F1 being filmed in HD this year

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

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88 comments on F1 being filmed in HD this year

  1. what a crock!
    just release the HD feed already

    Surely they (FOM) dont need a full season to try it out, at the very most they could test it in the first race and then release the feed for the remaining races

  2. Matt said on 3rd March 2010, 15:03

    Only F1 could have an HDTV manufacturer sponsor the live timing and not broadcast the coverage in HD. This is all about the cost of sending an HD uplink truck to each event. Pure and Simple. Bernie won’t pay, the broadcasters won’t pay – the viewers suffer. I hope they put that in the “Fan Survey”.

  3. dsob said on 3rd March 2010, 15:33

    As usual, where Dear Bernard is concerned, it’s all about the money.

    The 2010 season will be recorded in HD, for release on the 2010 Season Review DVD. Folks will see that and demand of their cable and satellite providers that they provide the HD feed that F1 already has. They will be outraged that F1 had it a whole season and the provider never offered it. (Machiavelli had nothing on Bernie, lol.)

    Bernie will now be able to name his price, which of course will be exhorbidant. In the end, the cable/sat providers will in effect pay Bernie’s entire cost of upgrading his operation to HD.

    Cable/sat providers will be paying so much for the HD feed that I expect many/most of them to move the F! broadcast up to a higher tier on their packages, meaning of course we will have to pay some outlandish price to get a Sports Tier full of a ton of things we care nothing about, just to get F1 in HD.

    For many of us, this means the cost would be prohibitive and we still won’t have F1 in HD. In some cases, it might mean one won’t see F1 at all. Sometimes I really hate Dear Bernard.

  4. Andrew said on 3rd March 2010, 15:35

    It’s another semantic argument for those who think they can see the difference between 720p and 1080p, or as the US satellite companies have started saying ‘full HD.’ ESPN, one of the biggest users of HD, have said the costs involved to go to 1080p just isn’t worth it and if they ave decided that 3D is more important than 1080p that might say something. 1080p is just an excuse to sell new tvs to those of us that have had HD sets for close to a decade now. And I don’t know how FOM films each race now but it looks DAMN good on SPEED-HD here in the US. It is a beautiful widescreen feed, and is not stretched, have compared the sd and hd feeds and hd shows more.
    I’m kinda surprised that LG hasn’t pushed FOM or picked up some of the cost to get their name on the feed. They have a pretty big presence on US sports in hd.

    • Tom said on 3rd March 2010, 20:12

      i can tell the difference… of course it depends on the screen size. anything larger than 40inch the difference is quite noticable. and of course that depends on the viewing distance. comparing 1080i to 1080p is a tad trickier. but yeh, if it’s too expensive, just settle for 1080i.

  5. RADEN said on 3rd March 2010, 15:41

    This is absolutely pathetic. Every major sporting event these days is broadcast in HD. Hell, so is pretty much everything else on TV that’s worth watching. I probably watch 95% of content in HD these days. There’s just no excuse.

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

  7. F1 Dave said on 3rd March 2010, 16:20

    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.

  8. Calum said on 3rd March 2010, 16:56

    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!!

  9. DGR-F1 said on 3rd March 2010, 17:16

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

  10. CJD said on 3rd March 2010, 18:13

    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.

  11. VXR said on 3rd March 2010, 19:02

    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.


    • Tom said on 3rd March 2010, 20:07

      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…

    • kapow said on 3rd March 2010, 22:15

      maybe he meant interest, as in interest rates!

    • Rob said on 5th March 2010, 23:51

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

  12. Tom said on 3rd March 2010, 20:00

    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…

  13. NICK said on 3rd March 2010, 21:46

    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.

    • nick said on 3rd March 2010, 21:52

      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.

      • Nickers said on 3rd March 2010, 22:19

        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.

        • Nick said on 4th March 2010, 7:19

          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.

      • NICK said on 3rd March 2010, 23:09

        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 ?

        • Nick said on 4th March 2010, 7:22

          That’s just not true

          • NICK said on 4th March 2010, 8:58


            “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.

        • Rob said on 5th March 2010, 23:58

          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.

  14. James said on 3rd March 2010, 21:56

    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.

  15. “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.

    • Rob said on 6th March 2010, 0:00

      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.

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