Football goes 3D but still no HD for F1

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Will the first F1 race of 2010 be broadcast in HD?

The 2010 Football World Cup will be broadcast in 3D next year by Sony. Up to 25 matches in the 64-game series will be available in 3D.

F1, meanwhile, has still not embraced the last generation of broadcasting technology: high definition.

British host broadcaster BBC is known to be keen to show F1 in HD, and is equipped to do so, but FOA are yet to offer it.

High-def is old news for football fans: the last World Cup in 2006 was broadcast in HD.

Here in Britain league football has been in HD for years, as are other sports including golf, rugby cricket and American football, which hardly has the largest following on these shores. Even darts is broadcast in high definition.

Plenty of other motor sports have got HD coverage sorted out. It seems especially preposterous that I can watch NASCAR in HD but not F1. Americans have been able to watch their favourite motor sport in HD since 2005.

When is the support technological pinnacle of motor sports going to catch up with the simpler worlds of darts and NASCAR?

Read more: FOA want more F1 on pay-TV

Image (C) Brawn GP

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “Football goes 3D but still no HD for F1”

  1. I really want to see f1 in hd. dunt know why ther. not starting it!

    1. One word. Ecclestone.

      1. FOM must offer their feed in HD because we get it in HD here in Aus. Sports channel OneHD do it, it is fantastic. You guys will love it! However, you really notice it when they go to an onboard camera! Hope they can get HD onboard cams soon…

        1. It is not in HD. SPEED TV offer “HD” broadcast. All it is, is upscaled. The outside cameras are all HD cameras and FOM was testing Onboards during the latter part of the season (is very noticeable).

          FOM won’t release it as apparently there isn’t 3 broadcasters that want it in the world, which is ridiculous.

          As BBC, ONE, SPEED & German TV(who broadcasts it there now?) all want it in HD.

          I personally think its all down to them not having total rights over Monaco or Suzuka broadcasts.

          1. Translation: There are 3 broadcasters in the world willing to pay what FOM wants to charge.

          2. aren’t

            *smacks head*

  2. As always they want to be called the pinnacle of motorsport…but it took them years and years to figure they had to broadcast in widescreen! let alone HD

    It’s weurd as it should be the other way around, they need to be the very first with those things!

    1. Australians have had F1 in 16:9 since ’03! You guys are missing out. Check it out:

      1. My mistake. It was just for the Australian race. I have no idea why…

  3. We Americans have also been able to watch F1 in HD for a few years — so it’s not just NASCAR on HD.

    Sorry :)

    1. Sorry bud, you’re watching an upscaled version of the broadcast. The races aren’t filmed in HD, which means nowhere has access to a HD feed.

    2. LOL it’s fakie HD

      I watch f1 on a HD tv on a HD tv broadcaster but the feed is SD….and is the same feed the rest of the world gets.

      1. No seriously, I have an HD Tele, it is obviously filmed in HD as us Australians get it in HD! It is so obvious. I watch the SD broadcasts on my TV then change to OneHD and it is so, so much clearer. SD is unbearable after HD F1.

        Google it, I am 100% on this, I can tell when it is HD! I am sure.

        1. NO…
          oneHD is a just aversion of the BBC feed…

        2. Here, I Googled it and this is what somone said: “All F1 races are filmed using HD camera’s it all down to how much the broadcaster wants to pay. The higher the bit rate the more is costs why do you think ITV PQ was ****** poor.

          HD F1 Feeds have been available to cinemas for sometime.”

          The quality is so much better, not sure if all races had HD thoough, I normally only watched the SD telecast as that was all I could record. However, I know for a fact that Valencia was in HD.

          1. Sorry, I was right (sort of), here is what another website has to say: “The term (Enhanced Definition) refers to devices capable of displaying 480 or 576-line signals in progressive scan (commonly referred to as “480p (NTSC)” and “576p (PAL)” respectively) as opposed to interlaced scanning, commonly referred to as “480i (NTSC)” or “576i (PAL)”. High-motion is optional for EDTV.[1]

            In other countries the outlook may be different. For example, in Australia the 576p digital TV system is officially recognised as high definition.”

            It says only Australians regard it as HD. Sorry about that, but it is way better clarity in ED or in Australia; HD! XD

          2. I’m in Australia, and it’s not in HD. Ch1 just kill the feed on their standard def station and force you to watch it on the HD one. But it ain’t HD. It’s boosted. That’s all. If it ain’t filmed in HD, it can’t be broadcast in HD. Please understand this, damon.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys
    7th December 2009, 7:40

    I don’t actually have a problem with the lack of high definition – my television doesn’t support it.

  5. Although it is a small issue, i think it speaks loudly about the current state of F1.

  6. Really not good enough…it will be 2010 and it’s nothing harder than buying new cameras to capture the footage…and considering most feeds are contracted out to local broadcasters of that nation(cameramen, cameras etc) to film for Brnies mob to produce and package…most local broadcasters around the world already have HD equipment, so the HD footage is then de-scaled down to SD…and then feed out to the various broadcasters.

    So it’s not that it can’t be done tomorrow if they so choose to.

    1. It’s not quite that simple. Your entire workflow has to be HD which includes your onsite editing suite, digital recorders (for the replays and season review DVD’s) and a higher bandwidth uplink to send the feed over. The BBC ran into a similar problem with the Chinese olympics, when booking their uplink about 8 years in advance all they asked for was an SD feed – they actually developed a video compression codec called Dirac which ended up being used as it squeezes an HD signal over SD bandwidth.

  7. As long as Bernie and CVC are in involved it won’t happen, all they do is take money out of the sport and constantly take more and more without giving for they are greedy.

  8. Jonesracing82
    7th December 2009, 9:26

    i honestly dont see the issue, have they not been using HD onboard camera’s this year and was Abu Dhabi not broadcast in HD?
    it’s not like the sport can’t afford to do it……
    V8 Supercars here in Oz r shown in HD i am fairly sure

  9. Can anyone tell me how to watch F1 via BBC because I am still watching F1 on Star Sports/ESPN only.

    1. Move to the UK? ;)

    2. vlc player and then google British tv for vlc

  10. its just more evidence that Bernie & CVC are massively out of touch with what the people who follow F1 want & the technology available;

    When are we gunna get the old reviews transferred to DVD? Why cant we legally download old races or even old highlights? Ive spent ridiculous amounts of money on old races offof ebay and various other places on the web for poor quality vhs transfers of old broadcasts.

  11. It’s a shame for us Bernie will take more money from the TV people yet he won’t telecast in HD format.

  12. Hey, I need 2007 F1 season. Please tell me where to download it. Give me some link .

    1. You will need a lot of luck getting that season. Google search these words: F1 2007 torrent.

      Then learn how to use “torrents”. You can google that and learn in less than an hour. It takes time but trust me its worth it once you get your F1 fix. You might be able to find a few races from that season but 2008 and 2009 are you best bets.

  13. The thing is though if F1 goes to HD it will be the first event which takes place in a lot of different places all over the world and that will be a first. All the other sport events are local events which don’t require as much planning and or technical requirement than placing 50+ Cameras around a 6km track…

    1. Not true. Cricket in Sky Sports has been filmed in HD for the last couple of years, whether that’s the Ashes or ODIs over the globe.

      1. Correct – but cricket matches only use about 5 or 6 HD cameras.

  14. The Japanese GPs in the last 3 years were broadcast in “real” HD by the way, but that was not produced by the FOM, that was broadcast by Fuji TV.

  15. Even A1GP is in HD

  16. Glad F1 isn’t in 3D though. Anyone see the channel 4 3D week?

    It was rubbish, you couldn’t see anything and it just hurt your eyes

  17. It’s obvious why it’s not in HD, Ecclestone doesnt want us to see how ugly he is….

    1. Well… you don’t need HD to see that do you ?

  18. I’m amazed that F1’s even available in colour.

  19. ive been watching f1 in 3d for years with surround sound and smellovision. What you do is buy a ticket and go. Simple!

  20. No HDTV, very late to release season reviews on DVD, anyone spotting a trend here?

    FOM need some young blood at the helm who understand the current market.

    And also I don’t give a monkeys about 3-D, the films are overrated and as was said C4 gave you a headache

  21. Like a lot of people I noticed that the in car footage was filmed by HD Cameras this year. I know we only saw it in SD, but the onboard cameras used to be inferior to noraml and now they are not.
    I invested in a FreeSat HD box and an HD telly mainly to watch F1 not only because the adverts were gone but I hoped the beeb would start with HD. However, I was soon brought down to earth by this website before the season even got underway the beeb pointed out that it was not down to them, and they would love to stick F1 on the BBC HD channel. All we can hope for is that the beeb keep pressure on Bernie & CVC to get HD.
    I’m thinking about going to Silverstone on July 11th 2010 (First time sice 1996) this year as a Scott, there should be a few spare tickets as it’s World Cup Final day and it will be a bit empty if England are still in it!! Button and Hamilton will be making extra pit stops to get the score!!

    1. Could they not just be told over the radio ?!

    2. Wow, how many laps is the British GP going to have next year? It normally starts at 1pm and the world cup final starts at 7:30pm :-o

      1. And I’ll bet you everything I own that if England are playing in the final then it will be shown on the big screens all around the circuit…

        Is it Wimbledon Men’s Finals day too??

  22. Bernie is really, really, old.

  23. FOA’s decision makes even less sense considering the that every detail in Formula One cars counts. If we, the viewers, can see those details well, it would immerse us much more in the action.

  24. It’s crazy that I can watch Formula 2 in HD but not GP2 or Formula 1.

    Yet again, FOM out of touch with the modern world. Time for Bernie to find himself a nice retirement home somewhere and let someone else run the show.

  25. i couldnt care less, it looks better but it just means i end up paying hundreds more on top of what i already pay to watch F1

    1. Who are you paying? With BBC we wouldn’t pay any different.

      Unless you meant you would need a new TV and freesat?

      1. i dont live in the UK so i pay for coverage of F1, ive got a HDTV.

        you lucky Brits, you can just turn on the tv and watch it! would you still watch if you had to pay for it though?

        1. They do have to pay. When they buy a TV, I believe there’s a TV tax/license that is payed on every TV.

          1. they have that where i am as well, except we have to pay for extra sports channels if we want them,

            paying for F1 is worth it but im not paying more than i do now

  26. I understand the argument, “why isn’t F1 HD?!” but really, the SD 16:9 is not bad.

    I’d rather have a better broadcast production. Here in Canada we have only TSN, who really just show the BBC feed…. but no pre race which means there is no Eddie or DC, just Martin Brundle for the GP. Once the cars are at the finish line they cut the feed, therefore so no press conference or podium, SERIOUSLY. The only chance of a post-race interview being broadcasted is if the broadcaster forgets to switch to the next scheduled show, and no… I’m not exaggerating.

    It was fine in 2008 because you could watch the pre race on SPEED TV with Peter Windsor on the grid and then watch TSN with the ITV feed. But now TSN bought the rights to F1, so SPEED is blacked out and you can only watch their pathetic excuse for F1 coverage.

    Sometimes there isn’t even commentary for the whole broadcast because no one in the studio cares enough about the sport to even notice. (i actually really liked the broadcast with no commentary, all you could hear were the fans, cars, and team radios. Actually it was EPIC, but the fact that is was a mistake is frustrating) What’s the point of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the holding rights and blacking out the other feeds if you are going to leaving the entire production in the hands of a 19 year old intern who is too caught up following Tiger Woods’ martial status.

    My point is, when you’re a beggar you can’t be a chooser. Here I am 30 minutes before a GP on an illegal stream of the BBC broadcast just so I can get some form of pre-race coverage, watching a 3 inch screen with the audio cutting in and out every 20 seconds, and you guys want the whole cake…

    Just be happy you don’t live in a place like Canada where HD darts/HD curling/HD Skiing/HD Hockey/HD Baseball/HD Basketball/HD American Football/HD fishing/and HD Lumberjacking are all available, but footy and F1 aren’t even broadcasted properly. The only saving grace for footy fans in Canada is Setanta SD, and one HD match per week by our friends at the Score, but that only helps EPL fans. If you want Bundesliga your on a streaming site. If you want La Liga they are only aware of 2 teams, Barca and Real. And, if you are a Serie A fan, you must speak Italian and like the Big 3.

    F1 Televised w/pre race and post race > F1 in HD

    But obviously Canada F1 Fans have a set of issues that are a little different, at least we got our GP back. FANTASTIC.


  27. Rich,

    I agree about the lack of commentary during some TSN feeds – fantastic! Who needs it? Just listening to the engines makes it seem as close to being there as possible. Almost the entire Japanese qualifying was broadcast this way. Same thing happened years ago when there was a technical glitch and it was my favorite race tape ever.

    As for the upscaled widescreen that we get in Canada – its not too bad until I switch to NASCAR and see what I could be getting!

    1. The Japanese GP Quali was excellent, it was on TSN2, I almost wish they gave us an option to shut off the commentary.

      There have been other times after a GP when the cameras would keep rolling and they would forget to switch to commercial break for about 15 minutes. It put you right in the FIA garage where they weigh the drivers. You were able to hear Hamilton and Vettel talk about their laps while Rosberg walks into the conversation, purely uncensored/ honest reactions to their laps, with no politics. I think this was during the Hungarian GP Qualifying ’09 when all of the timing systems crashed.

  28. Doesnt make a difference for me. We dont get HD feeds in Malaysia anyway. Having said this, I dont mind watching the BBC broadcast in black and white because the ESPN coverage is rubbish at best.

    We’re always a few years behind the curve. Our local cable service has been rumoured to be readying their HD broadcast for Sports before the WC next year. Makes sense, just when HD is going out of fashion, we embrace it.

    So very Malaysia..gotta love it!

    1. A hill stand ticket for Malaysia for sat/Sunday is less than 50 euros?

      I wish I could get into Silverstone that cheap for as seat!…. Just general admission (no seat) at most tracks you are looking at at least double that!

  29. Not really fussed about this. HD looks great and I’m sure people who’ve forked out over-priced sums for the privilege will want to get their money’s worth, but frankly I care much more about what’s going on than how nice it looks.

  30. I think we are talking about 2 things here 1) capture defenition and 2) Broadcast defenition. I b elieve the capture defenition would be HD. I could be wrong. In America SPEED TV has 2 seperate channels. Speed And speed HD. I have been watching it in speed HD for atleast a couple o f years. There is quite a bit of difference between the standard and HD. Here if the channel is HD and if the capture def was standard there will be 2 strips on either side with t he channel name out there and that is not the case with F1. That makes me believe that the capture is in HD. I recieve the signals in 1080i. Now if that had been done by upscaling I am not sure. Anyways I get good quality in Speed HD. The same HD quality I recieve for NASCAR, Indy Car and NFL. So far so good.

    1. Hi Tmax, the reason there are no strips down the sides are because the picture is widescreen, unfortunately not in HD yet! If your satellite/cable box outputs in 1080i, then your tv will say that is what you are watching.

      I know that in the US, nearly all tv was square shaped until digital came along and made all your tv shows widescreen. In Europe and Asia, tv has been widescreen since the mid 90’s. Yet all the dull sports (such as rowing and horse racing) are in glorious HD.

      Singapore race would look fantastic in HD!

  31. It took F1 long enough to broadcast in widescreen! At that rate, we should have HD coverage in about 5 years, while all other sports (including crown green bowling) will be in full HD!!!

    When will the F1 tv guys learn??

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