BBC to abandon 3D - the beginning of the end for 3D TV in the home?

Ben Parfitt
BBC to abandon 3D - the beginning of the end for 3D TV in the home?

Remember when 3D looked as if it could be a key battleground for the console gaming sector?

Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? And the BBC’s decision to put its 3D programming plans on hold for three years from the end of 2013 looks to have dealt a potentially fatal blow to the technology.

The 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Special this November is one of just three 3D projects that will be completed before the BBC walks away from the technology.

The BBC’s head of 3D Kim Shillinglaw has stated that “the viewing public has not taken to the medium” despite its efforts across a wide range of programming including Strictly Come Dancing, Walking With Dinosaurs and the Olympics.

In fact, the BBC’s high-profile 3D coverage of the Olympic opening ceremony was watched by just 750k UK households – just 50 per cent of those who owned a 3D set at the time.

The 2012 Queen’s speech managed to reach just five per cent of 3D TV owners.

“I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK,” Shillinglaw told the RadioTimes. “Watching 3D is quite a hassly experience in the home. You have got to find your glasses before switching on the TV. I think when people watch TV they concentrate in a different way. When people go to the cinema they go and are used to doing one thing – I think that’s one of the reasons that take up of 3D TV has been disappointing.

“We will see what happens when the recession ends and there may be more take up of sets but I think the BBC will be having a wait and see. It’s the right time for a good old pause.”

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Tags: 3d , tv , bbc , uptake , abandon

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