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Doctor Who special to be last BBC 3D production for three years

The Doctor Who special will be the last BBC 3D production for the last three years. 

The BBC has decided that as there’s not a great enough appetite for 3D broadcasting it’s going to shelve producing shows in three dimensions until things change. 

Kim Shillinglaw, head of 3D for the BBC, revealed that despite 1.5 million UK homes owning 3D TV sets, only half of these actually tuned in to watch the London 2012 Olympic Games in 3D and the Queen’s Speech was watched than less than 5 per cent. 

Doctor Who special to be last BBC 3D production for three years

Speaking to the Radio Times, Shillinglaw said that 3D TV was too much hassle for it to ever take off in a big way: 

“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.” 

Shillinglaw adds that the recession may have had an effect on viewer’s abilities to embrace 3D and that the BBC isn’t calling time on 3D for good. If sales of 3D TV sets pick up again, then the BBC will come back to 3D after a three year break. 

“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,” Shillinglaw added. 

It looks as though 3D will for the time being be the sole preserve of live football broadcasts. Sky, which has invested heavily in 3D broadcasting has scaled back its ambitions. It won’t be showing any festivals in 3D this year, telling Recombu Digital that live sport is where it’s at for 3D. 

The BBC’s run of 3D broadcasts will end with Hidden Kingdom a natural history documentary and the 3D Doctor Who anniversary episode. 

Image credit: Flickr user RCabanilla


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