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How I watch Formula One

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Shane Butler, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Good evening folks! I've spent a lot of time preparing this thread so I'd appreciate if you read on! Basically for those who do not know, BBC cannot show all the races live because of the deal between them and Sky F1. This was terrible news for a lot of F1 fans in the UK who would have to pay to watch their favourite sport. I'm not sure how much it does cost, but I think it is in the region of 350 pounds to get the Sky F1 channel which I, and many others, are not willing to pay.

    So I did some searching online to look at other options. Illegal streams online? Way too unreliable and terrible quality. Watch the races at a local pub? Not a chance. I highly doubt they would show F1 races over other sporting events and obviously I could not go there at 5-6 o' clock in the morning for races in the far east.

    However, I heard that RTL are a free to air german channel which broadcast every Formula One race and qualifying live for free. All you have to do is point a satellite at Astra 19.2 East and voilà, you have F1!

    Since I'm lazy, I didnt set up a satellite by myself. I got a professional to do the job. Thankfully this was not too expensive. Here is a picture on the wall of my house which was taken on the freezing morning of the Australian Grand Prix. The top satellite brings me all the English Channels like BBC, the bottom one gives me RTL and a whole bunch of other German channels which are fairly weird, but I get RTL which is the main thing.


    I dont speak German, plus the RTL commentary and analysis is supposedly rubbish. So what can I use for english commentary? Thankfully Radio 5 Live in the UK have commentary on every F1 session live so I can listen to that while watching the RTL picture. I live in Ireland, so I cant listen to Radio 5 Live on a radio but thankfully the top satellite you can see in that picture does receive that radio station.

    I have two TV's in my house. One in the sitting room and the other in my own bedroom, these two rooms are a fair bit away, but I bought really long earphones which means I can put it into one TV, which is on Radio 5 Live, and then I can watch the RTL pictures from the other. Here are some pictures to show what I mean..

    Those really long earphones..


    Picture of one of my TV's with the radio on..​

    So this was my setup for the start of the 2012 season. But when I was watching the first race in Australia there was a huge problem. The radio was something like four seconds ahead of the TV pictures I was watching, so it was unwatchable really. I needed to find a way of delaying the radio.

    I came across Radiodelay, which I now use to sink up the radio to the TV perfectly. Basically I have radiodelay on my computer which I put next to my TV. The sound from the radio on the TV goes into the computer and then it is delayed by whatever amount I can choose, but for Australia and Malaysia this season, 3.1 seconds was perfect. Instead of putting the earphones directly into the TV, I now put it into the computer beside it so I can hear the delayed radio. Here's a screenshot of it in action..

    For the Malaysian Grand Prix I was able to watch Free Practice two live on Sport1, another free-to-air german channel you can pick up on Astra 19.2 East. I e-mailed them about their coverage and they replied saying that for the next couple of seasons including 2013, they are showing Free Practice one and two live. So I watched FP2 on Sport1 and it was great! There were only 3 five minute adbreaks so that's a total of one hour and fifteen minutes worth of FP2 which I can see live and in great quality. It's good enough for me!

    Before qualifying, RTL show very quick highlights of FP3. The highlights are 45 minutes long, but in total, 20 minutes are dedicated to adverts and other interviews.

    I must say, qualifying is great on RTL. Absolutely no adverts, only in between sessions. So no complaints from me.





    And finally on to the race. Well yes there is adverts, but I'm listening to the radio so I dont lose track of whats happening out on track. I think there was three adverts for the race, and each was possibly five minutes long I think. But hey, I can put up with adverts if it means I can watch F1 live and I dont have to slump for Sky's F1 channel.

    In the Australian GP thread, I think Scott Webber said that he was facing on tough choice whether to watch the race live with a terrible quality stream or wait for the highlights on BBC later that evening. I was so happy to think that I wasnt in that position. This is a good alternative to Sky F1 in my opinion :) All of this was inspired by this blog post, so a lot of credit goes to him. ,

    So to recap, for the races that are not live on BBC, I can watch FP1 and FP2 live, FP3 highlights, Qualifying live with no adverts and of course the race live aswell. All in great quality on the TV and with perfect, in-sync english radio commentary. Here are some more pictures I've taken of the race.





    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
    • Like Like x 3
  2. In Australia we get the broadcast through the channel ONE HD. Unfortunately it being a free to air channel the amount of ad breaks during the race is best described as ridiculous, not to mention the timing & length of the breaks.
    Luckily my set-up has a solution to this problem as I use my TV as my monitor for my PC. I simply switch to a live stream when they go to a break & since doing this I've realized the amount of action I would of missed out on previously is quite an amount.
    With regards to live streaming sopcast use to be great but unfortunately the streamers are now using the different programs now such as acestream which doesn't buffer properly for me. Vipbox usually has reliable streams for all sports including F1.Quality isn't great but usually reliable.
    With regards to the channel ONE HD & their coverage - it's pretty crap. Getting all the pre-race information from the SKY team is a lot better than the basic & narrow focus on the 2 aussie drivers. If your more partizan than me, perhaps it's not a bad thing One example of differences being the grid walk with Martin Brundle on SKY. At the same time ONE HD were showing a pre-recorded interview with Webber about his slow start at the Aus GP & how he thought his race would shape up, speculating a dry race. Bit of a contrast with Brundle talking to the drivers about a wet start.
  3. Very nice set up!

    Is it really £350 though?

    Or is that the cost to go from nothing to Sky and the package required?

    Basic Sky TV is about £240 a year so I assume the F1 stuff is where the extra £100 comes from?

    If you are really into F1 though, already have Sky, and maybe friends can come round too and bring a few beers, then the real cost per race weekend isn't so high.
    And the coverage is very good!

    I'm not so into F1 but I was tempted to get it this year as the coverage looks very nice.

  4. Well currently the cheapest way you can get the Sky Sports F1 channel is with the entertainment and HD package, I think, which is 350 pounds in total. You can get the channel with the sky sports package but that would be way more expensive.
  5. great PC set up to watch my F1. stream and torrents obviously. yes I do own that Limited Edition Official Senna.