Better stability promised for new “version two” of F1 TV

2021 F1 season

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The latest update to F1 TV will make it more stable than the original version of the service which launched three years ago, says the series’ director of media rights.

An updated version of F1’s official streaming platform has been launched to coincide with the beginning of pre-season testing today.

Ian Holmes, F1’s media rights director, acknowledged the stability problems which frustrated users of the original service, which launched in 2018.

“It certainly hasn’t been as stable as we would have wished it to be,” said Holmes. “We’re not alone in those those experiences. [But] it definitely improved.”

The service interruptions many users have experienced with F1 TV were partly a result of how ambitious F1 had been when they launched it, said Holmes.

“When we made a decision about what it would look like and what would be in it we were aggressive in our desire to really make sure that it was as good as it could be from a content point of view. To differentiate it from the linear television experience it needed to have the 20 onboards, it needed to have the ability to personalise and interact between the different feeds, the pit channel, et cetera.

“It’s a different viewing experience from that ‘sit back, big screen’ [way of viewing] to interactive, whether it’s on a tablet or a mobile device of some description.

“We were aggressive in our desire that from the get-go it had a lot of content within it – I don’t mean content in terms of hours, I mean in terms of functionality. And that it made it technically a challenge. But [there was] no point in just launching it with the international feed and maybe one or two other things.”

F1 worked “very, very hard to improve” the original version of F1 TV and expects better performance from the new version, according to Holmes.

“What I hope that you will see going forward with version two is that instability addressed.

“There’s a lot of new elements to version two, some of which hopefully will be very visual. Our user experience, what it looks like, how it works, should come through to the viewer. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the background that we hope will improve stability.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 19 comments on “Better stability promised for new “version two” of F1 TV”

    1. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the background that we hope will improve stability.

      Hope? Not only does F1 limit testing, but Liberty does as well. Good to know.

      1. @jimmi-cynic Obviously for cost saving reasons..

      2. @jimmi-cynic Testing is good, but even a system that has been tested a lot sometimes fails when fully implemented.

    2. Last season I was disappointed that the unstable F1 platform caused me to rely on pirate streams on a couple of occasions. In my opinion users should have been monetarily compensated if their non-functioning services causes users to miss qualifying or the race.
      Since then I’ve stopped doing business with Liberty Media. I can find more reliable streams online, and for free! Maybe I’ll consider it again for the 2022 season, if the reviews are good.

      1. I don’t think one « did business with Liberty Media » paying them 7.99€ from July to December.
        I have the app since the beginning and last year the stream failed just the first 30 minutes of the first race, then zero problem.
        On the other hand the « reliable streams online » have just one camera where F1TV have main feed, 20 onboard, PLC, data and tracker channels.

        Well, enjoy your 480p stream, I wasted 8 euros a month worse than for my lifetime passion.

        1. @jeff1s If you know where to look at you can find 60fps 720p or even 1080p 50 fps streams, and that is more than what you get on the android app, which is 720p 30 fps and heavily compressed audio.
          The site is nice. I hope f1 tv does not go on a price hike

    3. The issue they have for the time being is that while the website has been revamped both in terms of the way it looks but also a lot of the stuff on the backend, The app’s haven’t & won’t be until ‘later in the year’ so are likely to be just as unreliable as they have been until now with the live content (The replays & archive stuff have always been fine).

      A lot of the issue with the F1TV V1 was the way the backend stuff was working with the stuff at the front-end (The website & app). If you bypassed the official site or app & used one of the few fan created one’s (Which still require an F1TV account, subscription & login) the streams always worked fine as you were bypassing the bits that were causing the problems.

      1. Fan created sites like what? I didn’t know there was any alternative to the official app/site (-8 Thanks

    4. Still no iOS update

    5. I have been watching pre-season testing on my big screen TV via the F1 app on my ROKU box and it has very stable. I haven’t seen the iOS update hit any of my devices.

    6. The apps were not updated. There’s no streaming apps. There’s officially not even support for streaming to TV, or as @F1Help says on Twitter: “Hi there, we do not currently support casting from mobile or tablet devices. In 2021 we are making improvements to our app, keep on eye on this channel for any news and updates.”

      Which isn’t much in the way of when they’ll actually have it sorted.

      That said, the stream today has been okay-ish, except for the return of audio issues. First time Ted was on he was silent. After Brundle in the afternoon they had double audio for a while. So I wouldn’t say it has been smooth sailing so far.

    7. @keithcollantine, do you have a link to contract F1 TV (so you get some commission)?

      1. I would like use an affiliate link as well to support you. The offer to get -25% ends tomorrow (March 14th)

    8. Highly doubt it. Just yesterday wanted to watch some archieve 2010 races -> “Sorry, there is a connection problem with server”. Only the recent ones were availalbe.

      If they cannot handle archieve playback, I dont believe in reliable streaming with rewind function

    9. What we really want for F1TV:

      – Chromecast / Airplay support
      – Android TV App
      – redesigned unusable components:
      – progress bar
      – multi-cam selection
      – Also having a grid with the next schedules, maybe with push notification reminders

      1. To their credit, you can Chromecast now from the website and that works a charm.

        1. @aiii indeed, but there is no multicam on the web version. I usually end up with several devices actually :
          my portable PC to stream the main content on the tv, a tablet to display the times and sectors, and my smartphone to follow one or another onboard.

          An app which would allow to send the first stream to the chromecast while displaying the second one on the device would already be a great option for example.

          In the meantime I’m happy with the stability so far, it’s been a long time since the early days’ problems. And also props to the multicam sync technology as i know how difficult and expensive it is to handle.

    10. A pretty poor service so far in the last 2 years but it’s still been massively worthwhile for me. F3, F2 and F1, whenever I’m ready to watch.

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