Sky could offer Formula One in 3D

Sky's dedicated Formula One channel launches on 9 March in SD and HD, and the broadcaster has revealed to Pocket-lint that it hopes to add 3D to that mix some time in the future.

Speaking at its Sky Studios complex, opened last summer, Martin Turner, executive producer of F1 HD, told us that 3D is very much part of Sky's ultimate plans for its coverage of the motorsport:

"We've got a lot of challenges and one of them will be, at some stage, to potentially do some 3D," he said. "Some 3D testing."

However, Turner admits that actually filming a race in 3D could be difficult at present. "One of the other challenges around that is that the teams - unlike in years gone by - are not allowed to drive their cars willy-nilly," he said.

"They're very much restricted with tests - three testing sessions, one last week and two in Barcelona next week - in order to keep down the costs. So, the opportunity to find events where we could go and take our 3D cameras, to set up and show what it looks like are few and far between."

The other current barrier is that, unlike with other sports, the live HD pictures of the races taken around the world are supplied to Sky by Formula One itself, rather than shot by the broadcaster.

"We could be in a position to go and do some 3D, we have the 3D capabilities in the terms of having the trucks," said Turner. "But there's the fact that we don't control the race pictures, which is very unusual for a sport where you're a major rights holder.

"You would expect, for example, to be at least host in your territories. That's traditionally what's happened.

"I think our main concern is to get this first season up and running and do a great job, and there is still this little carrot of 3D. I would be lovely at some stage do some 3D, but none is carded at the moment."

Owen Williams, head of projects for Sky Sport’s Digital Media, agrees that it's important to focus on this, Sky's first, F1 season and then add new developments down the line:

"We're a few weeks into a seven-year relationship and what you see now, what we're going to offer in March 2012, will be far removed from what we can offer in March 2013, 2014, etc," he told us. "Certainly, from my team's point of view, we want to complement what Martin's doing now and then build and build and build.

"For example, the F1 section of our website has been revamped and relaunched and we're quite proud of that, the look and the way it works for the moment, but we feel it's just scratching the surface really of what we can do.

"It's all about establishing Sky's name as the market leaders in F1."

And 3D, it seems, will be very much a part of that in the future.

What do you think? Would you like to see Formula One in 3D? Let us know in the comments below...