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Formula 1 to go high def

ITV's F1 coverage could go high def within the next couple of years

European Formula 1 races could soon be delivered in hi def if ITV gets its way. The TV channel has recently entered into a deal to lease a high def satellite broadcast truck from SISLink , and is currently negotiating with Ofcom to secure an HD channel on Freeview .

The four-year contract with SISLink - which specialises in satellite broadcasting - will see a dual-antenna HD truck being used at the eight European Formula 1 races. SISLink says the truck "is set to become one of the most complex and highly specified [satellite] uplink trucks ever built."

However ITV Sports spokesman Hannah Bailey told said it was "very unlikely" that the truck would be used to broadcast F1 in HD for this year's season.

She said such broadcasts were dependent on it being awarded an HD channel on Freeview - something which may only happen when the switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting is complete in 2012.

This year's F1 season kicks off on Sunday 18 March in Australia. The first European race takes place in Monaco on Sunday 27 May.