back to article BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

The BBC will suspend its 3D TV transmissions indefinitely, citing poor demand among viewers – its last hurrah will be a Dr. Who anniversary special in November. "I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK," said Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's head of 3D. "After that we will see what happens when the …

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  1. Busby

    Shame as some of the natural history programs were excellent. There was an amazing three part one on plants.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Weren't the natural history programmes from Sky?

      1. Busby
        Facepalm

        Yes they did come from one of Murdoch's beasts. Attenborough being involved threw me. Actually thinking about it what exactly will we be missing? Will watch Who the old fashioned way and may download the 3d version for the novelty later.

  2. i like crisps
    Unhappy

    Where's the ASA?

    It's not 3D, it never was, it's just a '3D effect' but was never labeled as such. Why can't panel makers just make displays without 'Motion Blur' and 'Judder'? ARE YOU LISTENING? IS IT TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU?

    1. Cliff

      Re: Where's the ASA?

      The entertainment industry has always been big on hyperbole, unless 'the greatest movie ever made' really is a succession of step changes... Words are cheap, cheaper than making real 3d TV at least. ..

    2. Neil Woolford
      Boffin

      Re: Where's the ASA?

      Well, it isn't trivial. There's an excellent research white paper from the bbc at http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/whp/whp-pdf-files/WHP209.pdf which details the problems.

      And yes, I do agree that ameliorating them would be much better than faffing about with stereoscopic technology of dubious value...

    3. illiad

      Re: Where's the ASA?

      You are forgetting the ad-man! what is simpler to say/ put on a giant display / get the stoopid public to remember????

      ste..re..o..sc..o...pic... ???

      3D !!

      most cannot understand stereoscopic, or even pronounce it...

      go google '3D' and see what you get!!

    4. Terry Barnes

      Re: Where's the ASA?

      "Why can't panel makers just make displays without 'Motion Blur' and 'Judder'?"

      It's not the fault of the panel makers. The source material needs to be recorded at a higher frame rate.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: Where's the ASA?

      "Why can't panel makers just make displays without 'Motion Blur' and 'Judder'? ARE YOU LISTENING? IS IT TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU?"

      I'm afraid those 2 issues are the result of too much compression. Haven't you noticed how most HD TV displays in shops involve slooooowww moving content - a woman smiling serenely while some grass moves gently in the background , or some small waves breaking on a beach? There's a reason for that. As soon as someone puts the HD set on footie you notice the problem - the moving ball looks like so much snot moving across the screen and the run players legs are smeared out cartoon style.

      Analogue TV (before all the studio and camera side was digitized) might have had worse resolution but its ability to capture motion was far superior to digital.

    6. Jim 59

      Special glasses

      They tried "3D" in the same old way, and it failed in the same old way.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Special glasses

        They tried "3D" in the same old way, and it failed in the same old way.

        Exactly. Whenever the entertainment industry is feeling a draught, they try to fix their problems with a technical solution. "3D" films were introduced in the mid 20th century to try to reclaim audiences that had defected to TV. It failed. The succeeding decades saw numerous technical gimmicks: Cinemascope, 70-mm, Todd-AO, Cinerama, and finally "3D" again. Nobody really cared much about any of them.

        It's notable that many of the films that usually top polls are black-and-white and Academy aspect ratio. That's not to say that this combination would pull in audiences for new films, but it does demonstrate that content is what matters.

        (+1 for quoting the Duke of Wellington.)

  3. SirDigalot

    Screens always seem to small

    for decent 3D ruins the effect somewhat unless it covers your whole field of vision.

    I remember dorky 3D glasses on my sega mastersystem... I thought it was cool....then

    1. Piro

      Re: Screens always seem to small

      Front row IMAX 3D, then..

      Edit: 15/70 IMAX 3D.. of course.. the 1.44 ratio monsters..

  4. Herby

    It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

    All you got was a single point of view (where the camera was located), if it were "True 3D", it would be like a hologram where you could look around the big hat in front of you. Of course making it holographic probably would have required LOTS of bandwidth and interesting display technology not yet invented (especially for full color), so it is a ways off.

    Of course getting the Porn industry involved usually leads to advances in consumer pickup, but I'll leave that to another discussion.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

      Lightfield displays* have been invented for true 3d images, they're just beyond realistic mass-market manufacture and there's no content whatsoever.

      * if implemented in an artificially ideal capacity they would capture every ray of light that hits a plane — recorded as colour plus direction — and reproduce those later. So it's the rays of light that are reproduced, not a projection (or two projections) of them; you're free to focus for yourself, to tilt your head however you want, etc. They're achieved that with an array of micro-lenses in front of an image plane, so at each point that would be a single pixel on a traditional screen is a lens and which of the inner pixels you see depends on the angle between your eye and the lens. But that means multiplying up the panel resolution by a very large number and then producing and aligning the microlenses with sufficient quality.

      The Lytro camera does this in reverse, which is why its photos can be refocussed after the fact and also why they're so low resolution compared to the output of ordinary 2d sensors.

      1. This Side Up

        Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

        It's binocular at best (for the reasons already given). The best 3D effects are achieved with a moving camera e.g. an aircraft flying over mountains. For that you don't need any special technology.

      2. Jolyon Smith
        FAIL

        Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

        Um, unless you have a number of cameras arranged spherically around a given point of interest capturing the subject simultaneously, the image captured - whether using a lightfield camera or not - will always be from the point of view of the camera.

        Lightfield cameras have no greater application in 3D than stereoscopic cameras. The only advantage they would give is the ability for the viewer to adjust the focus at the time of viewing, rather than it being set by the director/cinematographer in a way intended to direct the attention of or evoke the emotion in the audience. In other words, completely subverting the artform.

        1. Bod

          Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

          "Lightfield cameras have no greater application in 3D than stereoscopic cameras. The only advantage they would give is the ability for the viewer to adjust the focus at the time of viewing, rather than it being set by the director/cinematographer in a way intended to direct the attention of or evoke the emotion in the audience. In other words, completely subverting the artform."

          Which is the core problem of "3D". People can find it difficult to watch because the focus is controlled but the brain wants to focus on what its looking at. This is far less of a problem with a flat 2D image even if that itself is focused on particular points of a real world scene.

          I find it nothing more than a curiosity like the old stereo ViewerMaster. They were interesting but very unreal as elements float around the scene disjointed at different depths. I get the same effect with 3D on my TV and then as motion is involved there's horrible points where you can no longer focus your eyes on something moving close by and go cross eyed.

          It basically doesn't work and is unnatural. Entirely opposite to what they try to sell it as. "ah but 3D is so much better because it's like real life!"... but that's the point, it isn't!

          It was a fad in the 50s to boost audiences. It's the same fad now.

          As a footnote... nothing wrong with 3D TVs though. They're generally the better panels for 2D ;)

          1. Professor Clifton Shallot

            Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

            "As a footnote... nothing wrong with 3D TVs though. They're generally the better panels for 2D ;)"

            That's why I have one - the 3D capability, the "smart" features, and even the speakers are of little interest to me but I couldn't get an equivalent quality screen / image processor without them.

            That said I did watch Life of Pi in 3D and it was fun - I'll do the same for the Dredd film. It's quite an entertaining gimmick.

        2. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

          "Um, unless you have a number of cameras arranged spherically around a given point of interest capturing the subject simultaneously, the image captured - whether using a lightfield camera or not - will always be from the point of view of the camera."

          An ideal light field camera captures every ray of light hitting a surface as direction + colour. An ideal screen would reproduce those rays. So the hypothetical reproduced image is the same as looking through a window at the original scene.

          I don't know about you, but I would consider the view through my window to be 3d, even though it doesn't project anything into my room and I can't move it.

      3. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

        "Lightfield displays* have been invented for true 3d images, they're just beyond realistic mass-market manufacture and there's no content whatsoever."

        I believe you're referring to integral displays. There are two problems with them. First, the microlenses require too high a precision for mass production (the effect is lost with imperfections). Second, it has a very narrow effective viewing angle.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

      +1. Literally in this case.

    3. Cliff

      Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

      》 if it were "True 3D", it would be like a hologram where you could look around ...

      I think that's what that new nvidia gaming thing is about, you turn your head, the image follows in stereoscopic glory. Headsets look somewhat dorky, but good immersive experience.

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

        I think that's what that new nvidia gaming thing is about, you turn your head, the image follows in stereoscopic glory. Headsets look somewhat dorky, but good immersive experience.

        I think you'll find that's already been done, VR* anyone?

        *TBH I thought VR should have been given another go in the PS3 generation, as the number crunching would have been a bit better than the Virtual Boy of old. Maybe with the PS4?

        1. Tom_

          Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

          Oculus Rift.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It was "stereoscopic", not "3D".

      "if it were "True 3D", it would be like a hologram where you could look around"

      Reminds me of some guy commenting about how he watched Top of the Pops as a teenager, and used to try to get a better view of the womens' cleavage by squinting down at the screen from above.

  5. ElNumbre

    Cinema

    "When people go to the cinema they go and are used to doing one thing"

    Umm let me see.. Texting, chatting to their mates, having a slap up junk-meal, going on facebook, kicking the chairs in front. Oh yeah, and sometimes they might watch the film.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      @ElNumbre Re: Cinema

      Yes.

      Hence the Wittertainment code of conduct. http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/films/code_of_conduct.jpg

      1. Robert E A Harvey
        Holmes

        I should have added

        "Hello to Jason Isaccs"

    2. Andy Scott

      Re: Cinema

      You missed out translating for the person with them as the person with them doesn't speak or undetstand English(well in Glasgow anyway)

    3. Daniel B.

      I must be going to the better cinemas here...

      I haven't had the chair kicking problems in years. Or chatty people. At most, someone might be checking their phone but seeing that requires me to actually stop watching the movie and look down, as the angle in which seating is set means that the forward row is at your feet instead of being in front of you.

  6. Dave, Portsmouth

    About Time!

    I genuinely don't know anyone who likes 3D films, hever mind TV. No doubt the companies will bring out stats to "prove" that there is demand, but that's only because there isn't a choice. Last time I went to see a film the only 2D showings were during the day - all the evening ones were 3D. The time before the 2D one sold out very quickly, and we were left with lots of choice for the 3D showings before and after.

    The sooner the cinemas follow the BBC and scrap it the better! Maybe try again in a few years when it works without glasses, works well off-centre (3D looks terrible if you aren't in one of the few seats in the middle), and when it can do rapid motion of things in 3D without breaking up.

    1. elaar

      Re: About Time!

      Dave, I'm with you. I have at times decided not to visit the cinema because there were only 3d versions of the film I wanted to see. We used to have truly good films at the cinema. It has now evolved into mostly cgi cr4p. What's worse than that... cgi cr4p brought to you in the wonder of 3d.

    2. Adam 1

      Re: About Time!

      You can get a pair of 3D -> 2D glasses to make it tolerable in the meantime. They just have the same polarisation in both lenses.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Re: About Time!

        I asked a chap from a film distributor about shrinking audiences for 3D against growing audiences for 2D. He managed to blame austerity measures and cinema's pricing structures for this. Basically he said that people have less to spend and 2D ticket prices were lower than 3D ticket prices, so people were viewing 2D.

        Hilarious isn't it how nearly every business tries to excuse their failures by blaming the economy in general or austerity measures specifically. Stereoscopic 3D had always been a novelty that reared its head every few years. Trying to push it into the mainstream was pure folly.

        When it comes to TV I'm glad the beeb have dropped it since it seemed ridiculous for the licence fee to fund something that could only be afforded by the well off. It's good for the licence fee to fund minority interest programming which simply would not get made by commercial TV. It's ridiculous, however, for the BBC to fund something that is already getting plenty of investment in the commercial arena.

        Shame they didn't have the common sense to do the same with DAB. The BBC are expected by Ofcom and the government to push the uptake of digital radio when one of the stated aims of digitial radio was to make available more bandwidth for commercial radio. Wouldn't it have made more sense to give the money for that straight to the commercial sector? That way DAB could have lived or died based on the merits of the programming that the (then labour) government wanted on it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and for my next trick

    I'm going to reinvent...

    wait for it...

    ...instant tea.

    honestly, 3d moving imagery has been talked about for so long you couldn't even get a patent on it.

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: and for my next trick

      Instant tea? What about coffee bags?

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    My glasses, my glasses, I've lost my glasses

    3D won't stand any real chance until you don't need glasses to watch it. I'm thinking some kind of Star Trek 3D holographic technology or something, not the botched version of 3D we have today.

    If you told me I could do away with my TV and just have a box that projects a solid hologram into thin air that has true 3D then I'd be sold.

    Mind you I have coveted such a device ever since I went to an exhibition of holograms at the Trocadero in the mid 80's. Seemed so marvellous and futuristic and here we are over 25 years on and I still don't have a holographic TV in my living room.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: My glasses, my glasses, I've lost my glasses

      That's because there are only two ways of achieving that:

      1) Beam the image directly into your eyes. Personal viewing. Very difficult indeed.

      2) Fill the room with some kind of *stuff* which the image can reflect off (e.g. a huge plastic slab with nonlinear optical properties)

      No magic "you are my only hope" holograms projected by your set-top box in reality, no Sir!

      Oh, I forgot:

      3) Write the image directly into your visual cortex. Yummy, but even tougher.

      In the end, holograms will be good for visualization and Personal Computing, but not so much for entertainment. Even for the pr0nz. I am not sure about watching a bunch of people seemingly having a go on my sofa.

  10. Zmodem

    3d might take over if every uses http://www.xilisoft.com/3d-video-converter.html to convert HD porn to 3d and watches the movies on a normal tv after taking some LSD

  11. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I don't think the Sky 3D offering will be around for much longer after those who had a 3D capable TV subscribed then realised that its just a gimmick and not worth the extra subscription fees

    1. Bod

      Sky 3D

      They've already changed it so you can watch it if that programme is on one of your subscribed channels rather than paying extra. Not that it makes me any more likely to watch it even though I have the 3D kit (glasses have barely been out of their box).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oculus Rift

    Perhaps the only real hope for 3D in the home is something like the Oculus Rift.

    It certainly seems to have a bright future in gaming - whether it can make the transition from the bedroom to the living room is an unanswered question.

  13. Turtle

    Color.

    "The then-CEO Sir Harold Stringer told us that 3D was going to be the most important technological change to TV since the shift to color..,"

    I have seen any amount of brilliant cinematography in black and white films. There are numerous cases where, in both film and still photography, black and white/monochrome is more expressive and evocative than is color. The "shift to color' might be "the most important technological change" but as an artistic and creative change, the matter is more equivocal.

  14. Zola

    Who is this Harold Stringer bloke?

    Is he the brother of former Sony CEO Howard Stringer?

  15. Gary F

    "I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK," said Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's head of 3D.

    So what idiot gave you the job of head of 3D then?

    And why did the BBC waste so much tax payers money on 3D?

    3D is a sham, or maybe a scam. Can't wait for the whole 3D phase to finish. Terrible idea, terrible implementation. A gimmick to fleece the public of more money.

    1. Tom 35

      Don't worry, it will be back again

      I'm not sure, but the current version is at least the 3rd version of 3D for theatres, and the 2nd for TV.

      It's a fad again this time too.

    2. Christian Berger

      "And why did the BBC waste so much tax payers money on 3D?"

      They probably didn't. They just rented the equipment from the manufacturers. That probably was fairly cheap compared the costs you have regardless of 3D or not.

  16. Chris Malme

    3D doesn't need the BBC

    The 3D Queen's Speech wasn't produced by the BBC, but by Sky, the BBC only broadcast it. Furthermore, most of the footage wasn't shot as 3D, but was the result of post-production processing, and poorly done at that.

    I think the sporting 3D broadcasts have been an interesting experiment, but only that, Despite wishful thinking by the naysayers, what the BBC has done for 3D is pretty inconsequential, and won't be missed.

    1. jai

      Re: 3D doesn't need the BBC

      As most of the rest of the comments hear suggest, 3D itself is inconsequential and won't be missed either. The BBC are just ahead of the curve here.

    2. VinceH

      Re: 3D doesn't need the BBC

      "what the BBC has done for 3D is pretty inconsequential, and won't be missed."

      I'd say what "3D" has done for 3D is pretty inconsequential, and won't be missed.

      I've said all along that it's crap, and that it'll either be abandoned because people come to realise it's crap, or stats will show a huge take-up of "3D" TVs, media players and media being sold simply because of an increasing range of TVs that include it, so people buy a "3D" TV (etc) without having any interest in that aspect of it.

      (For example, while I do not have a "3D" TV, I do have a number of "3D" DVDs and Blu-Rays - which include 2D versions of the movies - simply because I wanted those movies and couldn't see a 2D-only version.)

      1. Chris Malme

        Re: 3D doesn't need the BBC

        So if you don't have a 3D TV, how do you know it is crap?

        There is a lot of crap 3D stuff out there, just as there is a lot of crap tv and film.

        However, there is also some excellent 3D stuff, including features, documentaries and music video.

        Plus at the end of the day, no-one is forcing anyone to have a 3D TV or watch TV content. It beats me why people who think 3D is crap (which they are perfectly entitled to think) seem to take a joy in pointing out anything that indicates that the market is less than that predicted by overenthusiastic marking types. It's this constant "see, we told you it was crap, and it is" that I find tiresome.

        If someone wants to produce 3D content, let them. If someone wants to watch 3D content. let them.

        1. VinceH
          FAIL

          Re: 3D doesn't need the BBC

          "So if you don't have a 3D TV, how do you know it is crap?"

          I know I'm the sort of person who posts to El Reg, which may run counter to the next bit... but I do actually leave the house occasionally. Just because I don't have a "3D" TV, that doesn't mean the same is true of friends or other members of my family - nor, of course, the local cinema.

          "Plus at the end of the day, no-one is forcing anyone to have a 3D TV or watch TV content."

          Where did I say anyone was trying to do so? I merely pointed out that one of the things I could see happening was skewed stats being used to declared "3D" a roaring success, based on sales of "3D" equipment and media, even if the purchasers aren't buying it for the "3D" - or may even have purchased it because they couldn't see a 2D alternative.

          An example of the latter being given: I've purchased "3D" movies on Blu-Ray because I couldn't see a 2D-only version.

          Another example can be found further down the page, where DeathSquid confesses to have "bought a 3D set because it was substantially cheaper than the 2D equivalent from the same manufacturer"

          And to some extent, that counters your suggestion that no-one is forcing anyone. The choice was there... it would have just cost more money: The "3D" option was "substantially cheaper" than the 2D option.

    3. Don Dumb

      Re: 3D doesn't need the BBC

      I think the sporting 3D broadcasts have been an interesting experiment, but only that

      Very early on, Sky pushed 3D sporting broadcasts very hard, going to the lengths of having interactive maps displaying where the nearest pub showing the game in 3D was. Now they don't seem to be making any noise about it, if they even are broadcasting any sport in 3D.

      It's my experience only but I went to watch a game of Rugby in 3D, it was a big game and the pub was packed, so the atmosphere was good. Unfortunately, not only were there the usual problems with the glasses and viewing position. But the effect of the Stereoscopic medium was that the lines on the pitch didn't look straight, balls being thrown straight looked as if they were curving in the air, with something like rugby this was really off putting and spoilt, rather than enhanced, the game. I haven't had any interest with 3D sport coverage since.

      I can understand the BBC putting effort into a new broadcast technology, I do believe it is part of what they are supposed to do but I'm also glad they are being proactive to pull out. Hollywood please follow suit.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Re: 3D doesn't need the BBC

        "Very early on, Sky pushed 3D sporting broadcasts very hard, going to the lengths of having interactive maps displaying where the nearest pub showing the game in 3D was. Now they don't seem to be making any noise about it, if they even are broadcasting any sport in 3D."

        They did that in order to advertise 3D. The idea obviously being thus:

        1. People won't buy a 3D TV unless somebody broadcasts in 3D.

        2. Therefore we need to broadcast in 3D in order that people will buy 3D TVs.

        3. We need an audience to justify 3D broadcasting.

        4. Get TV manufacturers to sponsor 3D TVs in pubs.

        5. Once people have seen 3D down the pub (hopefully when drunk) they will love it and rush out and buy a 3D TV.

        6. Then we have an audience to justify further 3D broadcasting.

        Except of course 3D viewing in a busy pub doesn't really work for a number of reasons. So it was a dumb idea.

  17. Nanners

    The glasses

    Nobody wanted to where those annoying glasses just wind up with a migraine...duh.

    1. Nanners

      Re: The glasses

      wear.

      1. This Side Up
        Coat

        Re: The glasses

        Where, as in "where did I put those wretched glasses".

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a few years back

    ... i was working for a large TV company with some of the guys who had been given the task of "Sky is pushing 3D and we need to sell them content"

    When talking with one of the really smart guys one day, i voiced my scepticism .. "do people actually want 3D, did anyone ask them?" ...

    "Yes of course they do, why wouldn't they.... asked them, no I doubt it... but they'll love it"....

    1. Piro

      Re: a few years back

      Haha.

      Well, people are always so blinded by the desperation of trying to push some new crap on consumers, they think they actually have a compelling product.

      Here's a big hint to the BBC: economies are in the shitter, people already have HDTVs they bought a while back, no-one honestly wanted to wear 3D glasses (or sit in the right position) in their own home.

      People aren't even hugely wowed by 3D in cinemas these days, and that's always going to be a grander proposition, with a much a larger screen. If that fails to impress, people are most likely not going to spend money in the home for it.

  19. Mage Silver badge

    I knew it.

    I said it would never be acceptable. Even without glasses, stereoscopic video can never really work properly. Even when it does work (and for nearly 20% of people it's poor to non-existent) it's exhausting as real distance (which you will focus on) doesn't match the stereoscopic clues that rely on near perfect binocular vision.

    Only a Stereoscopic image processed locally into simulated 3D with real Z-axis for your eye to focus on will work. The Stereoscopic camera and transmission are feasible, 3D camera and transmission isn't.

    Currently 3D displays of any decent contrast are like small fish tanks. A decent 3D display will be deeper than a CRT. Otherwise you'd get tired watching, A flat panel has only one focus distance,

    Why did the BBC waste money on this. They of course obviously ignore their own R&D Dept as the recent 100M fiasco proves.

  20. Jim84

    Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

    Seereal technologies has developed a pseudo holographic television system. It cuts down the incredibly high pixel density needed for a true holographic display via an eye tracking camera and only projecting an image onto your left and right eye. Although the resolution still needs to be about 10 times that of a standard 1080p display.

    In order to control the direction of the light rays coming through the LCD cells, they've proposed putting a half oil filled half water filled cell in front of each pixel. Although no one has built a working prototype of this system. So that is the first stumbling block to this becoming a reality.

    Microsoft is taking a different approach to controlling the direction of the light rays coming through the LCD cells by using an LED light source and bouncing those rays through a specially shaped wedge that would replace that standard backlight on an LCD screen. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/419342/3-d-without-the-glasses/page/2/?a=f

    As someone noted in the comments above, you also need a large screen to avoid ruining any 3D effect, so until 80 inch screens become affordable, that is another stumbling block.

    1. Christian Berger

      Re: Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

      There's a company Holografica http://www.holografika.com/ which sells something like that. They have a transparent screen and many cheap LED projectors. Essentially the image of every LED projector is shown to one angle.

      1. Jim84

        Re: Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

        Looks like Holografica are trying to display true holograms (that is pump out the correct image in all directions at once) on there website they are bringing out a 91 megapixel screen (even 8k UHD screens will only be 31 megapixels).

        I don't know how they are dealing with the computational requirements for generating such an image in real time.

        I can't see any prices quoted on their site for the systems.

    2. This Side Up

      Re: Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

      How would that system cope with multipe viewers?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

        Or someone on the sofa looking at the TV sideways?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

        "How would that system cope with multipe viewers?"

        The system knows who paid for the TV and uses a built-in laser to kill anyone else.

      3. Jim84

        Re: Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

        On a 120hz screen 60 frames are used to project the image to the right eye and the other 60 frames are used to project the image to the left eye.

        For two views you need a 240hz screen to give each of the 4 eyes a 60hz image. 4 people requires a 480hz screen etc.

        You've got to have some device that converts a regular LCD screen into a 'lightfield' screen for any form of holographic TV. The Seereal demo unit that BBC Click and Edge Magazine looked at was just a high res Visio medical monitor with a lenticular screen slapped on it. WIth a lenticular screen there is only a narrow 'viewing cone' or cones. So you could not really move your head from right to left to look around any displayed objects from different perspectives.

      4. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Pseudo Holographic TV - No glasses needed

        > How would that system cope with multipe viewers?

        It isn't a problem, typically the sort of person who wants that sort of TV doesn't know anyone real.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Meh

    Bottom line. Probably needs a dedicated new tech display to work acceptably

    And how many people will shell out for that? It's a chicken and egg situation.

    Smart TVs. Yet another PC with an endless boot sequence to go with my 30sec STB and its 5 sec channel change time. F**k off.

    Sharper picture you say? Depends have the broadcaster pared the data rate to the bone?

    Remember the days of push button tuners when you could wear out the locking pins if you switched often enough? The number of channels enabled by the technology is a benefit. Beyond that. Meh.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Auto expire

    ""I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK," said Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's head of 3D." ...as she negotiated a £150,000 redundancy payout as by abandoning 3D she made her role redundant.

    1. Red Bren
      FAIL

      What redundancy package?

      Did you miss the line in the article that stated "As for Shillinglaw, she'll go back to her day job as head of science and natural history at the BBC once the 3D unit is shut down."

      No wonder the BBC is abandoning 3D, some people can't cope with 2D.

  23. DeathSquid
    Coat

    OK for cheese...

    I only bought a 3D set because it was substantially cheaper than the 2D equivalent from the same manufacturer. Shows how desperate they must have been to seed the marketplace at the time...

    That being said, I quite enjoy watching the odd 3D bluray, especially if it is some kind of cheesy SF or horror flick. In fact, the stereoscopic effect enhances the cheese, as it were.

    But regular television? First you have to find the glasses, then they are not charged, and then when you are channel flipping the transition from 2D to 3D to 2D is just bloody annoying. We don't watch the tele the same way that we do movies. The fact that it took the BBC so long to work this out is simply amazing.

    Mine's the one with the 3D glasses in one of the pockets.

  24. s. pam

    Barely Believable Crap

    The morons ruIning the BBC, extracting a facist amount of my hard earned so their luvvies can fuck something else up. After all, the digital fuck up wasting £400M, the £200M golden parachute game, and now a fucked up 3-D (Duh, Dumbass, DIckhead) game is on hold.

    Why?

    Because:

    First, the UK has just finished a 6 year march to all-Digital terrestrial TV. Everyone's had to either buy a new TV/LED/LCD/whatever, or a converter box at significant cost.

    3-D still hasn't stabilised on a format and consumers figured that out early on.

    They did't advertise the freaking 3-D so no one knew it was available.

    The little grey media dwarf Murdoch's satellite company can't handle more capacity and neutered the BBC signal.

    As a significant part of the country is the Little Grey Dwarf's Sky Satellite, or Beardie's Virgin Media you could only get 3-D for free on BBC for a few shows here and there.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      In other news...

      Samsung and all the other major TV makers have decided to stop selling TV sets that are greater than 17in unless they are 3D in an effort to kickstart the market (yet again)

      On Wall St today, it was Announced that Samsung had increased its investment in Disney Corp to 25%.

      Just one view of the future.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Barely Believable Crap

      If you get the BBC for free, congrats on being the oldest poster on el reg.

  25. illiad

    Avatar...

    "Avatar was breaking box office records, and the industry was all a-flutter about the possibilities for 3D's future."

    Avatar had a good plot, good action scenes, and great scifi 'world' .. the 3D was only a bonus!

    Its amazing how 'blind' some ad-men/ businessmen get when they do not see the whole thing, just look at the money it is making, and the 'special feature' that can be used elsewhere...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avatar...

      > Avatar had a good plot, good action scenes, and great scifi 'world' .. the 3D was only a bonus!

      We can debate on the "good plot" part, but I really did enjoy the film.

      The one standout thing with Avatar was the quality of the implementation of the 3D, and the maturity with which it was used. The filmed parts were filmed "properly" in 3D, not post-processed, and where used in the CGI parts it was done relatively subtly*. *Apart from the flying mountains, but they were cool =)

      For most "other" content the 3D seems to be done on the cheap and it shows. But they still want to charge you an extra £1.50 (cinema), £5 (a "3D" blueray), £100s (TV + glasses) for the privilege of getting a headache. The only other good 3D film I have seen is Prometheus, and well, shame about the plot, action, and sci-fi world in that case =)

      The TV industry saw dropping sales (everyone had upgraded to HD, freeview, digital) and we hit a recession. They saw a possible golden goose and all started running towards it so they could put another "tick box" on the boxoffice / tv schedule / TV item ticket in the shop, and then gouge all of the customers for a significant increase in content price. For many films on DVD / BlueRay the DVD was £4 and the re-release 3D BlueRay was £17. Were they surprised no-one buys them?

      1. Tom 35

        Re: Avatar...

        "everyone had upgraded to HD, freeview, digital"

        And like the record companies with CD said Lets do that again!

        Audio DVD and 3D TV? What? No one gives a crap.

        Didn't buy Rumours on Audio DVD (I did have a DVD player that could play them), didn't pay the $5 extra for 3D bluray player, no chance I'm buying a new TV for 3D.

      2. rurwin

        Re: Avatar...

        The maturity of handling was key to Avatar. Most of the 3D effects were understated with the action taking place inside the screen and only jungle insects fluttering over the audience. There should be a rule for making 3D films: make them just as you would for 2D. The added dimension is an enhancement, not a feature.

        As for plot, meh; there are only a limited number of plots, and that one was pick-and-mixed enough to be satisfying. If you thought it wasn't then maybe you haven't read enough SF to see that everything is derivative of something. So Avatar is a remake of Princess of Mars. So What? At least it's better than John Carter.

        It's also a remake of Dune... now that would have been good in 3D...

      3. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

        Re: Avatar...

        "The one standout thing with Avatar was the quality of the implementation of the 3D, and the maturity with which it was used. The filmed parts were filmed "properly" in 3D, not post-processed, and where used in the CGI parts it was done relatively subtly*. *Apart from the flying mountains, but they were cool =)

        For most "other" content the 3D seems to be done on the cheap and it shows."

        Agreed. Personally, I still found the 3D more a bonus than something I'd spend big bucks on. But it was properly done, and looked good. I saw one other movie where it was just obvious they artificially made random parts of the scene jut out of the screen rather than film in 3D, it looked fake as hell, and if even a significant fraction of 3D content is like this (it is....) then that makes it even less likely for people to want to buy a 3D set.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Avatar...

      > a good plot

      Sorry? was there a different one I didn't see?

      I saw one whose story line had been bent around the opportunities for special deffects . Those effects were very good, and the world created fantastic. But Plot? meh.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avatar...

      Good plot? it was Pocahontas.

      Not to mention the similarity to this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_Me_Joe

  26. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Excellent journalism here, but might I suggest "minge-monger" as the correct adjective for Penthouse's quality service?

  27. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    "Dances with Smurfs"

    Genius!

    1. wolfmeister

      Re: "Dances with Smurfs"

      in 'the trade' i beleive they referred to it as 'Smurfahontas'

    2. Maharg

      Re: "Dances with Smurfs"

      "Dances with Smurfs" is the thirteenth episode of the thirteenth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 194th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 11, 2009. In the episode, Cartman becomes the reader of the elementary school announcements, and starts making politically charged accusations against student body president Wendy.

      "Dances with Smurfs" served as a parody of the political commentary style of Glenn Beck, a nationally syndicated radio show host and former Fox News Channel pundit. The episode also satirized the 2009 James Cameron film, Avatar, suggesting the plot of that film borrows heavily from the 1990 film Dances with Wolves, and comparing Avatar's blue aliens to the cartoon Smurfs. He appears on his show and spins a portrayal of himself in blue face-paint and suspenders, having somehow found Smurfland, becoming part of Smurf culture and eventually falling in love with Smurfette. Cartman then claims that Wendy bulldozed Smurfland and slaughtered the Smurfs to get their valuable Smurfberries, the complete story of which he has chronicled in his DVD, "Dances with Smurfs".

      To Cartman's surprise, Wendy claims she indeed bulldozed Smurfland to get the valuable Smurfberries, but alludes that Cartman was involved with the plot, and that the Smurfs would have left Smurfland if Cartman had not integrated himself with them. Cartman is angry that she has turned the tables on him and stolen his Smurf idea, particularly when she announces she sold the movie rights to director James Cameron, who turned the book into his new film, Avatar.

  28. fireydude
    FAIL

    Tennis in 3D yesterday

    Yesterday was the first time that I watched a lived broadcast in 3D and now you are telling me that it's being cancelled, typical. It looked quite good after I changed my settings to Sports Mode. The jitter wasn't too bad and my passive glasses are okay around the house. My TV is a smart TV and the 3D feature didn't cost extra so why not?

    It seems like the BBC have a knack for being wrong about technology. They invest loads when it has not matured and then pull out just as people start to get interested, a bit like iPlayer. I hope they reverse their decision.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Tennis in 3D yesterday

      >The jitter wasn't too bad

      That's a ringing endorsement, that!

  29. wolfmeister

    why did they bother?

    why did they bother? It was obvious ages ago that 3d was a total failed format nobody wanted.

  30. Sprismoid

    Immersion is the key to 3D

    The only 3D that matters is fully immersive stereoscopic..

    We were doing it commercially from 1990 in Virtual Studios in Barnes in London.. We waited for the technology to mature, saw the retinal imaging prototypes etc. But where is it?

    This will be a real game changer when it finally appears. I remember that some of the big corporations were worried about potential lawsuits resulting from what we called "reality clash", the effect of disorientation when you come out of the virtual space. To me that just proves it works.

    I spent thousands of hours in low res immersive spaces and I'm ok.. :-)

    Roll on the revolution!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Immersion is the key to 3D

      By 'fully immersible stereoscopic' are you refering to the isolation headset style viewers which block off external sounds, external light sources, and aim not only to give you an image in front of the eye (as most headsets currently do) but also an image around the eye to imitate peripheral vision, rather than just tunnel vision?

      If so, I approve of this idea.

      1. Sprismoid

        Re: Immersion is the key to 3D

        Yep, that is what I meant.

        And retinal imagers can do this, with perfect acuity irrespective of the shape of your eye, so even if you normally wear glasses everything will be sharp due to the point source nature of the scanning light source..

    2. Steven Roper

      Re: Immersion is the key to 3D

      The problem that killed virtual reality helmets was the 'elf 'n' safety nannies who 1) complained about the possibility of users blundering into things, then when that didn't get them banned, complained about the helmets being a vector for germs and lice and whatnot from multiple people wearing them. That pretty much put paid to the whole VR helmet idea, and without funding from public use to further R&D, the entire concept stalled.

      I still fondly remember the "pterodactyl-on-a-chessboard" VR battle powered by two Amiga 3000s that was in the local sci-and-tech fair back in the early 90s. I still wonder how far that could have gone and where it would be today but for the do-gooders who killed the entire concept in its infancy for fear of "catching something".

  31. Dropper

    Shocker

    Wow.. people aren't interested in cheap gimicks.. well blow me over..

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Shocker

      "Wow.. people aren't interested in expensive gimicks"

      There. FTFY.

  32. dshan

    Cinema?

    Ha, ha. The BBC thinks people still go to the cinema!

    Trouble is the cinema has always been 3D - full of all those dreadful 3D people who talk through movies, text and eat loudly, endless ads, etc. The beauty of streaming movies to your HD set at home is there ain't none of those 3D distractions (and it costs a lot less). There are very few movies I'm so keen to see that I can't wait until they come out on DVD/Blu-ray/iTunes. I can wait Hollywood, I can wait...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saw it coming months ago....

    I do hate to say, I told you so.

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2013/05/16/smelly_iphone/#c_1826757

  34. jonfr

    3D is never going to work

    It is a fact that 3D is never going to work. It is just not going to happen.

    I do own a 3D blu-ray player, but that is only to convert any 3D blu-ray or DVD to 2D. Since there are few titles out there only published in 3D. Not many, just few.

  35. petetp

    Oh look, another bucketload of public cash flushed down the toilet by the ever-wasteful BBC.

    Will they be giving the idiot who drove this project forward a huge payoff before being sent home on garden leave as well?

    Good to see them looking after every penny they steal from the tax-payer.

  36. a_mu

    TV quality

    Lets get the Quality of the broadcast up to where it can be first,

    Broadcasters,

    give the channels more bandwidth to minimize those annoying MPEG effects.

    BBC in patticular, the HD channels, when their is a local cutaway,

    don't just broadcast a 'please re tune' message.

    Either fix it so we get HD local TV ( even if its up sampled )

    or put on say the London or something channel,

    Set manufacturers,

    lets have it such that if there is a HD version of the program available we can automatically jump to it,

    ( and back when there is no HD version )

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I stand by my old theory that before they start pushing for 3d, or better HD, they should focus on improving the refresh rate for the next big quality boost.

    Before 3d becomes useful you need at least 120hz, or 60hz per eye. So why can't they start doing high framerate broadcasts or 'HFB' to those with 3d tvs who don't want to watch 3d tv shows can watch normal shows (sports etc ) at higher framerates? Then at a later point when we've gotten used to the 120hz regular broadcasts, boost it to 240 for 'true 3d' tvs or something of the like.

    Anything above the 120hz per eye point if I remember rightly would be largely redundant. Much like going above a certain resolution, although the difference is there, the human eye / mind can't really percieve it very well (deminishing returns etc)

    At least that (shifting up to HFB) might also lead to a universal framerate rather than 50 here, 60 there, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      improving the refresh rate

      Totally agree about framerate. What really is the point of "4k" displays? 1080p with 120Hz refresh would be far more effective.

      It seems that there is an arms race in LCD pixels, and this is considered to be easier to sell to the public, e.g. mobile phones with 1080p displays.

      But 3D? I came here to post that it isn't going to work, but other people above have explained it much better than I can.

  38. The Alpha Klutz

    THE PEOPLE SELLING 3D TVS

    HAD NEVER ACTUALLY WATCHED THEM

  39. Copperknickers

    Some of us old fogeys still remember the great 3D craze of the 1950s when we all sat in the cinema and dodged burning brands shoved in our faces (Fort Ti) and flying lances (Charge at Feather River). All good fun, but the novelty soon wore off as we got fed up with wearing those awful cardboard glasses. Even with plastic glasses this latest flash in the pan was predictable.

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      There was another brief resurgence of so-called "3D" around the end of the 70s / early 80s as I recall. Jaws 3 3D at the cinema set it off, and our local TV stations did a stint of 3D movies around the same time using those vile blue/red glasses which they distributed via the TV guide mags of the day.

      So seems to me they try pushing this shit on the public roughly every 25-30 years or so, I suppose trying to rope in a new generation each time. So the recent Avatar craze is the third iteration, which thankfully now seems to be blowing itself out as before. At least now we'll hopefully be spared this bullshit for the next two or three decades...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a 3D TV set

    but only because the emergency buy Celcus 42" full HD with 3D was £300 in my local Sainsburys whereas the next 42" HD set without 3D was closer to £500. Must've used the 3D feature maybe 4 times since buying it and they were on the first 3 days after buying the set and the opening ceremony at the 2012 Olympics.

    Reasons:

    1) Can't be arsed

    2) Get a headache after about an hour

    3) Picture is fuzzy.

    I much prefer a good 2D HD picture at home and the pictures to a fuzzy, headache inducing 3D picture.

  41. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    " but only 5 per cent of viewers bothered to watch the Queen's Christmas message to the Commonwealth"

    Well, did she say "catch!" and throw a ball out the screen? What not even a train or helicopter shooting out of the screen for no discernbile reason? There you go then.

    But seriously, I saw Avatar in 3D. Then I saw it in 2D. Meh. I'd rather NOT have to wear a 2nd set of gasses for hours on end then get a (reasonable good I must admit) 3D effect.

    As for "3D TV", I think I will NEVER **NEVER** buy one. My friend got a mplayer plugin that will allow him to use his existing projector (this would work on TV or monitor too), and plain old red/blue glasses, to watch 3D content. It worked just fine, cost was $0. It supported several other types, like the nvidia shutter-glasses, too.

  42. Richard Neill

    3D on a 2D surface is fundamentally broken

    The problem really is that human depth-perception works on multiple cues:

    [1] stereo vision (different images into each eye)

    [2] binocular parallax (eyes converge at a known angle)

    [3] focal distance (are we focussing near or far)

    [4] one thing obscuring another

    [5] experience (we know the size, so infer the distance).

    Notably with 3D TV/film, the 3D effect derives from #1, but #2 and #3 conflict with it. Many people get eyestrain from this, or find the experience less than compelling. ThinkGeek even started selling "2D glasses"! Some people find that #1 is not dominant - and if we swap the glasses around in a cinema (i.e. wear them upside down), we can still see depth perception the "right" way, even though it should be backwards!

  43. Wibble
    Stop

    3D and spectacle wearers...

    What about the large proportion of people who wear spectacles; are they expected to wear the cheapo rubbish 3D spectacles over their normal glasses.

    Are those marketing gimps complete dick-heads or do they just play at it?

    Until 3D works properly without additional spectacles it is nothing but a waste of time.

    Praise to the BBC for recognising this and stopping this nonsense.

  44. Ralph B

    Echos of Slartibartfast

    Compare and contrast:

    > "I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK," said Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's head of 3D. "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."

    and from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

    [quote]

    SLARTIBARTFAST:

    Well five million years ago the galactic economy collapsed, and seeing that custom built planets is something of a luxury commodity. You know we built planets do you?

    ARTHUR:

    Oh, well yes, I sort of gathered.

    SLARTIBARTFAST:

    Fascinating trade. Doing the coastlines was always my favourite. Used to have endless fun doing all the fiddly bits and fjords… Anyway, the recession came, so we decided to sleep through it. We just programmed the computers to revive us when it was all over. They were index linked to the galactic stock market prices you see, so that we’d be revived when everybody else had rebuilt the economy enough to be able to afford our rather expensive services again.

    ARTHUR:

    Good god! That’s a pretty unpleasant way to behave isn’t it?

    SLARTIBARTFAST:

    Is it? I’m sorry, I’m a bit out of touch.

    [/quote]

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ESPN broadcast sports events that no one wanted to see, and replays of events that no one saw the first time around. The "failure" there was for the same reason any TV broadcasting enterprise fails/succeeds - PROGRAMMING.

    I am somewhat surprised that no-one has mentioned animations here. Really, the supply of fantastic animated 3D movies from Disney et. al. is reason enough alone for 3D. The kids cant get enough of them, and personally, I think "Up" was the best movie of the year when it was released. I think 3D animation movies are a good use of the technology as it currently stands.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a classic case of the BBC being too focussed on gimmicks and chasing viewing numbers instead of making good programmes.

    If more than 50% of households had 3D TV then it would be worth doing, but the number is sure to be under 20%?

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      It's not even about how many households have 3D TV's, but how many actually watch 3D programming on those TVs.

      I know quite a few people who own 3D tellies, but never watch 3D programmes. Why own a 3D telly and not watch 3D? Well most of the people I'm talking about are the sort of gadget freaks who have to have the latest, greatest, biggest (or smallest) or most expensive version of everything, regardless of the use to which it is going to be put.

      I doubt the BBC or anybody else has ever done any serious research into the market. As another poster mentioned most of the thought process behind this is based on TV companies just assuming that the audience want 3D.

  47. Rob Moss

    I tried to watch the Wimbledon final in 3D yesterday. Just as I did last year. Because some idiot decided that it was far more important to showcase the 3D effect that it was to provide good coverage, Djokovic was up close, Andy Murray was so small you wouldn't have been able to work out who it was if you didn't already know, and the angle was so flat you couldn't tell what was going on with the ball. 3D isn't bad per se, it's just that everyone rushes to get the most 3D-ish thing they possibly can at the expense of all else - including good coverage.

    1. Martin Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Exactly!

      Watched the first game, and realized that I could hardly see the far court. For some reason, the 3D cameras at Wimbledon were at the opposite end to the normal cameras, and it seems they can't get them quite so high.

      So I had a choice between watching the final in 3D at a poor camera angle with glasses on over my normal glasses, or watching it in 2D at a perfect camera angle without wearing two pairs of glasses. Not a difficult decision, really.

      I'm completely unconvinced that 3D will ever be worth it. But it's more-or-less thrown in with high-end tellys nowadays.

  48. Shrimpling

    The Queens Speech

    Are they seriously using the Queens speech to decide to stop showing 3D?

    I can think of 2 good reasons for the 5% viewing figure:

    1) I wouldn't watch it in 2D so there is no chance of me watching it in 3D.

    2) At Christmas you tend to be with the family, how many people with 3D TV's have more than 4 pairs of 3D glasses? If 1 person doesn't have the glasses they can't watch it and you are better off watching the 2D version.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: The Queens Speech

      1) No they are saying that less than 5% of the people who bothered to watch it actually watched the 3D version, not that 5% of people watched it.

      2) You are right that figures for chrismas are probably skewed, but not in the way you imaging. Bear in mind that such major purchases as 3D TVs (just like colour, widescreen and HD before it - and if advertisers are to be believed, a sofas) are made on the run up to christmas. The sort of person who purchases in this way will get friends and family round at christmas to show of their knew P&J, even if it involves passing the glasses round. So 3D viewing at christmas is probably higher than at any other time of the year. Of course the novelty will have worn off by some time in january. So figures for february through november are probably (a) lower and (b) more representative.

      The issue for most families is that not all the family like 3D, so family viewing is done in 2D. This is not something that TV companies took into account when planning.

  49. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Holmes

    3-d fever comes around every twenty or thirty years

    And it has done since the invention of photography: 1840s, 1870s, 1890s, 1910s, 1930s, 1950s, 1970s, 2000+... anyone curious about the Victorian technology might find this clicky of interest.

    I look forward to the next epidemic in, ooh, 2030 or so. Then once again I can say 'told you so'...

    p.s. movie trivia: Clint Eastwood's first film was the 1955 3-d spectacular 'Revenge of the Creature (From the Black Lagoon).

  50. Sealand

    Note to manufacturers and broadcasters:

    Listen guys, I'm still blown away by an HD channel on a 46" screen delivered by a fibre connection to my living room. What on earth has made you even consider that I would want to wear glasses to watch television?

    Give me the same crisp HD quality in real 3D, popping up - Obi-Wan-Kenobi style - from my table or from the wall or from some other convenient place, then I'll buy. Anything short of that: fuggedaboutit!

  51. dbhh

    Huh? The BBC broadcasts in 3d?

    Kim Shillinglaw should be fired. I have a 3D TV, and enjoy the 3D effect immensely (I'm one of those people that it just really 'works' for).

    I had absolutely no idea that the BBC had broadcast anything in 3D, until I saw this story. And just now, I've tried to find any information on what 3D programming might be coming up... can't find any information at all.

    On that background if, as reported, 50% of people with a 3D TV watched the Olympic opening ceremony in 3D (remembering that this is the kind of programme that many people would have watched in large groups, not conducive to 3D because of lack of glasses) then actually I would come to a different conclusion:

    There is demand for 3D TV, but no-one knows it's there. Kim Shillinglaw has simply not done her job.

    My wife and I would absolutely have watched the ceremony in 3D on our TV, but we had absolutely no idea that it was available, or how to access it if it was. Is it a different channel or something?

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: Huh? The BBC broadcasts in 3d?

      Well since the BBC's 3D output was only an experiment that started two years ago I wouldn't expect them to make a big deal about it. IIRC the plan was to show six events a year in 3D, Wimbledon being one of them. It wasn't a major venture in broadcasting, just an experiment.

      Likewise the BBC doing away with 3D broadcasting is not the big deal that some parts of the BBC have made it out to be. They carried out an experiment, they've ended the experiment. Clearly they weren't satisfied with the results.

      My only criticism of the BBC in this respect is that rather than throwing a load of licence fee revenue at a 3D programming experiment they could simply have looked at what other broadcasters were up to and made their decision based upon those observations.

      Given that the 50th anniversary Dr Who will be one of the last 3D broadcasts from the BBC and the popularity of that series I suspect viewing figures will be quite high. As a result no doubt fans of the medium will use these figures to "prove" that 3D broadcasting is popular and the BBC shouldn't cease the experiment. However fans of Who will no doubt remember the 30th anniversary special which was broadcast, along with a few other shows at the time, in a form of 3D that relied on the Pulfrich effect. That sank without trace.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Huh? The BBC broadcasts in 3d?

        "However fans of Who will no doubt remember the 30th anniversary special which was broadcast, along with a few other shows at the time, in a form of 3D that relied on the Pulfrich effect. That sank without trace."

        I suspect the Pulfrich effect was the best they could come up with without resorting to anaglyphs. The trick with the Pulfrich effect was you needed constant motion (the effect depends on differing perceptions of motion thanks to a single tinted lens). There were a few attempts at the idea in both television and video games, but the fad soon faded.

        But perhaps science fiction has jaded us, leading to disappointment with the current "3D" push. We grew up expecting volumetric television, and we haven't quite gotten there yet. For one thing, we'd have to come up with an actual means of "recording" like volumetric scenes. We can already cook them out with computers, but a live volumetric recording is a whole other kettle of fish.

  52. Joe Harrison

    H3dache

    My distance vision is borderline but I don't normally wear glasses. I went to see "Prometheus" and unexpectedly it was in 3D. Did not have optical glasses with me but watched film anyway just with the 3D glasses.

    Result: did not enjoy film and absolutely splitting headache for hours afterwards. Strangely enough I have not felt like ordering a 3D telly.

  53. chiller

    Kiddies book

    When I am reading to my 2 year old and it happens to be a pop up book I think of my 3D tv.

    I purchased my tv for 2d performance, it just happens to have 3d built-in.

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  55. john devoy

    what 3d?

    Where exactly was this 3d tv that the bbc are cancelling? Showing a one off broadcast every few months is hardly pushing the technology.

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  57. coastwalker

    Marketing nonsense

    Stereoscopic "3D" failed in the cinema in the 1950's. I know marketing has come a long way since then but even now its not possible to sell utter rubbish to the public without some pushback.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3D photography

    When I got a 3D TV, I discovered collections of 3D photos in MPO format that I could download to showcase the 3D effect. Then I discovered that my Lumix camera has a 3D mode, and I can create my own MPO files. (You can also get software to stitch images taken with an ordinary digital camera into an MPO file). We only use the 3D feature on the TV occasionally, and at this stage, it's more likely to be to look at some 3D photos than to watch a 3d BluRay. We've never watched a 3D broadcast, and you can't get 3D disks from RedBox or NetFlix.

    We have an LG TV with passive 3D, so we have about a dozen "Real 3D" glasses from the cinema when there's a large group over.

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