F1 in HD “not until 2011”

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The 2010 F1 season opener will not be in high definition
The 2010 F1 season opener will not be in high definition

Hoping to watch the 2010 F1 season in high definition? Afraid you’re set for another disappointment.

BBC’s Lee McKenzie has said on Twitter that FOM will not be offering Formula 1 in HD to broadcasters until 2011.

Many other forms of motor racing have been broadcast in high def for years. This year will be the sixth season NASCAR has been broadcast in HD.

While F1 dawdles about catching up with HD technology, football is pressing ahead with the introduction of 3D broadcasts, starting with this year’s World Cup.

F1 broadcasting

81 comments on “F1 in HD “not until 2011””

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  1. Dammit! I signed up for Sky just yesterday – including the £10 monthly fee for the HD service – specifically for HD F1.

    Well done Bernie. Formula 1: 21st century cars, 20th century broadcasting.

    1. If that’s true, it wasn’t the wisest move, spending money on the *chance* it would be this year.

      As is is, knowing it’s next year is fairly fab news, no ?

    2. Even if the BBC did offer HD F1, you don’t need to pay Sky a penny to receive it via satellite. Just buy a Freesat HD box, arrange to have a dish installed with a local installer and you can watch HDTV from BBC, ITV and Channel 4 without paying a monthly fee at all.

      1. True, and they stream HD over iPlayer now don’t they?

        1. Yes, but the bitrate is less than broadcast SDTV so it’s a bit of a con.

          1. As the codecs are utterally different, comparing just bitrate is a bit of a con.

        2. Yes. Pete, you’re showing all the signs of being a Honda board member there…

      2. Freeview HD is also here now, but not many boxes support it.

        1. “If that’s true, it wasn’t the wisest move, spending money on the *chance* it would be this year.”

          Well in fairness it wasn’t the only reason we went for Sky – I’ve wanted to get on xBox live for months and the final season of Lost is just around the corner…

          HD F1 was how I justified the £10/month HD fee to my missus though ;)

      3. The sky dish and freesat dish are the same and point at the same satellites. To my understanding you just need another feed off the dish going into another box that is freesat (or direct to a freesat tv) there is no need for an additional dish). There’s a good chance you can get up to 4 feeds already from your dish.

        This would give you HD on those channels. However the Sky HD obviously gives you movies and sport in HD too, plus paying for a freesat box, addtional cabling etc. and making your whole set-up more complex and not so good is hardly a good solution to saving £10/mo. It would take probably over a year before it became cheaper than just paying for the Sky HD.

        1. The £10 a month for HD is on top of the regular Sky subscription.

          But yes, Freesat uses the same Satellites as Sky, so if you already had a dish ss I did when I moved into my new place, (the guy before me had sky, and left the dish and cabels), all you need to do is plug those same cabels into a Freesat box or HDTV, and you can get the BBC HD channel, and others soon, I do believe.

      4. You dont need to pay sky to get BBC Hd and Channel 4 hd on the HD box. I get them both for free and dont subscribe to the HD pack, just ask them for a free hd box and they are more than happy to oblige. Also you can add Itv hd with a little bit of inside knowledge.

    3. if you want to get your money back do what i do..pay another £10 a month for multiroom…that allows you to use the skyplayer from 3 different ip addresses a month…2 of my friends pay me £10 a month for the password…thats your £20 quid back!

  2. Dunno if you seen this Keith, but a few hours before Lee’s comment, I had an e-mail back from head of BBC HD Danielle Nagler, see http://forums.autosport.com/index.php?showtopic=121566 . She said:

    “I have had further conversations about this since our last contact, and indeed the BBC has had further discussions with F1 [Formula One Management]. But so far – despite some small moves by F1 which might suggest that they are moving in that direction – we have had nothing from them that suggests we’re going to be able to offer any of the grand prix this coming season in HD. There is a feeling of certainty that it will happen at some point – but quite when that will be remains very unclear.

    Sorry not to be able to respond in a more reassuring form, but don’t want to give you any more hope than I have as to when we’re going to be able to bring it to you in HD.”

    1. That’s cool Dave thanks for that. Not great news though :-(

  3. Does anybody know what lame excuses Ecclestone is giving for yet another example of damn lousy service ? Expect something as believable as….

    ‘Down to my last $20 Billion an’ I really can’t afford it ya know !’

    Time somebody stuck ‘past sell-by date’ label on his forehead.

  4. With to much money involved they can’t even provide HD broadcast. So lame and so much greed. I don’t even dare mentioning 3D.

  5. If F1 will defiantly be in HD from 2011 then I think that is at least something, unless FOM planned keeping it as a big surprise I didn’t expect it to happen this year anyway.

  6. but they initially said that the final race of 09 was going to be HD! So dont trust this prediction either PJA

    what a joke, esp as F1 is meant to be about technology!

  7. Well this is damn stupid, FOM have complete controll over the cameras an therfore arn’t forced to broadcast better then anyone else.

    What annoying is as the do own all the cameras it would have been so easy for them to upgrade.

  8. Bizzare, then, that we get F1 in HD (both on “pay” cable and a few races on broadcast) here in the states…

    1. Yeah totally. But that isnt actually true HD, its just an up-scaled broadcast of the original SD feed. Good enough for me though. I think that SPEED deserves major kudos for the quality of their F1 coverage, especially considering its lack of fan base here in the states.

  9. The funny thing is that I saw a hi-def broadcast camera up close back in 2007 in Monza in the first chicane. Weren’t the cinema broadcasts in HD?

  10. Go to hell, Bernie with your dollar$!
    This is more than frustrating! Other sports are several centuries ahead of F1.

  11. Pat:

    F1 in the US on Speed or Fox is not true HD. It’s an upscaled SD feed.

    1. ok I get it now. Thanks David.

  12. I would assume that it will cost FOM something to upgrade the broadcast to HiDef? And apparently there is no, or not enough, return on that investment for BE? What does he care? And by the way, I’m pretty sure it is broacast in HiDef on Speed channel in the states. How can that be?

  13. Maybe F1 could use some of the money spent on perks and such to buy some HD cameras…

  14. Ah this sucks, F1 would look so good in HD, guess we’ll just have to wait till next season :(

  15. All Bernie ever did was sell our sport up the river for his own personal fortune – he doesn’t have the first clue about what fans want, and we want HD coverage.

  16. Gutted!

  17. How long is Bernies contract with the bbc for again? – and wasn’t the last contract with ITV cut short?

    1. I believe the FOM supply the pictures to the different broadcasters. So changing broadcaster won’t result in any improvement, because the broadcaster doesn’t actually film the footage themselves, they get it from FOM, which Bernie is in charge of.

      I’m sure if BBC was filming the event themselves, it would probably be in HD. It’s Bernie and FOM that cannot get their act together. It is amazingly hopeless.

  18. Can anyone please explain why F1 puts up with Bernie Ecclestone?

    He charges the circuit crippling fees to host races that leave them with no chance of turning a profit.
    He siphons off half of the TV income, taking revenue away from the teams who the TV companies are actually paying to see – and therefore, preventing any of the teams from funding their exercises primarily through the racing.

    And what do we, the F1 fans, the one’s whose license fee money, ticket and merchandise purchases fund the whole sport, get in return?
    The inane (and occasionally offensive) ramblings of an old man whose only interest is to line his own pocket.

    I may have posted this before of here – but can you really imagine Manchester United, Chelsea etc. putting up with somebody who merely facilitates the broadcast of their sport taking half of their TV revenue? It’s laughable!

    Time for F1 to cast Bernie aside.

    (As you can tell, I REALLY wanted F1 in HD…)

  19. Not really bothered! It would be nice though.

    1. bizarre statement.

  20. It’s the same old story: somewhat paradoxically, perhaps the most technologically advanced sport in the world has the most archaic attitude to technology. And it’s a shame for all concerned: FOM could be making more money; the fans could have better coverage…

    1. It doesn’t follow that FOM would be making more money at all if they switch to HD. HD is actually a substantial step up in costs, and I’m sure the “HD-ness” of F1 is not going to increase the fan and viewership base by any appreciable amount.

      Think of how many of us are saying “It’s not in HD, so I won’t watch!”

      That’s right, none.

      1. Curling Tournaments are broadcast in HD these days so the “step up” in costs can’t be that substantial. While there may be many of us who will begrudgingly watch another F1 season sans HD there are potential new viewers of the sport who may chuckle and say “no thanks” when they hear that the most technologically advanced sport in the world is still SD.

        Last time I checked Bernie was losing viewers with his night races experiment… and he certainly will have a hard time gaining new viewers if he continues to shun HD.

        Sheer stupidity.

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