The Singapore Grand Prix saw a significant development in the broadcast of Formula 1 with Formula 1 Management trialling a Proof of Concept for delivering video content to broadcasters.
FOM’s Chief technical officer John Morrison hailed it as “ground breaking” and it could soon affect the way all F1 fans consume content.
The trial, conducted with FOM’s Connectivity partner Tata Communications [which is also a sponsor of the JA on F1 website], involved a live video feed of Free Practice being sent via the TCL global fibre ring back to FOM’s headquarters in Biggin Hill, England.
The demonstration included the supply of JPEG 2000 quality video from the circuit as well as multiple programme feeds. This was a first for F1.
The Singapore event is the latest step towards F1 being able to move the distribution of F1 video and data content around the world in whatever way it wants. Currently the world TV feed is sent out by satellite, but this latest development opens the door for a range of options to get the content to the end consumer.
The video, which was shot by Formula One Management, explains the development more clearly.
When F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone signed the deal with Tata Communications before the start of the 2012 season, his long time technical chief Eddie Baker described it as “the most significant moment for F1 since the advent of satellites.” Being able to tap into the fibre ring gives FOM and its broadcast partners an opportunity to to manage content in ways satellite cannot provide and it is faster, reducing delays.
Tata Communications’ managing director of F1 business, Mehul Kapadia said the trial offered ” a glimpse into the future of sports broadcasting.”
For the more technically minded, the Tata Communications’ statement explains,
“Consumer demand for quality, live content across different platforms is now the norm and with the emergence of bandwidth-hungry production workflows such as Ultra HD, quick turnarounds and availability of content across multiple platforms is becoming a hygiene factor for content owners. Tata Communications’ portfolio of media services and its leading fibre network helps media companies streamline their workflows to enable better collaboration, without large investments in hardware.”
It brings a standardisation to the means of delivery of content from F1 races. Basically it connects F1 to the world in a completely new way.
It increases the amount of connectivity time, as it’s always on, unlike a satellite which is on for a matter of hours and it’s bi-directional, which means it allows the audience to interact with the sport, rather than sit back and consume. It means the sport can have individual relationships with fans, can supply content on a global and even individual basis, looking well down the line.
It will also greatly reduce the tonnage of equipment that FOM TV sends around the world as images can be sent back instantly and processed at the FOM broadcast centre in the UK.