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BBC to take three-year break from 3D production at the end of this year

Sam Loveridge by

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The BBC will be taking a three-year hiatus from 3D programming development at the end of this year, due to an unsatisfactory UK appetite for the medium.

Head of 3D at the BBC, Kim Shillinglaw, has said the UK broadcaster will be taking “a good old pause” from developing 3D programming, after it admitted that the UK hasn’t taken to 3D TV as much as expected.

“I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK”, said Shillinglaw. “Watching 3D is quite a hassly experience in the home. You have got to find your glasses before switching on the TV.”

The BBC has been running a two-year 3D TV pilot, during which the broadcaster has experimented with showing its top content in 3D.

“I think when people TV they concentrate in a different way. When people go to the cinema they go are used to doing one thing – I think that’s one of the reasons that take up of 3D TV has been disappointing.”

The London 2012 Olympics was broadcast in 3D by the BBC, but despite an estimated 1.5 million 3D TVs in homes across the UK, only half of that figure actually watched the Olympics Opening Ceremony in 3D.

At the end of the year, after a special 3D Doctor Who anniversary episode and the airing of natural history programme Hidden Kingdom, the BBC will wrap up its 3D project for a three year period.

“After that 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.”

The BBC is currently showing the Wimbledon semi-finals and finals on its BBC 3D channels across YouView,

Next, read our pick of the best TVs of 2013.

Via: Radiotimes

Go to comments

Martyn Butler

July 5, 2013, 9:48 pm

This is dreadful news, SOME 3D content in hugely enjoyable and as young entrants to the market get access to the toolset that is 3D we shall start seeing content that MUST be seen in 3D

The BBC should rethink this decision and continue to invite appropriate broadcasts to be shown in 3D - Yes even on RED Button. I might enjoy QUESTION TIME in 3D - I wont know unless the BBC give me the opportunity,

Can you imagine if we had this current board of governors when the BBC decided to to switch to Color, invest in BBCiPlayer - or go HD? - "no one has colour TV's" ..... "no one will watch TV on a computer" ...... "there is no market for 3D" - Wrong Wrong Wrong

This is NOT the time for the BBC or indeed others in the UK film and TV industries to turn their backs on 3D - Its hard - its difficult, an easily look wrong - Thats why we have to become the very best at it.

Tim Wye

July 7, 2013, 8:15 am

Equating 3D to colour and HD is nonsense. It's not the fact that people don't have 3D televisions that they're dropping the trial (though the take-up has hardly been ground-breaking), it's because no-one bothers to use them in 3D when they do. 3D television is a hassle, looks rubbish and is not popular with viewers. (Colour television and HD television did not involve wearing special glasses, both markedly improved the viewing experience and were hugely popular). I think it's great news they're stopping the trial.

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