02.23.2005 12:00 AM
Daytona 500 Fans Watch in HD This Year
Racing fans with HDTV sets got a good look at growing grass while watching the Daytona 500, according to a recent article in the St. Petersburg Times. This year, the Fox NASCAR race coverage has been in 720p HD, including the recently-run Daytona 500. The reporter that fans could see very little drama during the first 150 laps, causing HD viewers to watch spectators in the stands and clumps of grass in the infield.
Patient viewers were finally rewarded with two crashes late in the race and Jeff Gordon's victory. It was mentioned that auto racing is a natural for the wide screen, because the entire pack of cars may be seen simultaneously, and in close-up. The high speeds are also a natural for 60 fps progressive scan.
If we have not yet quite reached it, we are closely approaching the day when all sports on television will be available in HD. There seem to be enough HD production trucks to produce all these events in HD, and downconvert the content to SD for NTSC broadcast. Every NFL game of the past season was aired in HD and many of the upcoming NCAA March Madness basketball tournament games will also be available in HD.