Sky to show final pre-season test in 3D

2013 F1 season

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Paul di Resta, Daniel Ricciardo, Jerez, 2013Sky have announced they will show the final pre-season test of 2013 live and in 3D.

Footage from the four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya from February 28th to March 3rd will be broadcast from 2pm on the Sky 3D and Sky Sports F1 channels. Coverage on the final day will start at 1pm.

The coverage will be presented by Simon Lazenby with commentary from David Croft. It will also be shown in HD for those without 3D televisions.

Sky’s director of 3D John Cassy said: ??It?s proved a huge success with other sports, and now for the first time ever, 3D will bring TV viewers a new perspective on Formula 1.

Sky F1 commentator Martin Brundle said: “3D will show us the real challenges of the race track with added depth and perspective. It will be a new, immersive experience for viewers and I can?t wait to see what F1 action in 3D will reveal.”

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Keith Collantine
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45 comments on “Sky to show final pre-season test in 3D”

  1. Wow! Bit by bit, broadcasting gets better. Now ONE HD in Australia, please follow suit

    1. The technology was already there. Unfortunately, it’ll be many years before we have the option of watching everything in 3d. My response to this was a.) Only now? and b.) Just one test?

    2. I don’t care if OneHD broadcasts in 3D. I just wish they wouldn’t interrupt the race very 4 minutes for 3 minutes of ads.

      1. @lurker – How do you expect them to pay for the broadcast rights, then?

        1. that argument might even carry weight if they didn’t somehow manage it for other sporting events.

          For example, when the MotoGP is on, they have advertising between Moto3 Moto2 and MotoGP, but only have one ad break in the middle of the actual race.

          This is on the same network that broadcasts the F1 race. They are notoriously bad at it, and the local commentators are absolutely woeful.

          1. For example, when the MotoGP is on, they have advertising between Moto3 Moto2 and MotoGP, but only have one ad break in the middle of the actual race.

            MotoGP races are shorter than Grands Prix.

            MotoGP gets broadcast with the support categories; Formula 1 does not.

            The broadcast rights to Formula 1 are probably more expensive than the rights to MotoGP.

        2. A fair point, but is it worth paying for the right to broadcast if the overall quality of that broadcast is destroyed by the fact you only end up actually showing 60% of what you paid for the right to show.

        3. Split screen?

    3. Amusingly, the press release came out while there was nothing on the track here in Jerez…

  2. Testing…coverage?

    I need to lie down.

  3. Who cares about 3D? Put the gimmicks aside, Sky, and offer F1 without the up-sell.

  4. I’m actually in the position that it is cheaper for me to go to the Barcelona test than to buy a 3d TV.

    1. +1.

      Actually 3D tv sets are not that famous. Experts say most families are still happy with they recently aquired HD TVs.

  5. F1 has been filmed in 3D before, FOM ran some trials using top end equipment at the 2010 Canadian Gp & had 3D In-Car cameras filming footage during practice at a couple races in 2009-2010.

    The reason that was the end of F1 in 3D is that it was discovered that 3D didn’t work for F1, As soon as cameras needed to move, zoom or re-focus the footage just became blurred & I gather the 3D In-Car footage was also considered unspectacular.
    It was shown off to the media & the response from them was just as unimpressive.

    Indycar, Nascar, American Le Mans, Grand-Am, V8 Supercars, DTM & I believe the SuperGT series in Japan have also run various 3D trials & all abandoned it & came to the same conclusion.

    So the 2-3 people who will try watching in 3D will likely be switching over to the HD channel soon enough.

  6. Well I’m not bothered about the 3D bit (I just don’t understand the obsession with 3D these days) but coverage of testing is great! At least it will mean more coverage than SSN offer at present.

    1. Agree, I dont have a 3D TV so I care little for that, but just to have some coverage of the testing is good news. Barca tests are when we should be seeing the cars show some indictation of a pecking order, and hopefully a far bit of running.

    2. 3D only works when it’s filmed with a 3D lense. Films that get converted in post production are what look rubbish. Personally I love 3D when it is A) done right, B) warranted. I don’t know if this F1 coverage will be either. Without an immersive cinema/proper sized IMAX screen to watch 3D on, it just seems pointless.

  7. I saw some of the 3D stuff that LG filmed & have to say I was far from impressed when it came to the on-track stuff.

    There were shots of stationary cars & some stuff shot in the pits which looked great in 3D, However the stuff shot out on track was far from impressive.
    The lower shots at track level kinda looked OK when cars were coming straght towards the camera but as soon as the car got close to the camera or the camera needed to move to follow the car it just looked a mess. The trackside scenery looked great in higher shots but the actual cars didn’t.
    Some of the onboard stuff looked kinda cool but again was nothing spectacular & there were moments when the 3D effect seemed to get lost & everything just looked blurred.

    I also saw the sky goodwood 3D stuff last year & felt the same, some of it looked OK but most just fell flat.

    Some stuff works brilliantly in 3D, some movies & animation in particular & there are some sports which do come across nicely in 3D, Sadly from my experience F1 isn’t one of them.

  8. That could be awesome. The standard FOM footage does flatten circuits out it will be good to see how well 3D shows the elevation changes.

    1. I think they should be putting onboard HD cameras first and then look at 3D, after all only sky in the UK will be broadcasting it.

  9. ONE and TEN gives us great coverage besides the backlash ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Hopefully ONE will be doing the live qualifying and races intead of TEN as they have Graham Norton on at 9.30pm Sundays as part of their “Super Sunday”. As for MotoGP they have a lot more shorter breaks maybe that is a sign of things to come for F1. What is the broadcast details for the 2013 Formula One at Albert Park and for the rest of the season

  10. Absolutely brilliant. Now all sky have to do is put constant re runs of races on the channel when it’s mostly idle and it will be perfect!

  11. John Bergqvist
    6th February 2013, 10:53

    Sky are only doing this (using their own cameras) because FOM don’t cover testing live themselves. Don’t expect to see it during the races unless FOM follows suit (which is unlikely).

    1. Elliot Horwood .
      7th February 2013, 7:36

      FOM does cover testing, i saw some footage with the F1 watermark bottom left from hamiltons crash…

      1. John Bergqvist (@)
        16th February 2013, 14:38

        Yes, but only that footage though. We’ve come to the conclusion that FOM were filming that day for footage for the season review, and just happened to capture Hamilton’s crash by coincidence.

  12. I am so looking forward to seeing the final test, live on TV. Haven’t got a 3D tv, but my work place has though :D

  13. The coverage will be presented by Simon Lazenby

    I’ll pass then.

  14. I hate to ruin the fun, but there probably won’t be any in-car 3D (which would be the real treat). I think we’d have heard about it if those camera pods had been updated with an additional camera.

    1. There won’t be any in-car cameras as teams run there own things in the camera locations during testing.

      However I understand that FOM have upgraded the In-car cameras to HD for this season.

      1. John Bergqvist
        6th February 2013, 14:33

        Well Sky do sponsor Mclaren, so they may convince them to stick a 3D onboard camera in their car. It’s Sky doing the 3D filming, not FOM.

        1. Sky don’t sponsor McLaren.

          Also Sky don’t have any 3D in-car cameras (FOM have 1 custom made unit which isn’t live broadcast) nor do they have any of the transmission/reception systems used for in-car cameras.

          Everything on & in the cars linked to the in-car cameras is designed around FOM’s systems, Getting cameras & transmission systems from elsewhere would just cause problems as they almost certainly would not fit correctly on or in the cars.

          Also as I said in the earlier post, During the test’s teams run there own things on the camera locations (Piton tubes on the roll-bar cam, Stuff aimed at tyre data on nose/side camera locations), Teams don’t even allow FOM to test new in-car cameras during the test’s, Its why new in-car camera units are usually tested during Friday practice at race weekends.

          1. Elliot Horwood .
            7th February 2013, 7:37

            SkySportsF1 do sponser McLaren…

  15. for most people, going to the race, etc will be cheaper than buying a 3D TV with a 3D connection! Not impressed

    1. LoreMipsumdOtmElor
      6th February 2013, 11:51

      3D TVs aren’t that expensive these days. Doesn’t change the fact though that 3D is utter crap and the only application is to show it to your friends. Once everyone has a 3D TV, the hype will hopefully be over.

  16. any chance to watch this outside UK?

  17. Something I’d just like to point out is that this isn’t something been done by FOM & that FOM will have no involvement in it.

    This is sky taking there own equipment & staff to cover the test themselves & there live broadcast will not be available to any other broadcaster.

    There won’t be any in-car cameras, Depending on what system TSL use at the test’s there may not be any live on-screen timing graphics & the coverage is unlikely to be anywhere near as comprehensive as what you get during a race weekend.

    As for FOM, As I said in an earlier post they have already done there own 3D trials & were not impressed so don’t expect FOM to take the race coverage 3D anytime soon.

    Final point, 3D cameras take a lot longer to setup & ensuring you get the 3D effect requires specific camera locations for 3D & a specific way of operating the cameras (In terms of panning/zooming). This is why 3D is harder to do for live events, especially fast paced sporting events like F1.

    Based on my experiences with 3D & everything i’ve seen/heard from motorsport broadcasters who have tried 3D already, I expect this to be a 1 time thing which sky won’t do again. It may be a bit of a novelty for the 3D viewers but again since i don’t expect it to work I think most will end up switching over to the standard HD coverage.

    1. Thanks GT_Racer great insight into F1 broadcasting as usual.

  18. I’m having a mixed reaction to this.

    On the one hand, I think it’s a good idea, because it’s Formula 1 embracing new technology. Reading between the lines a bit, I gather that this is really an experiment in using the 3D broadcast format with a view to assessing its feasibility in broadcasting races. FOM were particularly slow to jump on the HD bandwagon, and with the negative reaction to the joint Sky-BBC broadcast deal, making the same mistake twice an missing the 3D boat isn’t going to do them any favours (it won’t make up for the joint deal, but it won’t hurt, either).

    At the same time, I have long believed that testing should be the business of the teams, and the teams alone. I still follow it, mostly for the photos of the cars in action and to follow the development of the cars, but I feel that there is nothing more frustrating than people reading far too much into lap times. Jenson Button ended the first day of the winter testing period with a very good time, and already I’ve heard choruses tipping him for the World Drivers’ Championship. The driver transfer market is often referred to as a “silly season”, but I like to call the winter tests the “sillier season”. I can’t help but feel that broadcasting a test day is only going to exaggerate this trend. In the worst-case scenario, I’m afraid that smaller teams like Marussia and Caterham will either ignore or cut short their testing programmes for the sake of looking good in front of the cameras by setting fast lap times, which is only going to compromise their seasons. I remember someone once suggested broadcasting test sessions and awarding points to the fastest teams, which to my mind is a recipe for disaster – and broadcasting the test is one step closer towards that.

    Besides, testing is boring. If you watch Ted Kravitz’s Jerez Notebook, you’ll see that most of the teams keep their cars hidden from view, and no-one except them knows what they are really doing. So I imagine that the Sky broadcast will just be four hours of David Croft recounting everything that has happened over the past eleven and a half days of testing.

  19. Martin Brundle never said that. Complete PR bullshot. Although he did used to be a car salesman.

    That’s dead on about testing being boring – it’s like the dullest-ever Friday practice session with added red flags. It’s good as a cheap way to go and see (and hear) F1 cars in their natural habitat. But it won’t make great telly. Particularly with the commentator reminding viewers it’s in 3D (and HD, and Dolby whatever) every two or three minutes. A good way for them to try the technology with motorsport.

  20. I’ll be at work D: Nice touch, though.

  21. Should be great. F1 races will never be fully broadcast in 3D though, the cost per track would be too much. Sky are at least bringing something to the sport but they’ll have an uphill struggle to do too much. I remember it took FOM until mid 2000’s to even broadcast in widescreen!

  22. i hope am not missing something..but let me ask does it mean those with no 3D capable HD tv will not be able to watch this test? or wil SKY transmit both 3D and normal HD broadcasts for this test?
    anyway me thinks sky being a heavily commercial driven entity is just trying to boost sales by blasting out adverts while selling/hoping to get more customers onto their platform.

    1. It will also be shown in HD, I’ve just added a line to the article explaining that.

  23. While its good to get some coverage of the test, My concern is that the coverage will be tailored for the 3d so that those without in hd end up watching a sub-par broadcast.

    i say this as i now that 3d tends to require very specific camera locations & the cameras need to be operated a different way to ensure that the 3d effect works. this is why the 3d coverage of football uses different cameras/locations to the standard hd broadcast, same was true at wimbledon last year.

  24. I can’t imagine the 60fps 3d cameras being able to capture good results for fast-moving shots such as the scenery from the in-car camera, or low-fov shots following a car. Worth a try though, I’m sure they’ll be some shots that are just spectacular in 3d.

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