, the edge was visible.
Also in the Melbourne Test, Ed Cowan was given out to a caught-behind decision that might have been reviewed had the DRS been in place. Hot Spot showed no mark on the bat and after the innings, Cowan hinted that he was disappointed with the decision. Brennan said he was convinced from the Hot Spot replays that Cowan had not nicked the ball.