July 05, 2013

BBC sees the light and abandons 3D TV

The BBC will stop making programmes in 3D at the end of this year at least until 2016 following "disappointing" takeup.

The BBC's head of 3D, Kim Shillinglaw, said that using it in the home is a "hassly" experience and that "I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK."

Shillinglaw said the process was still too complex because watching in 3D requires special glasses – either "passive" or "active", depending on the screen. "You have got to find your glasses before switching on the TV," she said. "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 takeup of 3D TV has been disappointing."

The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will still be broadcast in 3D, as well as the already-commissioned series Hidden Kingdom. But that will be it. 

Won't miss it myself. Now Sky, with the last remaining 3D channel, really is "the dark side" (geddit?!).

1 comment:

adiboy said...

Will miss it myself. I still think saying that the take-up is poor isn't necessarily correct. The BBC used the example of not enough people watching the Queen's speech in 3D as one reason(!). Not sure that was something that anyone particularly wanted in 3D. It seems that Christmas viewing was one of the deciding factors, but that doesn't take into account the fact that a lot of people are away from home over Christmas or that they have guests, so don't have enough glasses!

For me, as mentioned before, the cost is the biggest issue. Having already bought 6 pairs of glasses, I am then expected to pay extra for every film or programme I watch in 3D except for the tiny handful of BBC offerings.

I think the BBC are correct that people watch TV differently to cinema and yet the only offerings they have made are probably ones where people don't just sit and watch, such as the tennis. I suspect something like the forthcoming Doctor Who is much more likely to have people sitting down to watch.

Saying that "people have to find their glasses first" is just silly. Mine are easily to hand. That is up to the viewer to organise. Maybe it is Catch 22. If there was more 3D available, the glasses would be there and ready!