20 February 2012
Multi-view, surround sound for Sky F1 coverage
“Technically speaking, our multi-screen offering will be the biggest change [to F1 viewing]. We will be offering a choice of on-board cameras that [viewers have] never had before."
Although the short-lived F1 Digital channel pioneered by Bernie Ecclestone more than five years ago featured multiple viewing options, it did not stretch as far as Turner suggests Sky is prepared to go to ensure that fans get the closest experience to actually being at a grand prix.
In addition to revolutionising television coverage of F1 - and building on the 'Red Button' facility offered by the BBC, which largely extended to prolonged coverage after the chequered flag - Sky has also leaked details of some of the features that it hopes to include with its iPad extension of Sky Race Control. Prime among these is a proposed four-way viewing option
"The aim of Sky Race Control is to replicate the [multi-viewing] offering across all of our platforms," said former BBC man Owen Williams, now head of projects for Sky Sport's digital media department, "You will see, for example, on the website you'll have your nine streams that Martin was referring to. So, in effect, you can be the race director, you can direct the race yourself. It gives an offering that, quite frankly, the BBC couldn't rival."
“There are certain things going on at the moment that will happen. It's not that we are trying to mislead, it's not that we are trying to be deliberately secretive, [but] a lot of the things being developed then have to go to Apple for submission and I can't stand up and say 'yeah, all these things, you will get them coming to an iPad on 15 March."
Having weathered the storm over its acquisition of the rights to show all 20 races as they happen in 2012, leaving the BBC with just ten live events, Sky has already drawn criticism for its decision to make its Race Control app available to Apple, with one tech forum member complaining that other platforms should have been considered.
"Before you ask, no, NOTHING for Android, this deal they must have with Apple is unbelievable," the post fumed, "When will Sky learn that Android is far bigger in the UK than Apple and so many of their customers are being left high and dry. It's amazing they can put out new apps for Apple products very fast and with red button et al and yet we are still waiting for an Android app. Once again, a kick in the teeth for most of Sky's loyal customers. Shame on you Sky."
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