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BBC turns its back on 3D

The BBC is to turn its back on 3D content after revealing it believes there is not sufficient viewer demand for the technology.

The decision means that the UK broadcaster will not carry on with the work from its two-year 3D programming pilot beyond the end of 2013, but it will maintain a watching brief over the technology.

“I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK,” Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC science and natural history commissioner leading the project, told RadioTimes.com.

“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.”

The BBC has broadcast flagship events, including Strictly Come Dancing and Wimbledon in 3D, while it used to technology for other projects, such as David Walliams’ comedy Mr Stink.

The BBC’s pilot will culminate in a Doctor Who anniversary episode this November and Hidden Kingdom, a series using microscopic photography to capture nature in the Amazon Rainforest

Shillinglaw said: “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.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • 3D is great for the right projects - imagine if the BBC secured the first rights to broadcast Life of Pi and other exciting content especially now there are glasses free TV's on the market and more on the way. 3D as a tool for filmmakers is maturing and being used beautifully by legends such as Ang Lee and as a 3D producer and director and having made a 3D film, the technology is available to do things cheaply whilst still with quality and care. I don't believe the BBC has invested or marketed the 3D services widely enough. If they were super smart they would film dual at the same time on flagship shows and get three time the value regular 2D, HD 3D and Ultra HD - it's all possible on the same cameras and they would be able to exploit their content through BBC Worldwide globally and make their money back several times over and invest more in new talent and creativity. Amy Mathieson 3D Filmmaker and NFTS Entrepreneurial Producing student.

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