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Formula 1

F1 excited to test HDR and 8K broadcasts in 2021

F1's Director of Media Rights Ian Holmes has indicated that there are plans in place to trial HDR and 8K resolution cameras during the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Formula 1 is set to trial 8K and HDR (High Dynamic Range) broadcasts later this year, F1's Director of Media Rights Ian Holmes has confirmed.

The sport has been increasing the quality of its world feed broadcast quality over the past decade, switching to high definition widescreen in 2011. Then, in 2017, FOM began offering a 4k broadcast which was made available to interested broadcasters.

With other sports, such as the NFL in the United States, evaluating and trialling ever-higher resolution broadcasts, there are plans in place to begin that same evaluation in Formula 1.

"One of the things that we're specifically looking at HDR [8K], high definition, efficient range, which is very effective for fast moving objects," Holmes explained to RacingNews365.com and other selected press.

"We will be conducting tests this year. I think that is potentially the next stage of an offering. We're looking at the development of that side of technology in order to serve our broadcast partners.

"We need to be at the forefront of that. I remember, back in the day with Bernie [Ecclestone], let's just say we were a little bit slow to adopt some of those elements. Then ironically, [we] were super fast to go to where we are now."

Holmes went on to explain that there are still other factors to be taken into consideration, with the main concern being a lack of consumers who are yet to move onto devices capable of displaying such high resolution imagery.

"We're also going to look at who could take it," Holmes said. "If we had it tomorrow, there'd be very few people who could take it. The other thing is sometimes you produce this wonderful technology, and the broadcastability, but the people's devices are not capable. So there is that sweet spot.

"We are always looking at what is our bread and butter, the feed has got to be as good as it can be from every perspective. The Olympics always pushes the boat out a little bit. Once every four years, or two years through the Winter Olympics.

"Quite a lot of technology comes through from that. So I'm quite interested, especially with it being in Japan if it happens, that's quite an interesting sort of thing to pay attention to. But, certainly I think for us, HDR is something that we're quite excited about."

An example of HDR resolution can be seen on the video below.


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