The BBC has put out a statement saying it is putting 3D programming on hold “indefinitely”.
This follows news that sports channel ESPN in the US has decided it will suspend its 3D sports programming too, a worrying sign for Australia’s Foxtel channel which gets some of its 3D programming from EPSN.
The BBC’s head of 3D, Kim Shillinglaw, told BBC news that 3D TV programming had “not taken off” with TV audiences who had found the technology and the glasses “quite hassly”.
Australia saw some “State of Origin” NRL football broadcast in 3D, but this has ceased, and while the BBC did broadcast some shows in 3D, including reality dancing shows, parts of the Olympic Games and even a Dr Who special this November, a lack of 3D television broadcasting relegates 3D to a few movies released in 3D Blu-Ray format only.
Sure, a range of 3DTVs do have on-the-fly 2D to 3D conversion, but this process isn’t true 3D, introducing blurry “artefacts” on screen and, at least for some people, headaches from the fake 3D effect.
3D seems best for boosting cinema revenues, and that’s about it. The BBC’s Kim Shillinglaw was quoted stating the BBC will now have a “wait-and-see” policy after the end of 3D broadcasting this year, noting that “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”.