Monday, October 1, 2007

SPEED Finally Commits To HD For 2008


Motorsports fans will finally get their wish now that SPEED has announced they will change over to all High Definition programming beginning in February of 2008.

This date makes sense, as most of the off-season programming the network shows in December and January has already been in the works. SPEED is going to launch this switch during Speed Weeks at Daytona, which is a great promotional time for them.

SPEED President Hunter Nickell said "SPEED already offers some of the most action-filled programming on television and the move to HD in 2008 enhances all of it exponentially." SPEED just topped the seventy million household mark, and is one of the most rapidly growing cable networks in North America.

Rick Miner, SPEED's Sr. VP of Production and Operations will be managing the project, which will continue in transition throughout the 2008 season. Obviously, the network has to completely change a ton of equipment that they currently have in place. This is especially true for NASCAR, where the TV trucks producing all the shows from the SPEED Stage are now rendered obsolete.

This is a big and positive move for SPEED, and its parent company Fox Cable Networks. Racing fans have been asking for this switch, and the network is now at a level of distribution where it can be accomplished. Ultimately, this may prove to be the most historic thing the network has done since its purchase by Fox in 2001.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email editor@thedalyplanet.tv if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope Dish Network puts it in their HD package promptly when it begins. I have ESPN, ESPN2 and TNT in HD now but the locals are not available in HD yet for me (small market). A race or football game in HD on a 52" TV makes my day.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
A suggestion: for those of us unsavy about HD and stuck with a large number of analog TV sets - it might help if you could briefly explain in laymen's terms what HD is and what needs to be done with existing TV sets other than rushing out to buy a HDTV. We've all had enough pain this season and the thought that SPEED will no longer be available without spending big bucks may be enough to send some people over the edge! (I found the website www.dtv,gov somewhat helpful) Thanks again.
Tom in Dayton, OH.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Tom,

The HDTV concept has been around for a while now. It is clearly where TV will be in a couple of years across the board.

It requires a new HDTV set to view in the manner the signal is intended to be seen, but can also be seen on your current TV. The aspect ratio of the picture is different, kind of like a movie.

You can use walmart.com or any other vendor site to explain what sets to buy, and how much it will cost. Some HDTV sets are on the market for under $500.

HDTV requires a call to your cable or satellite company to talk about what signals are in HDTV and what channels you might want in your package.

JD

Anonymous said...

I'll hold my breath and see if Comcast will put the HD Speedtv in their HD package. I will say that both ESPN & ABC NASCAR look great in HD.

Anonymous said...

This is especially true for NASCAR, where the TV trucks producing all the shows from the SPEED Stage are now rendered obsolete.
Posted by Daly Planet Editor at 1:03 PM


JD, I thought Race Day, Victory Lane and other shows use the production facilities of NASCAR Images. NASCAR Images already use HD equipment.

Anonymous said...

As on now, Direct TV will be the only on carrying SPEED HD at first.

Tripp said...

This was hinted at on the RaceDay show yesterday when some of their pre-produced segments were done in 16x9, the HDTV screen format.

DirecTV already lists SPEED as one of their future HD products, so this should not come as a huge surprise. Fixing the date is a good thing.

William said...

I only have 8 HD channels right now, I'm not holding my breath for Cox to add SPEED in HD to my lineup.
I was thrilled this week to finally get NBC HD back.

Anonymous said...

I too am disappointed with cox's HD line up, but at least they did put SPEED on basic cable where I am.

Anonymous said...

My question is, If they are going HD, will DirecTV and others move Speed to the HD package only?

Bill H (aka BillWebz)

For Kicks - do we need to see Jimmy Spencer in High Defination?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
My question is, If they are going HD, will DirecTV and others move Speed to the HD package only?

Bill H (aka BillWebz)

For Kicks - do we need to see Jimmy Spencer in High Defination?

October 1, 2007 6:24 PM



That would not make sense. That's just not how it works. It would be like my cable/sat provider taking away the standard FOX channel just because they added the HD version of the channel. To my knowledge you will get a standard SPEED channel and the HD channel. So you can chose if you want to see jimmy in HD.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The on-track activity on SPEED is televised from the "host" equipment provided by NASCAR Images.

The SPEED Stage is not a part of the TV compound, and is assembled by the network. The shows from the SPEED Stage are not part of NASCAR Images.

The same is true of the Craftsman Truck Series, where SPEED provides the TV prodution equipment.

Thanks for your questions.

JD

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Speed is finally going to produce most of their Nascar programming in HD. In my area, Comcast has been pretty quick to add HD channels so I'm hoping they will add Speed to their lineup before speedweeks. For people who want an HD, get a Vizio. I have their 26" version and love it. They're one of the cheapest brands (price wise), but the quality is excellent.

Anonymous said...

My cable operator has been slow to get ANY HD channels other than the local channels. Does anyone know when COX will Carry SPEED HD?

Anonymous said...

Key question - does F1 provide an HD feed? Assuming I'm over my disgust with their "Formula Ferrari" policies by next season ...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Key question - does F1 provide an HD feed? Assuming I'm over my disgust with their "Formula Ferrari" policies by next season ...

October 1, 2007 10:55 PM

I heard that F1 will no be in HD next year due to the fact that Europe is slow to adapt HDTV. Can someone confirm this?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

SPEED in HD really will not matter to the majority of tv viewers. As others said, only Direct TV will have it initially. That is just a tiny tiny fraction of tv users across America that have Direct TV compared to the numerous cable compainies. My cable provider (whose service area includes the NASCAR and ISC corprate headquarters) has no plans at all to carry SPEED in their HD programming (nevermind the fact that they still do not carry the NFL Network channel). So this news from SPEED for most of us boils down to, "who cares, practically none of us will see it".

Anonymous said...

I suspect Dish Network will have Speed in HD pretty quickly. Dish currently has 39 HD channels plus locals (if available) in their HD package now. The HD channels that are not HD exclusive (such as TNT, Animal, ESPN, ESPN2, etc) are also available in analog.

Anonymous said...

For those of you that have yet to experience HD - you guys are really missing out! Everything in HD - resolution, picture size, color and sound quality is superior to the old analog tube sets.

As for Speed in HD, however, I doubt my cable supplier will bother to add it. Especially when they have yet to add their home-town network, The Golf Channel, in HD. And they won't even carry most of the 2007-08 Orlando Magic games due to a dispute with Fox Sports Net.

Anonymous said...

IRT: HDTV question earlier.

The non-HD speed channel will still be available for those people that do not have HDTVs. The requirments to view an HD signal are an HD capable TV to view it on and an HD receiver to receive the signal. If you don't have both of those than you will NOT be able to view the HD channel.

Anonymous said...

DIrecTV lists Speed HD as coming by the end of October. Earlier this year, Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that F1 would broadcast in HD in 2007. As there is only 1 race left this year, perhaps we should keep our fingers crossed that the Brazilian GP will be broadcast on Speed in high definition.