While the technology world has jumped feet first onto the 3D bandwagon in the past year or so with TVs, laptops, tablets, consoles and even mobile phones all making an appearance – one voice is sounding a note of caution.
The BBC has released its technology strategy for the coming years and has decided not to commit wholeheartedly to the 3D phenomenon. Branding the recent 3D furore as “hype” the BBC has said it will not be committing to the platform because it fears it may “fail to deliver/take off.” The statement went on to mention of the success of Avatar, saying: “Much of the current hype has come from the success of recent movie titles and the imminent release of these on Blu-ray.”
One of the problems the BBC sees with 3D on television is the availability of sufficient content of a high enough calibre. Uncertainty over how 3D programmes should be produced and distributed is a major issue for the television industry, compared to “a smaller but better funded number of players in the movie industry.” While not committing itself completely to the technology, the BBC will be experimenting with 3D in the coming months, including at Wimbledon, to “explore the creative potential of the new format, evaluate the different technology options and help us contribute to the standardisation process.”
Sky in contrast has embraced the 3D technology fully and currently boasts 70,000 subscribers to its 3D packages with regular 3D sports broadcasts as well as niche programming such as David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters. The BBC says it will continue to make HD – rather than 3D – the centre of all its activities. With television manufacturers continuing to churn out 3D-ready models, this news won’t be welcome, but has the BBC got it right on 3D or will it miss the boat?