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Enthusiasm waning for 3D

The BBC has told London’s ‘Future TV’ summit that viewers are less and less enthusiastic about watching programming in 3D.

According to Advanced Television, The BBC’s technology guru Andy Quested, said the BBC had been an excited supporter of 3D broadcasting but that each time a new 3D show was televised, the audience ‘spike’ got lower.

Quested’s comments come at the end of a two-year test of 3D at the BBC and include top-rated output such as the BBC’s flagship Strictly Come Dancing, natural history blockbuster Walking with Dinosaurs and comedy show Mr Stink, as well as last year’s London Olympic Games which transmitted dozens of events in 3D.

The news is all the more disappointing given that the potential audience for 3D in the UK has expanded considerably, to around 1.5 million homes, over the past two years.

Quested told delegates that while the impressive Olympics opening ceremony was watched by some 50 per cent of the 3DTV-owning audience, subsequent events broadcast in 3D reached an average of just 4,000 viewers. “We start to see that the figures are falling and that is a real worry as a public service broadcaster. We have to justify the money. Is it a something we should leave to private broadcasters? I don’t think we will see a 3D channel launch at all on the BBC,” added Quested.

Quested was not wholly disheartened, saying that the trend towards ‘glasses-free’ 3D viewing was making progress. “[Glasses free 3D] is the technology that is needed to make it a compelling experience, especially in an era where people constantly multi-task,” he was quoted as saying by 3D Focus.