F1 will switch to broadcasting in full high definition in 2011

Formula 1 will finally be broadcast in high definition from 2011, the sport’s bosses have confirmed.

Sky Germany jumped the gun yesterday by confirming it planned to broadcast the sport in full HD, beating Formula One Management (FOM), which supplies a feed to broadcasters, in confirming the move.

Autosport reports that F1 broadcasters were informed of FOM’s decision to switch to HD yesterday. All trackside cameras will be full HD, although on-board cameras will remain in standard definition due to the weight and complexity of the equipment. Broadcasters will be able to download data from FOM at 42MB per second, with images being able to be broadcast in 1080i resolution.

FOM boss Bernie Ecclestone had been reluctant to switch to HD until he was sure the technology was ready and there was sufficient demand for it.

The BBC has yet to confirm its broadcast plans for 2011, but it is expected to offer its F1 coverage in HD on its HD channel.

The BBC has confirmed, however, that Jonathan Legard will leave its commentary team and will be replaced by David Coulthard. Martin Brundle has been promoted to lead commentator.

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