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BBC shelves 3D plans after disappointing results

3D glasses just don't cut it on the sofa

The BBC has abandoned its 3D TV plans after an unsuccessful trial.

The corporation's head of 3D, Kim Shillinglaw, told the Radio Times last week that the technology has failed to take off with the British public, adding that the BBC will shelve any plans it had to develop 3D programming from the end of the year.

The two-year trial period saw shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who broadcast in 3D, as well as sporting events like the Olympics and Wimbledon.

"Watching 3D is quite a hassly experience in the home. You have got to find your glasses before switching on the TV," Shillinglaw said.

"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," she added.

It is estimated that there were 1.5 million 3D TV sets in the UK by the time the Olympics Opening Ceremony was broadcast but only half of homes that were able to watch the event in 3D did so.

The final BBC shows to be broadcast in 3D will air this November. They include the 3D Doctor Who anniversary episode and a natural history programme called Hidden Kingdom.

"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," said Shillinglaw.

The BBC said it would revisit plans to develop 3D programming in three years time.

The announcement comes after the organisation failed to deliver on a £98 million digital project to create a digital production system that changed the way staff at the BBC developed, used and shared video and audio content. The failure led to the suspension of BBC CTO John Linwood.

Technology manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung have incorporated 3D technology into many of their TVs but demand in the UK hasn't yet taken off.

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