BBC says no HDTV from FOM in 2009

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What do you think of watching the most expensive Sport in SDTV

With the money F1 is making it is a scandal that the customers do not get HDTV
Sponsorships would have much more appeal if races were in high definition
Ecclestone should save the money for a HDTV production
I don't care because I have an old tube anyway
Total votes : 50

Post Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:33 am

F1 will not be broadcast in high definition on the BBC in 2009.

Director of BBC Sport Robert Mosey said “we’d very much like it to be” but HD F1 broadcasts are not available yet.

He also suggested practice sessions will only be available online and ‘via the red button’, and said the BBC is looking into broadcasting GP2 as well.

Mr Mosey has made a series of remarks about the BBC’s plans for F1 coverage on the BBC’s sports blog pages. Here are a few of the major highlights:

The races will be on iPlayer, but precise red button plans are yet to be confirmed.

The idea is that F1’s home will be BBC One, with all qualifying and races live and uninterrupted on that channel. The rest will be online and on the red button.

We’re still working on GP2 and other scheduling details. Clearly, we’ll have a lot of new content from F1 itself – which will start with practice available online on the Friday of a race weekend. Catch-up F1 will later be on iPlayer with highlights on the site.

F1 won’t be available in HD though we’d very much like it to be. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m surprised at the choice of BBC One for the shows – I expected them to screen it on BBC Two, to keep it clear of any clashes with mainstream programming. It makes no difference as long as they stick to their promise of “live and uninterrupted” broadcasts – even if Eastenders is on, even if England finally wins a cricket tournament, even if the queen’s 17th cousin stubs her toe.

Having qualifying and races live is the bare minimum but he says “the rest will be online” indicating F1 fans will still get to see free practice live next year. Good news.

It would be a shame if nowhere could be found on the BBC’s many channels to show GP2 live. At the very least I hope it’s screened live on iPlayer. It’s provided some of the best races I’ve watched in the past four years. If BBC isn’t going to show it live on one of their channels I hope Eurosport or Motors TV can pick it up instead.

I’m very disappointed that F1 will not be in high definition in 2009. Once again it seems Formula One Group’s laughably slow adoption of new technology is to blame.

I think that Bernie makes all the wrong decisions lately in marketing. The quality of the product is not improved while all kinds of silly manipulations are made to squeeze more money out of the race promoters and raise ticket prices. Important markets for sponsors and automotive teams are missed due to revenue differences of 10 or 20 millions.

It cannot go on this way much longer until they get the reaction somehow. This SDTV quality stinks for a long time. Everybody who owns a high definition screen is disappointed and the number of fans with flat screens will rise like an avalanche in the next years.
Last edited by WhiteBlue on Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
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Post Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:44 am

WB - its all about the cost of shooting/broadcasting in HD and the fees he can extract from the various networks globally - they dont add up. Motor Sport persae doesnt rate on television full stop in any formula (exception is NASCAR where they pull 70 million viewers for individual races or so Im led to believe - in one market). In the UK the audience for an average GP is around 3 million in Australia around 2 million (for an entire weekend on AGP weekend only - dramatically less for your average GP). Whilst Ecclestone extracts a very tidy sum from the networks globally the wild figures quoted on viewers '350 million global audience' are total bollocks - Renault I believe have their own internal tracking at around 40-50 million per GP. So no I dont think there will be a reaction anytime soon from anyone as 90% of the viewing audience globally do not have HD sets..... :)
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Location: New England District NSW Australia

Post Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:51 am

That is disappointing.

But this is the same BBC who don't bother broadcasting Top Gear in HD, one of its flag ship and most popular shows.
James Smith
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Post Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:28 pm

I read a few years ago that HDTV wasn't that big of a step up for the PAL (European) market, and that the cost of upgrading would only really benefit the USA and Canada, both of which are much smaller in TV audience than the European nations.

I recall that PAL is like 525 or 575 lines, and jumping to 720 didnt make that big of a difference. Now, I am sure that if these same people were to watch on a 1080p Plasma with an effective contrast ratio of 1M:1 that they would deffinately see a difference, and push harder for it.

I had hoped for F1 in HD in 2007, now I'm not even sure that I am going to watch at all in 2009, so I really don't care...

Anyways, That was the reason that SpeedTV gave its forum when it was pressed for HD service, so who knows if it was true, or just PR fluff...
Joined: 15 Nov 2007

Post Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:10 am

so I better return my new 1080p set. :wtf:

to the guy that said HD is not that much different, well I agree, for 720. But 1080 is really amazing dude. My tv set is 1080p capable, but my cable company cannot provide anything above 1080i, so I'm stuck with 1080i, until the next gen of cable boxes are produced and the feed is available.

Imagine all the details that would be available on a close up shot in 1080p.... =P~ =P~
Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Location: New York City

Post Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:41 am

I'm a touch confused. Doesn't the video for F1 races come from a world feed?

SpeedHD just came to my area a month ago, after Brazil, so I don't know if we're getting F1 in HD. Fox also carries the races sometimes (especially the US or Canadian GPs), but I can't recall if those were in HD...

If they are shooting it and broadcasting it in HD in some places, it doesn't make sense to do it in SD in others. Does this mean none of us are getting it in HD?

Edit: I just sent SpeedTV a message asking them about this, I'll let you know what they say.
Loud idiot in red since 2010
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Post Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:35 pm

The world feed is not in HD.
Speed TV is indeed in HD, but the F1 race will be shown standard. It's gonna be just like when you're watching HD programing and then the ads come on and the side of the tv screen becomes either black or with that channels' logo.
I think it's Bernie that's screwing us.

Anyway, can't wait to hear the official version from Speed.
Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Location: New York City

Post Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:47 pm

How good SDTV material translates to HDTV sets depends of several steps in the transmission chain. The most important question is the original bandwidth of the signal source and if they have tried to maintain that through the chain.

Some satellite broadcasts in PAL with the DVB-S standard in MPEG2 Format have up to 6 Mbit/s bandwidth. I get a very decent picture on my 9series Samsung set with that. I would not complain if I could get that quality FTA.

The free to air station which FOM uses in Germany transmits at less than 2 Mbit/. I have not yet checked the Pay TV signal but I'm sure it is not substantially better. This is relatively poor quality compared to fotball/soccer which comes in HDTV with 30-40 Mbit/s and with the more efficient H.264 Format.

Bernie is the problem because he thinks he can always make more money without providing the quality of service which would be adequate for the premium marketing of F1.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Post Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:17 pm

Bummer.... I was hoping the races would be broadcast in HDTV so I could watch them on my new TV here in the States. I have caught a couple of sports events on it and the 120 mgz refresh rate makes the motion impressive.

For those of you that don't know, the US is switching over to a mandatory digital signal next month (yes, some of us still use analog). Accordingly, most, but not all stations, will be switching over to HDTV format very shortly--within six months if not sooner.
Joined: 3 Sep 2008

Post Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:20 pm

SpeedHD and FoxHD simply up-convert the world feed into a digital aproximation of 1080p.

It is nowhere as good as a 1080 source. If Bernie just asked the teams, or GP title sponsors to foot the bill for some HD cameras, it would be very simple to deliver the HD content, especially via an online service that allows you to follow one racer, or get action shots, like tuned TV.

Well, that is what I would be working on if Bernie would just PM me and say "Here, take care of it for me, would ya?"

Joined: 15 Nov 2007

Post Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:02 am

I don't care. Even though I have HDTV, the stations dont display the shows in regional areas.
Mark "It happens" Webber
Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Post Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:00 pm

Conceptual wrote:If Bernie just asked the teams, or GP title sponsors to foot the bill for some HD cameras

How about calling a digital camera recording company (or something like that) and saying, hey wanna "film" F1 races and broadcast them in HD? I'll put your company logo all over the circuit, on all cars, driver overalls, etc. You pay nothing, I pay nothing. How does that sound?

Fairly easy if you ask me. But Bernie would want them to pay millions just to be able to film.
Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Location: New York City

Post Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:45 pm


The PRIVELAGE of working in F1? LMAO
Joined: 15 Nov 2007

Post Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:20 am

The cameras are peanuts compared to the networking, storage, cutting, editing and beaming it over the satellites.

It starts with the in car data bus, the wireless thransmission to the fiber optic cables that catch the in car footage, the helicopter transmissions, the directing suite necessary to mix the 300 camera feeds and then upload it to satellites to run around the globe. We are talking 20 times the bandwidth for each and every system involved in the chain before the bloody thing even comes down from a satellite for you. It is a huge investment without doubt. But the old bugger will have to depart from the money at one time and right now the old system looks really tacky.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Post Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:37 pm

Rumours are that Bernie is stalling over HD because he needs to find a way of making more money from it.
Joined: 22 Jul 2008


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