Formula 1 wants to see its races arrive with the spectators in the best picture quality. First of all, the focus is now on HDR transmission.
Accordingly, they want to experiment with the first transmissions with HDR (High Dynamic Range) in 2021. So you see HDR as the next, important step for live broadcasts on television. At least that’s what Ian Holmes, who is the head of media rights at F1, has on record. He also briefly talked about 8K resolution. That is also fundamentally interesting, but HDR clearly has the higher priority.
This ranking is not surprising: HDR is now supported by all current televisions. However, TVs with 4K resolution still dominate, while 8K currently still occupies a niche. It will certainly stay that way for a few more years. Especially since there is virtually no content that the viewer could access in 8K. The prices of the 8K TVs are also still comparatively high, as you can see from the Samsung TV portfolio, the prices of which were presented yesterday.
Pay TV provider Sky is also working on pushing more sports broadcasts in HDR. As far as 8K is concerned, there are attempts to walk, for example, at least in the USA. There some NFL games were broadcast in 8K. The same applies to some NASCAR races. In Japan, on the other hand, they want to show the next Olympic Games in 8K, which will take place in Tokyo. However, Formula 1 will initially focus on HDR.
HDR is the bigger advantage of current TV sets
It has to be said that the sheer resolution is not the real strength of modern televisions anyway. Most viewers will not even fully benefit from 4K because the screen diagonals are too small or the seat spacing is too high. HDR, on the other hand, with the extended color space and increased contrasts, is independent of the seat spacing. We therefore feel it is absolutely correct that the focus is initially on HDR for live broadcasts.
According to Holmes, HDR also helps with the display of fast-moving objects, which can be better identified by the human eye due to the improved contrasts. Of course, that fits perfectly with Formula 1 and the corresponding races.