HD F1 fever!

Formula One Management: I am pleased to confirm that from the first event of the 2011 Championship and for every other event throughout the year, the International Feed will now be originated and offered in High Definition. This will apply for all sessions including Official Support events such as GP2, GP3 and the Porsche Supercup. The feed itself will be offered in 42 Mb/s MPEG2 throughout the world with a 22 Mb/s MPEG 4 option for the Americas.

Once again, for 2011, there will be 2 feeds both of which will be in High Definition. The content of each feed will be exactly the same, one feed will be the Wide International Feed (WIF); this will be a dirty 16:9 Broadcast with full 16:9 aspect ratio graphics with embedded audio. The second signal will be the Narrow International Feed (NIF); this will be a dirty 16:9 Broadcast with 4:3 safe area graphics also with embedded audio. The audio will consist of a Stereo Mix on Ch. 1 and a surround sound 5.1 Mix encoded as Dolby E Bitstream on Ch. 2.

Formula One coverage goes HD for 2011

Formula One fans can look forward to watching television coverage in High Definition this year after Formula One Management announced that all broadcasters will receive an HD feed for 2011.

From the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in March, coverage of all 20 rounds – including all practice sessions and support events – will be originated in HD, with the international feed then offered throughout the world at a data rate of 42 Megabits/second (MPEG-2).

A number of major broadcasters have already confirmed that they plan to show 2011 races in HD, with many other channels expected to follow suit before the season gets underway.

The news follows extensive research, development and investment by FOM to ensure the best possible HD offering for its global TV audience, which is currently in excess of 500 million unique viewers annually. (Source: Formula1.com)

Update:

TV channels which has confirmed already they’ll broadcast F1 in true HD:

Germany’s Sky (providing services to Austria and Switzerland too)
Brazil’s Globo
Australia’s One HD
UK’s BBC

Other channels are expected to follow suit, as taking the HD feed doesn’t make the rights to broadcast F1 more expensive. No additional fee for FOM. So those channels which will keep broadcasting F1 in SD will look stupid.

I could name at least one; Hungary’s RTL Klub. Shame on them!

Now personally I’m waiting for confirmation from Germany’s RTL HD, then I have to buy an HD+ by Astra service package. Alas receiving BBC One HD would require a fine quality 2.5+ metres satellite dish, and even with that it wouldn’t be guaranteed to receive BBC One, as it’s on the Astra 2D satellite which is very hard to receive in Hungary.

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Thank you Bernard Ecclestone, thank you Formula One Management, thank you LG!

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