Football goes 3D but still no HD for F1

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

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

  1. TommyB said on 7th December 2009, 11:29

    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

  2. Uncle said on 7th December 2009, 11:30

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

  3. matt90 said on 7th December 2009, 12:12

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

  4. antonyob said on 7th December 2009, 12:19

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

  5. James_mc said on 7th December 2009, 12:44

    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

  6. Derek said on 7th December 2009, 13:14

    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!!

    • Phil T said on 7th December 2009, 20:12

      Could they not just be told over the radio ?!

    • Mumbai Mick said on 8th December 2009, 14:24

      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

      • Adrian said on 4th January 2010, 13:30

        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??

  7. Bernie is really, really, old.

  8. 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.

  9. Sam B said on 7th December 2009, 19:53

    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.

  10. Harvs said on 7th December 2009, 23:28

    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

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

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

      • Harvs said on 9th December 2009, 9:11

        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?

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

          • Harvs said on 10th December 2009, 9:56

            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

  11. Richard Merk said on 8th December 2009, 1:28

    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.


  12. Kris H said on 8th December 2009, 4:18


    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!

    • Richard Merk said on 8th December 2009, 4:52

      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.

  13. Jay Menon said on 8th December 2009, 4:42

    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!

    • 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!

  14. Icthyes said on 8th December 2009, 10:37

    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.

  15. 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.

    • Mark Smith said on 11th June 2010, 17:20

      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!

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