A trial of television broadcasts in 3D in the United Kingdom is going to be put on hold at the end of the year. The BBC
intends to stop creating new shows in 3D for a three-year period, citing a combination of disappointing viewing figures and an overall viewing experience that is expensive and difficult for many viewers to undertake.
In an interview with the Radio Times
, head of 3D at the BBC Kim Shillinglaw said "Watching 3D is quite a hassly experience in the home. You have got to find your glasses before switching on the TV," and suggesting that TV viewers "concentrate in a different way" to those going to a cinema to watch a 3D movie.
It is estimated that there are around 1.5 million households in the UK that own a 3D-enabled television. Even so, only half of all 3D TV owners watched the broadcaster's coverage of the Olympics
opening oeremony in the format, while less than five percent of potential TV viewers watched specially-created Christmas broadcasts in 3D.
The last two broadcasts before the hiatus will be a natural history program titled Hidden Kingdom
and an episode of Doctor Who
to celebrate an anniversary. In three years time, the corporation will look again at 3D television ownership, before deciding on if it will make more shows. Shillinglaw also paid tribute to the "amazing 3D work" performed by the BBC, as well as rival broadcaster Sky.
Sports network ESPN announced plans
to close its own 3D channel in the United States, citing a lack of demand for the format.