Formula 1. Why is it still 4:3?

probedb

Banned
Does anyone know this...it's TV related so I posted here :)

Most other sports are filmed in widescreen at the very least and many now in HDTV so why does a sport that has so much money like Formula 1 get broadcast in 4:3 :(

I emailed the ITV F1 team and got no reply.
 

Joe Pineapples

Distinguished Member
I emailed the ITV F1 team and got no reply.
done this everal times over the past couple of years, and just like you, no reply. I never saw any of the short-lived sky coverage of F1, but wasent that in 16:9(?). They could at least broadcast the U.K race in widescreen, and probably many of the others i should think.
 

PoochJD

Well-known Member
HI,

The main reason a lot of sports coverage is still in 4:3 and not Widescreen, is actually fairly simple. It's down to the countries in which the sport is being transmitted from, and by which TV company.

Althought the US, Britain, some parts of Europe and the Far East have embraced Widescreen technology, many other countries haven't, or can't, due to political, technological or financial reasons. With some countries TV networks not having the ability to transmit widescreen material, they have to use 4:3.

Now, when it comes to sport, unless the channel you are watching the sport's coverage on, has their own Outside Broadcasting Unit (or OBU's), to transmit the material in Widescreen back to the UK in, then that channel, e.g. Sky Sports 3, or BBC1, have to rely on getting the coverage from another TV station.

If that TV station's coverage, (which will frequently be by the main national TV broadcaster in the sport's coverage's location), isn't in Widescreen, then there's nothing other broadcasters can do, to make it 16:9 compatible, unless they crop the original 4:3 footage.

Some broadcasters have done this: slapping black bars across the top and bottom of 4:3 material, to make it compatible for their Tv channel, but a lot of viewers (understandably) don't like it, and don't want it that way, because that's not how the original picture should be viewed. Hence, the compromise, where the broadcast is in 4:3.

Very few TV stations can afford to send their own, channel-specific OBU's out, to cover sport around the world. Sky and the BBC are about the only two exceptions. Even ITv can only cover certain UK-based football stadia with their own OBU's, but more often than not, they pay a fee to a local TV broadcaster to get their material, to transmit back to the main ITV channel, and this is often in 4:3 (as happened plenty of times with the recent World Cup coverage).

With Sky, they are happy to let other broadcasters pay them, for their footage, but at a high-price! But then, Sky are lucky to have enough to have both the financial, technological and physical support to be able to do this. And this is why, no matter where the sports (or news) coverage takes place, SKy can often get their own team of broadcasters' out to the location. The BBC can do this in some parts of the world, but ITV can't, and many other foreign TV broadcasters can't either.

Apologies for the length of explanation, but I hope it's been useful. :)


Pooch
 

Joe Pineapples

Distinguished Member
Good explanation pooch. I think ITV could still set a technological example though for the britsih grand prix, and broadcast that in widescreen - assuming the coverage is provided by them.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Joe Pineapples said:
Good explanation pooch. I think ITV could still set a technological example though for the britsih grand prix, and broadcast that in widescreen - assuming the coverage is provided by them.
Be nice if they would. Not banking on it though.

Be nice if the pictures from ITV Sport were up to the quality of those from the Beeb and Ch5 too.
 

probedb

Banned
Many thanks pooch :) It is a pity they can't do at least the US, Japanese, UK and Australian GPs in widescreen tho.
 

manny

Standard Member
Joe Pineapples said:
done this everal times over the past couple of years, and just like you, no reply. I never saw any of the short-lived sky coverage of F1, but wasent that in 16:9(?). They could at least broadcast the U.K race in widescreen, and probably many of the others i should think.
the F1 pay channel was also 4:3, and in fact used the same basic footage as itv. they were allowed access to more cameras and they had different commentators, and of course no ad breaks! if only they hadn't made it so stupidly expensive we could all still be watching it now instead of enduring itv's moronic coverage. (someone please do something about that idiot james allen! )
 

amgard

Active Member
manny said:
the F1 pay channel was also 4:3, and in fact used the same basic footage as itv. they were allowed access to more cameras and they had different commentators, and of course no ad breaks! if only they hadn't made it so stupidly expensive we could all still be watching it now instead of enduring itv's moronic coverage. (someone please do something about that idiot james allen! )
Can someone explain to me WHY F1 has ad breaks and football doesn't???

Two 'incidents' in the last race happened during ad-breaks..
The words that make my blood boil most are:,
"this just happened while you were away!"

I WASN'T AWAY - I was sitting here watching a f^%$'n shampoo advert!!

[/RANT]
 

Garrett

Moderator
Not beein a fan of F1 but to me the race is suited to a W/S format and even when broadcast to a 4:3 TV would look better than fullscreen.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Garrett said:
Not beein a fan of F1 but to me the race is suited to a W/S format
Absolutely. Makes perfect sense to be W/S and not F/S.

It's extra width that's needed not height.
 

Garrett

Moderator
domtheone said:
Absolutely. Makes perfect sense to be W/S and not F/S.

It's width needed not height.
Even if they only have one vehicle in shot it width they need, more than one it’s a no brainer. Seem like a lot of no brainers in charge.
 

Joe Pineapples

Distinguished Member
Can someone explain to me WHY F1 has ad breaks and football doesn't???

Two 'incidents' in the last race happened during ad-breaks..
The words that make my blood boil most are:,
"this just happened while you were away!"

I WASN'T AWAY - I was sitting here watching a f^%$'n shampoo advert!!

[/RANT]
Totally agree. All i can do to minimise all this, is soon as the adverts come on, i switch to 0105 on the sky remote, which takes me to radio 5 live coverage, until i think the adverts have finsihed. Pretty pathetci that i have to resort to a radio broadcast, this day and age :mad:
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
At a guess i'd say that nearly half of THE major incidents in F1 (championship deciding moments etc etc) over the last several years have happened during the add breaks:rolleyes:
 

manny

Standard Member
McNab said:
You should sign up to Sniffpetrol's 'StopThe C*ck' campaign

:D

i just bought a tee shirt, that's your fault! you owe me 16 quid!

howsabout James Allen does the grid walk and Takuma Sato "accidentally" hits the throttle instead of the brake coming to his grid slot?

or, Michael Schumacher could do the same and immediately redeem himself in the eyes of the british public!!!
 

probedb

Banned
I used to love F1 on the beeb without the ad breaks, I don't watch it half as much as I used to because the adverts spoil it so much :(
 

avlogger

Standard Member
I have stopped watching F1 in real-time. I use a PVR to record it and start watching about an hour into the program skipping the adverts when they arrive. Normally find I have caught up by the end of the GP (more or less) :)
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
avlogger said:
I have stopped watching F1 in real-time. I use a PVR to record it and start watching about an hour into the program skipping the adverts when they arrive. Normally find I have caught up by the end of the GP (more or less) :)
Ditto that. Though I often record the whole thing and watch afterwards/later.

If you cut through the ads and the boring parts of the race I usually find I can watch a F1 race in about 15 min:rolleyes: :rotfl:

Takes me much longer to watch a Moto GP race, even though in real time it's about half the length of a F1 race.

Go figure:rolleyes: :D
 

SlinkDaddy

Novice Member
Isnt it still 4:3 because Berni Ecclestone won't part with the money to upgrade the cameras etc. I dont think it has anything to do with the countries where GP is in. I believe Bernie owns the TV rights and sells them to all the differen't broadcasters around the world. I think cos he sells them worldwide he will only do it when there are enough countries that have truely adopted widescreen for it to make him more money! From his point of why do it until it wont cost him anything?

I could be wrong but that was my understanding of it.
 

jeffersuk

Active Member
manny said:
the F1 pay channel was also 4:3, and in fact used the same basic footage as itv. they were allowed access to more cameras and they had different commentators, and of course no ad breaks! if only they hadn't made it so stupidly expensive we could all still be watching it now instead of enduring itv's moronic coverage. (someone please do something about that idiot james allen! )
It was far too expensive, but they offered a good value season ticket for the second half of the 2002 season. And it was outstanding. It was totally different from the ITV coverage (ITV uses whats called the 'world feed', F1D+ was totally seperate)- different cameras, more of them, lots more in car cameras available to the director (all cars, world feed was limited to access to 6), better positioned cameras- and the same production team for every race so the coverage was always excellent. Virtually no break up on the in car cameras as they used a ground based system to pick up the signals (also gave super acurate timing). No ad breaks whatsoever in the coverage, all practice and qualifying sessions live as well as the race (and Porsche Super Cup on a Sunday morning).

There were 8 interactive options

Master: Pre and post race show, mixture of interviews, studio analysis and commentry during the race.
Super: Race coverage (best of the action, like the 'world feed' but better)
Track A: Followed the leaders
Track B: Followed battles further down the field
In Car: In car cameras
Pits: Roving cameras in the pit lanes, pit stops and driver interviews
Highlights: Best of the race action
Data: The data screen (as you can get from f1.com)

That was before considering the actual programmes themselves- presented by Matthew Lorrenzo, commentry from Ben Edwards and John Watson (from the studio, so Watson was used as an analyst at times), guests were Jeremy Hardy and Damon Hill. Peter Windsor was the reporter in the pit lane, and there were two other reporters on the grid, so you got interviews from almost all the drivers and big names (Martin Brundle's grid walks pale in comparison). Those around the grid/pits/paddock had almost 'access all areas' so you got a real feeel for all that was going on. There were things you'd never see on ITV- a good 20 minute interview with Ron Dennis on one show.

And it was a huge laugh to watch, as you can see from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AUrkJmLhNs. I highly recommend watching, very funny. That gives you the best idea now as to just why F1 Digital+ was so great.

It ended because it was costing far too much money- it took 2 jumbo jets to fly the kit to every race. Most of the deals were signed at the height of the tv rights and dot.com boom in the late 1990s or early 2000s (it started in Germany in 1996, spread to a few other countries, the UK got it in 2002, the final year as it turns out). They didn't get as many customers as hoped (lots of piracy in Italy didn't help) and the banks eventually stopped it. Which is a huge shame, because we've never had anything thats come close to it since. :mad: :mad:
 

McNab

Well-known Member
i just bought a tee shirt, that's your fault! you owe me 16 quid!

howsabout James Allen does the grid walk and Takuma Sato "accidentally" hits the throttle instead of the brake coming to his grid slot?

or, Michael Schumacher could do the same and immediately redeem himself in the eyes of the british public!!!
:thumbsup:
 

Starburst

Novice Member
It was far too expensive, but they offered a good value season ticket for the second half of the 2002 season. And it was outstanding.


Totally agree.
It was how F1 should be watched but the usual British sky high prices (compared to other EU markets) would have put many people off and the fact that the average viewer is "happy" with free ad driven coverage.

Being reliant on the broadcaster to choose what you watch is just so annoying now, it was a joy to flick between cameras when the main feed was not interesting:)
 

Joe Pineapples

Distinguished Member
very good :)rolleyes: ) of ITV to miss yet another pivotal moment, in todays race at Monza, during the adverts (incase you are going to watch the highlights instead) -

spoiler:
when alonso's engine let go


:thumbsdow :thumbsdow
 

Similar threads

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Home AV, TV, Tech News & Reviews, Plus The Best of July 2020

Trending threads

Latest News

Linn announces Majik DSM digital streamer upgrade
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Sony announces WH-1000XM4 noise cancelling headphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
McIntosh launches C22 Mk V preamp and MC1502 power amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Marantz unveils 12 Series Special Edition models
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 smart phone models launched
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom