F1 being filmed in HD this year

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The BBC has confirmed F1 is being filmed in HD this year.

But Formula One Management is not making the high definition feed available to broadcasters.

Danielle Nagler, the BBC’s head of HD, wrote on her blog today:

The events are being filmed in HD (as far as we know) but they are not made available by F1 to broadcasters in HD.
Danielle Nagler

Earlier this year Lee McKenzie from BBC’s F1 team said HD would be offered to F1 broadcasters in 2011. It may be that FOM wishes to get a year’s experience of filming in HD under its belt before committing to a live feed in high definition.

Hopefully they will release the HD footage shot this year in some form, either via their website or perhaps the end-of-season video review.

Meanwhile, NASCAR is being broadcast in HD for the sixth year in 2010.

Thanks to Mikesrandall for the tip

88 comments on “F1 being filmed in HD this year”

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  1. Another of Bernie’s stalling tactics while he figures out exactly how to extract as much money as possible from this…

  2. here is something to consider with it ‘other sports are in hd’ argument.

    other sports are often produced by the broadcaster. nascar is produced by fox for fox, indycar is produced by versus for versus, the soccer events are usually broadcast by sky or bbc for that broadcaster.

    as such when fox wanted nascar in hd they just had to get the hd equipment themselfs and they had a hd feed.

    fom have to produce a world feed that every broadcaster is able to pick up. unlike most other sports it isn’t produced for any single broadcaster. fujitv have a hd feed for suzuka because they produce the feed for that race themselfs as one of the 2 non-fom races.

    if you look at other sports where there is a single broadcaster like fom they are often not hd yet. wrc isn’t hd, superleague formula isnt hd, motogp isn’t yet hd.

    wtcc is hd only because eurosport (via Eurosport Events) is involved with the tv production and wanted something to help promote there hd channel when it launched.

    more recently if you look at some of the soccer thats been broadcast in 3d, its been 3d because sky and espn are pushing 3d channels that they intend to launch in the not too distant future. if it was left upto a specific single broadcaster like fom they woudn’t be 3d.

    1. This is a good point. Hadn’t looked at it that way before but I guess you are right.

  3. F1 season review is coming out on Bluray as well as DVD then, I take it. From my point of view, I see no reason to get HD from my HD ready TV, I can happily tolerate my digital set top box’s decent defition at the moment. Being under 18, I don’t pay for BBC liscence and I have no HD package subscription!!

    1. I’m sure it’s only people over 75 who don’t have to pay for a TV Licence…

  4. Presumably Bernie doesn’t own an HD TV yet? :-)

  5. We recently bought a 1080 TVs and sometimes connect through a core2duo laptop to get HD from BBC iplayer. Being the same age as Bernie I do not wish him to be in a bath chair but why does he have to be so miserably mean? (thats the generation that the designer of which the PC was a member)How can it benefit him to deny the people on this site, many of whom are still at college, their opportunity to be the core future of F1. Who does he think kept F1 alive through good and bad years and why has someone not looked into how Bernie benefited from F1 for years before the FIA sold it to him cheaply? of course F1 should move forward but not with the times but ahead of them.

  6. I was around when ‘black and white’ changed to ‘colour’. Don’t know what all the fuss is with HD to tell you the truth.

    It’s not staggeringly better and apparently Bernie reckons that there isn’t enough interest in it yet to warrant a change.


    1. that’s what lots of my customers say…until i tell them ‘that’s a dvd, this is blu ray’. and then they say ‘WOW’. depending on the screen size of course. it certainly a significant improvement. ice hockey is a really good example as with golf. when the puck/ball moves on a high def image, you can still see it… as with cricket (most ball sports really). it would be quite interesting in F1 as you would get a much better idea of the state of tyres (you could see graining at earlier stages for example from the onboard camera). also, the cameras would pick up new intracate aerodynamic details on the cars. you’ll probable be able to see the marbles of the racing line too which would help casual viewers to understand why no one tries to overtake in montreal…oh yeh, and the sponsers who only get a tiny space on the car will be seen…

    2. maybe he meant interest, as in interest rates!

    3. Yes it is staggeringly better. I can’t stand watching football in SD any more.

  7. it’s hardly an experimental technology now. why the flip would they bother filming it and not broadcast it???? that makes no sense. wow is all i have to say…

  8. LOL at the bloke who is moaning it won’t be in 1080p FHD but only in 720p, whenever it happens. There is NO broadcast in FULL HD currently and there will NOT be for the foreseeable future and possibly never. There is not enough bandwidth and there may never be enough.
    Which is as well as the difference is technically impossible to see unless you’re 7ft away from a 50 inch screen.
    Besides, the BBC have massively downgraded their HD broadcast at the end of August, eliminating a lot of the added detail and adding a fair amount of noise too. That’s another scandal slowly bubbling to the surface though.

    1. The BBC transmit 1080i, all content is filmed in 1080(i/p) minimum.

      and yes I am sitting 7ft away from a 46″ TV and its a pro-sumer high end TV, You can very much see the difference.

      1. nick, most people aren’t you. Most people don’t know what the difference between 4:3 and 16:9 is (as can be evidenced by the amount of people that will happily watched a stretched image to ‘fill the screen’) – let alone the difference between SD and HD. Even less could see the difference between 720p and 1080p – plus 1080p isn’t available over the air (in any country).

        NICK is correct about the compression ratio increase and after watching the football tonight on ITV HD I’d say that if the bandwidth is lowered any further HD will become even less of a selling point.

        As for your pro-sumer unit… more money than sense.

        4K will be the next big thing – after people realise 3D is a big marketing scam designed to sell headache tablets.

        Better start saving.

        1. Well they are selling a lot of blu rays to these people who are nit like me then.

          As for the more money than sense comment I suggest you rethink that, a pro-Sumer set is available for under 1k nowdays, and if got in the sale were available for around 700. That’s hardly a heap of cash in this day if you are into film / gaming etc and gave the eye for the difference.

          Like anything in life, be it wine, cars, tv’s those that do not appreciate what makes a given object great just won’t understand.

      2. 1080i is NOT full HD, and brings no more data/detail than 720p. You can’t see the difference because it does not exist.
        What’s a pro-sumer set BTW ?

        1. That’s just not true

          1. http://ezinearticles.com/?Eye-Candy?-Which-Wins?-1080i-Vs-720p–And-What-About-1080p?&id=123148

            “1080i vs 720p: MOTION CHANGES EVERYTHING

            Motion is different issue. If you want to see motion clearly, then live action 720p is what looks best, compared to 1080i. Here’s why: the information content of 720p is about the same as 1080i, though what it lacks in spatial resolution, it makes up for in temporal resolution (because the picture is at 1/60th of a second, not 1/30th x 2.) On 1080i, this would show as flickered or jagged edges on bright horizontal objects (like in the background of a camera pan.)”

            This is really the ABC of AV. I haven’t invented anything. People are fed an awful lot of BS by the likes of Comet, Currys etc. Semi-pro or not (whatever that means).
            They want to sell 1080p because ther’s more margin in it and they will say ANYTHING to convince people, however worse the end result is. People like big numbers, particularly if they are clueless.
            Add the fact that people buy LCDs or LEDs (which are only LCDs) and you end up with the worse possible scenario for HD broadcast = 1080i on a motion unfriendly LCD. Add the terrible 200mhz (which should always be off) and you get a worse HD pic than SD on a quality plasma, like a G10.

        2. 1080i isn’t at 1/30th x2 (what does that even mean?). It’s at 1/60th (1/50th in Europe) but just has half the lines missing. The reason it can detract from the picture in fast motion sport is when the TV can’t do a very good job of making up the remaining lines. If the TV has good processing to do that, it’s arguably preferable to 720p. But I’d agree, having gone from 720p to 1080p, the difference is marginal at any normal viewing distance.

  9. What kind of viewer numbers tune in for nascar every week in compairson to f1? Sounds like F1 may need to take a page from nascar in coverage and camera angles. Coverage for nascar is pretty large here in the states. I dream of the day f1 is on the same level. would be so awesome.

  10. “Meanwhile, NASCAR is being broadcast in HD for the sixth year in 2010.”

    That’s more because HD isn’t much of an upgrade over PAL while it’s lightyears better than NTSC. HD TV has had much greater acceptance in the US compared to overhere in Europe.

    I can’t tell the difference between the HD channels and the (digital) PAL channels. Digital is a lot better than analog broadcasts already.

    1. Digital (compressed at the levels most broadcasters use) is demonstrably worse than analog.

      HD is far better than 576i, just like it’s far better than the 480i used in the US.

  11. Some light at the end of the tunnel, I hope they do HD in 2011.

  12. Great, all I have to do now is spend 300 quid on a new TV and an extra 10 a month for HD subscription and I’m sorted!

    Oh well. If you’ve already shelled out, this is good news for you.

    1. BBC HD is free to air. You don’t need a sub.

  13. I honestly dont get the point. When there are millions of people watching the sport live on television every other weekend for the entire season, why would they use the HD for just the DVD review which may be only a couple of hundred people will buy?? Its beyond my comprehension.. The only thing thats a bit clear to me in all this is just that uncle Bernie might be getting a bit too old to understand what all this technology buzz is about these days..

  14. @NICK (no reply button)

    You are absolutely right and I would not disagree that 720p is better for fast moving images as said in a previous post. For slow moving images 1080i can be gotten away with, and believe me it is better than 720p in those cases. The i only suffers when the image pans quickly which really shows up the lacking in interlaced pictures.

    A good example was when the rugby was showing on BBC HD, when moving fast the picture was hard to follow because of the interlacing.

    With regards to comet etc just trying to sell 1080 for the margin, this is true… but thats really a poor argument against it, they will always try and sell to the best margin, but that does not mean 1080 is bad. If we forget TV and talk pure AV signals, 1080p > 720p fact.

    The fact we have to settle for 1080i for TV feeds is out of our hands, and I dont think anyone was ever trying to argue that 1080i was better than 720p, my points were all focused around the point that the BBC will only show 1080i minimum. That is what the BBC trust imposes on them.

    1. Fair comments nick.
      “1080p > 720p fact” = absolutely true with the right source but 99.9% of sets are either too small or too far for the human eye to even see the difference (by a big margin), which is a shame.
      As for the BBC, they have lost HD credibility IMO now with their August 09 HD downgrade scam, which is for me the key reason for the current poor/noisy HD IQ, and particularly on the rugby as you point out quite rightly.

      1. Yeah mine is a Panasonic Plasma 600Hz so to be fair I get better value out of the feed than most.

        I have to admit I have not watched anything on BBC HD since Yellowstone which was absolutely stunning quality. My set has a superwide colour gamut which is amazing for nature programs like that, you dont what your missing until you see all these colours a standard set just blurs into one, namely shades of green and reds. When you get onto blu-ray quality… oh its nice. but yea that in no way affects F1 so… ill shutup!

  15. three4three
    4th March 2010, 11:07

    Meanwhile over in the football world, some matches are being broadcast in 3D… Better late than never I guess.

    Seriously though, and this is a point that has been raised many times by various journalists, websites and forum posters, FOM needs a new direction in terms of PR and keeping up to date with technology (imagine that about F1, the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’!). They should have a rethink on how better they can connect and interact with the fans, how better to utilise the internet. We’re in the second decade of the 21st century, it’s time FOM caught up!

  16. maybe Ecclestone is just worried that HD will keep even more people from buying f1 tickets.

  17. Marc Connell
    4th March 2010, 21:28

    iv finally got a decent HD monitor for my pc and about to by a blu ray drive. I cant wait for the season review. If sky broadband was good i would probably steam it live of the Internet in hd!!!!!!!

  18. Yesterday through no machinations of my own the most ridiculous 40 inch HD telly has set up residence in my house.
    Please let the BBC rangle HD at some point this year, the tennis in HD was amazing, an that was on a pretty small telly, we want F1!

    1. The thing is with TV size, you start of with a massive 32, then it does not seem so big anymore… and for the same price you can get a 42.. so you do… then for the same price you can get a 46/50 … you see where this is going.

      to be fair tech is my “thing” so where as some people pay through the nose for a football season ticket, some on holidays, some on cars, I go for kit.

  19. I’m going to turn the colour completely down on my set and watch it with rose tinted glasses.

  20. Did you know that 1 in 50 cannot see in 3D!

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