The BBC has decided that 3D just isn’t worth the effort. That’s the word coming from RadioTimes, which reports that the BBC is halting development of 3D programming for three years. (I don’t know. Don’t ask.)
The good news for UK fans of all things stereoscopic is that the Doctor Who anniversary episode scheduled for November is still on track and will be broadcast in 3D, as is a natural history program called Hidden Kingdom, which apparently isn’t hosted by David Attenborough, so I can’t be bothered with it.
As for why the BBC is halting (or, you know, taking a break from) 3D production, the story says this:
… even though an estimated 1.5 million UK households now own 3D enabled televisions the BBC’s 3D coverage of the Olympics Opening Ceremony was only watched by around half of all 3D TV owners in the UK.
Last Christmas’ broadcasts of Mr. Stink and the Queen’s Speech proved to be even more disappointing, drawing the interest of less than 5% of potential viewers, it has emerged.
Explaining the problem, Shillinglaw told RadioTimes.com: “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.”
Combine this with ESPN’s recent decision to shutter its 3D broadcast offerings by the end of the year, and I think it’s safe to say that even those who do like the stereoscopic viewing experience (and hey, don’t judge — some people like golf) generally prefer their 3D content in movie form, even on the small screen.