Is 3D or Ultra HD the future of F1 broadcasting?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Sky broke new ground yesterday by offering the first ever live F1 broadcast in 3D, of the F1 test session at the Circuit de Catalunya.

F1’s adoption of high definition broadcasts took a long time to arrive. For several years, fans asked when F1 would go HD, only to be disappointed.

Is there a similar appetite developing for F1 coverage in 3D? Or is the next stage in high definition coverage the real future of F1 broadcasting?


Digital 3D films have been on show in cinemas for several years. And there are subscription television services, such as Sky in the UK, which offer 3D broadcasts.

But the technology has struggled to win mainstream popularity. Sales of 3D television sets have disappointed as consumers have been unimpressed by the picture quality and by the need to wear special glasses to view it.

I had a chance to watch some of Sky’s footage today. While the 3D worked well for close-ups of cars in the pit lane and some other angles, it added less to shots of the cars in motion.

Ultra HD

The next step in high definition broadcasts is Ultra HD. While 1080p HD – the current standard – provides a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, the Ultra HD format defined in October promises resolutions from 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) to 7,680 ? 4,320 (8K).

These will offer vastly more detailed, colourful and realistic images. But the technology is still in its early stages: the first Ultra HD television sets have price tags which look like they belong on cars and finding the bandwidth to supply the vast amount of data needed is a major challenge.

However Ultra HD is making its first steps towards the living rooms of the world. Japan has revealed plans to broadcast some of the 2014 World Cup, which takes place in Brazil, in 4K resolution via satellite.

Over to you

One technology is available now, the other is some way off. But which broadcasting format are you most interested in for Formula One coverage?

Have you watched any of the current F1 test broadcasts in 3D? Is there any need to improve on current HD broadcasts?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Which broadcasting technology are you most interested in for F1?

  • 3D (5%)
  • Ultra HD (79%)
  • Neither (17%)

Total Voters: 230

Loading ... Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

Image ?? COTA/LAT

90 comments on “Is 3D or Ultra HD the future of F1 broadcasting?”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. Having seen the trial in 8K of the Olympics footage last year I think F1 would look amazing on this. Admittedly it’s a decade away from real world use, and yes the only way to watch 8K, or 4K footage, is on a massive screen, but that’s kinda the point. It’s like a window into the action, a literal window. Some of the Olympics footage, from the right angles, really did make you feel like you were there. 8K especially, on a big screen would make you feel like you were there trackside, the detail is really that extreme and it makes that much of a difference, it’s hard to explain until you actually see it. Also, the UHD standards I’m pretty sure also bring a higher framerate into play as standard, I think it’s 60fps… this also makes a huge difference and is crucial, without it all of that extra detail you get would be wiped out with motion blur. It also makes it feel even more real. As I say, you need to see it, I hope one day we can get local cinemas like my Cineworld in Glasgow, which from time to time offer sporting events live. One day the key F1 races down at my local cinema in 8K.. YES PLEASE :) Inevitably 3D could be combined with this ultra HD stuff, and I think that’s where 3D will really belong and come alive.

  2. Those who have seen 4k tvs in action say that it looks pretty sharp and with eye popping colors, and that’s because those tvs had the sharpness and color settings at max. I bet that if you see one of those with a calibrated picture you wouldn’t be that surprised about the picture quality.

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.