BBC Drops 3D as ‘Too Hassly’ (Update)

"Doctor Who" special will be one of last 3D shows for now

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 12:07 PM

Place your dreams of a "Luther" 3D Holiday Spectacular are on indefinite hold: The BBC says it is suspending 3D programming because viewers find it "quite hassly."

Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's head of 3D, used that wonderful phrase in an interview with Radio Times, in which she said the technology has "not taken off" with viewers.

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. A "Doctor Who" anniversary special scheduled to air in November will be one of the last shows broadcast as part of the 3D trial, the BBC said.

Roughly half of the estimated 1.5 million UK households 3D-enabled televisions watched the Olympics opening ceremony in 3D.

"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 said.

And what will Shillinglaw do now, besides have an amazing name? She'll go back to her old job as the BBC's head of science and natural history, which, okay, doesn't sound so bad.

Last month, ESPN announced plans to shut down its 3D channel.

(For the record: A previous version of this story made a silly joke about "Downton Abbey," which only airs on BBC Entertainment, South Africa, but not on the original BBC. We have subbed in a joke about "Luther" which isn't as funny. Apologies.)

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