Friday, July 05, 2013

BBC's 3DTV pilot project to be put on a three-year hiatus

In yet another blow to 3D TV, the BBC announced Friday that its experiment with 3D video will end later this year. The news follows closely a similar decision by ESPN to axe its ESPN 3D channel.

The 50th anniversary episode of "Doctor Who" will be the last three-dimensional event for the foreseeable future. That episode of "Doctor Who" will air in November. A natural history show called "Hidden Kingdom" will also be aired, according to Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC’s head of 3D.

Shillinghaw said that the viewing public has not embraced 3D, and given that fact, 3D TV on the BBC will see a three-year hiatus. ESPN was more vague, saying that its 3D efforts will resume if and when it becomes apparent that it will be welcomed in the home.

Shillinghaw said:
I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK. 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.
Don't worry about Shillinghaw's employment prospects. His main job is as head of science and natural history for the BBC. He has been overseeing the BBC's two-year 3D pilot program, in addition to those duties.

There is, of course, yet another reason for the lack of 3D TV uptake: money. After all, it's only been relatively recently that consumers have taken to HDTV. Shillinghaw addressed that, as well.
We will see what happens when the recession ends. 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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