3D television technology took another hit this week as the BBC announced that it is ending its two year pilot project with the upcoming Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.
Kim Shillinglaw, the head of 3D at the BBC, spoke with British publication RadioTimes this week about the results of the two year trial of the new technology. Over the trial period it was estimated that 1.4 million homes in the U.K. had 3D-enabled television, but only about half of those used the technology while viewing the 2012 Summer Olympics. “Watching 3D is quite a hassly experience in the home,” said Shillinglaw. She went on to add, “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 initial trial period will conclude with the airing of the Doctor Who special this Nov. and it will then go on a three year hiatus as the broadcaster reexamines the marketplace for 3D viewing at home. “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,” said Shillinglaw.
3D in the home has been having a rough time of it this summer with ESPN announcing it would end 3D broadcasts at the end of this year, and FIFA considering scrapping its plans to broadcast World Cup 2014 with the technology mere weeks ago. With three major venues all turning an unfavorable eye on 3D, it looks like the technology may never gain wide acceptance in the living room.