BBC gives up on 3D, for now

The BBC is to suspend 3D programming for an indefinite period due to a “lack of public appetite” for the technology.

Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC’s head of 3D, said it has “not taken off” with audiences who find it “quite hassly”.

The BBC began a two-year 3D trial in 2011, broadcasting several shows and events in 3D, including the Olympic Games and Strictly Come Dancing.

There are a number of reasons for the lack of public uptake, I believe.

First, there isn’t actually a BBC 3D channel (When the BBC are showing something 3D they take over one of the HD channels.). A dedicated channel provides a place to advertise upcoming showings as well as broadcast 3D nature documentary repeats to get people who stumble upon the channel interested.

Second, even if you have a channel you’re at the mercy of Sky and Virgin Media who put they’re own channels front & centre and bury others deep in the menu system.

Third, people just don’t like 3D. Or don’t like it enough that it’s worth the hassle. Our household watched the last half of the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony in 3D and then completely forgot about its existence.

Being publicly funded the BBC generally are the first to drop a dying service. Not being a fan of 3D myself, I’m hoping this is the beginning of us being rid of the 3D menace.