Is 3D Finally Showing Its Cracks? BBC Suspend It Indefinitely

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3D has been a mixed bag since it arrived on the scene, primarily in cinemas. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some people find the glasses really annoying. The BBC haven't publically admitted to any of those opinions, but they have suspended their 3D programming indefinitely, which normally means forever.

In an interview with the Radio Times, Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's head of 3D, said, "I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK. 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 remaining 3D shows will run their course before the medium is shut down for a while. Among the final shows televised in 3D as part of the trial is the Doctor Who anniversary special, which will air in November. Last year's Wimbledon finals were the first programmes to be shown in 3D by the BBC. This year, they'll air both the men's and ladies Wimbledon semi-finals and finals in 3D, possibly for the last time.

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The cracks in 3D are starting to show: it's expensive, difficult to offer large crowds effectively (glasses, colour balance etc) and it doesn't actually give much to the audience - not to make it worth it anyway. Last month, the sports network ESPN announced it shut down its 3D channel because no one was using it, and in recent figures from the US, no more than 120,000 people are watching 3D channels at any one time.


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