Sky HD coverage extended to speedway while Singapore’s nighttime F1 to be lit up

Sport is proving to be a great catalyst in expanding the availability of HD coverage around the world.

NBC’s impressive US viewing figures for its coverage of the Olympics are in no small part down to the fact that for the first time the Games are being shown entirely in high def.

Now Arqiva has announced it has upgraded Sky’s coverage of key international speedway events to HD.

Two HD outside broadcasts trucks were deployed to both the UK Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff and the UK Speedway World Cup in Coventry.

Working closely with Sky each event involved around 65 Arqiva crew and 27 HD cameras including seven radio cameras for comprehensive interview coverage.

The move to HD represents an important step up for Sky’s speedway offering which Arqiva has serviced continuously for the past nine years.

Darren Long, Head of Sky Sports Operations, said Arqiva provided Sky with standard-definition coverage of over 40 speedway meetings each year.

“The decision to upgrade key speedway events to high definition has been driven by demand from Eastern European countries where the sport is particularly popular and where HD technology is increasingly available,” he said.

Michael Bass, managing director of outside broadcasts at Arqiva, said speedway bikes accelerated as fast as Formula 1 cars.

“HD picture and sound perfectly captures all the atmosphere of this adrenalin fuelled sport,” he said.

Meanwhile, Philips have announced that its projectors have been selected to light up the first ever Formula One night race in Singapore.

By creating near-daylight conditions at night, the lighting not only allows drivers to race safely at speeds of more than 300km per hour, but also gives ideal conditions for film and photography.

Philips say this will enable camera crews to capture sharper images that comply with HDTV standards for viewers around the world.

The company was selected by Valerio Maioli SpA, the Italian consultant company appointed by Singapore GP Pte Ltd, to light up the race on 28 September.

Philips worked with Maiolo to develop a dedicated reflector for the system.

The lighting system avoids glare by projecting the light beams at different angles rather than vertically. This is to prevent glare in wet weather conditions.

The Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore is fitted with nearly 1,500 lighting projectors, illuminating the 5.067km track with light that is four times brighter than a football stadium at night.

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