F1 may get first HD show at Abu Dhabi

The first F1 race at Abu Dhabi may also be the first broadcast in HD

The first F1 race at Abu Dhabi may also be the first broadcast in HD

F1 may finally be broadcast in true HD for the first time ever later this year.

Discussions are under way about broadcasting the 2009 F1 season finale – the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – in high definition.

This could be a useful boost for F1’s high-profile end-of-season event at the ambitious new Yas Marina venue. Jenson Button’s increasing lead in the championship makes it less likely the season will culminate in a down-to-the-wire contest as it has for the last three years.

Formula 1’s uptake of high definition has been painfully slow. Rival championships like A1 Grand Prix have had the technology for some time and NASCAR has been broadcasting in HD since 2005. Last year NASCAR was even available in HD in Britain where it is very much a minority sport.

BBC F1 reporter Lee Mckenzie mentioned on Twitter revealed this year that the hold-up on HD is at FOM’s end: broadcasters like BBC are ready to roll with HD coverage, but FOM aren’t supplying a high definition feed. “I think maybe 2010 [they will] though” she added.

As someone who bought a high definition TV a few months ago in the belief that F1 could not possibly go much longer without catching up with the rest of the broadcasting world, this is good (if long overdue) news!

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Via Vee8

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21 comments on F1 may get first HD show at Abu Dhabi

  1. Never seen the fuss about HD really…

  2. maiesky said on 6th June 2009, 20:41

    Yes, yes, yes! I’ve already bought HD set-top-box in order to watch F1 in HD, but since there’s no feed for true HD I postponed my HD tv :(

  3. benno said on 7th June 2009, 6:54

    In Sydney we get the BBC feed + commentary, it’s shown on free-to-air digital terrestrial TV. Ironically the callsign is ‘oneHD’, which is a relatively new dedicated HD sports channel. The intro, studio and even some interviews are in HD. Obviously the race itself is upscaled.

    Last year since Turkey we get the race live, from the Parade lap. This year subject to IPL cricket, we get qualie from green light. Albeit both action is interrupted by ads.

    Things are alot better than the dark years – where you only get the race delayed. However, the problem is that not all areas in Australia get digital TV, there are ads, practice isn’t shown and there is none of the pre-race.

    So +1 on stream it to F1 backward countries. No more crappy pirate feeds.

  4. stren said on 2nd October 2009, 21:26

    I’ve seen F1 in 720p ( the Fuji Television coverage of the Japanese grand prix ) and I can’t wait.

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