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BBC Gives Up On 3-D Television Programming 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-waiting-on-smellovision dept.
RockDoctor writes "After spending several years on supporting the uptake of 3-D TV, the BBC has accepted that people don't want it, and are turning off their 3-D channels following an uptake of under 5% of households with 3-D equipment. I can just feel the joy at not having wasted my money on this technology."
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BBC Gives Up On 3-D Television Programming

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  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Friday July 05, 2013 @12:14PM (#44195433) Journal

    3D or implementation? I want to see Wimbledon in a hologram, played on my coffee table.

  • Hooray! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KZigurs (638781) on Friday July 05, 2013 @12:15PM (#44195445)

    Now, let's hope that Hollywood follows suit. The situation where there are no movies to watch because everything is ether in 3d or in the shittiest corner screens is slightly disappointing. At least when I want to give them some money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2013 @01:18PM (#44196067)

    There is a reason 3D TV failed, and it is never discussed. To understand the reason, you must explore the entire history of broadcast TV.

    Now TV was invented by various engineers across the globe, which is why 3+ nations all claim their own people were the first to think of the idea. The first TV services were all set to go massive before WW2, but the war encouraged authoritarian governments to claim that TV for the masses would be a distraction, and so TV had to wait until 1945 to get a proper start.

    The stall was useful, for it encouraged greater consideration of TV standards. Indeed, the concept of standards, and ensuring that equipment bought by consumers would continue to be useful, became the defining nature of television services across the globe. Early plans for colour TV around 1950 came to nought, for instance, because the proposed technology had no comparability with the principles of B/W television.

    Colour TV only kicked in when engineers figured out how to make it backward compatible with B/W receivers.

    Now, here's where we can discuss the failure of 3D TV.

    -TV channels are VERY expensive. Therefore new TV channels must demand a large premium (like the early hi-definition sports and first-run Hollywood film channels) or be very popular from the off.
    -Backward compatibility allows new channel broadcast technology to be introduced with ZERO market disadvantage
    -All of the first world TV services (at great expense and effort) got converted to digital standards, where the receivers were universally some form of programmable computer

    My point is this. If, when DTV was introduced, DTV receivers had been forced to implement support for what we know as SBS (side-by-side) transmission, every single DTV receiver would have had compatibility with SBS 3D broadcasts, even when the TV was NOT a 3D TV. Every DTV box already has full circuitry to 'zoom', rescale, and pan the received picture. These receivers could have had the ability to zoom into the left half of a SBS transmission, and blow-up this half-image (which is actually a full picture) to fill the entire screen.

    A few lines of code. No change to the electronics. Every DTV receiver ever built could have supported the conversion of SBS 3D broadcasts to an ordinary 2D image for non-3D TVs.

    Why did this not happen? Why did the standards people screw up this badly?

    The answer is horrible. The people originally building 3D consumer equipment wanted ZERO backward compatibility. They thought if 3D took off, there would be massive profits from having to retool the entire TV production chain. Rather than use the sane SBS format, they proposed complex new CODECs that would require new and very expensive equipment at every stage of the process. They forgot one thing. Without backward compatibility, a very important thing could never happen.

    What are the cheapest shows to make in native 3D? Sitcoms and soaps. But sitcoms and soaps, the mainstay of ordinary broadcast TV, would continue to be watched mostly by people with 2D sets. It was ESSENTIAL, repeat ESSENTIAL that TV stations could broadcast any 3D content down ordinary 2D channels in such a way that their 2D customers would not notice a change.

    SBS at 1080P (the 'P' is an affectation, all modern equipment is 'progressive') would have allowed this. Your left-eye image becomes the anamorphic (squashed) left half of the picture. Your right-eye image becomes the right half of the picture. 2D DTV equipment simply zooms in on the left-eye image (a function only recent DTV equipment has). 3D receivers convert the SBS data to whatever format the 3D TV needs.

    The cretins in charge messed-up fatally. The lack of zero-cost SBS support in all DTV equipment means the vast majority of 2D TV viewers have no way to process SBS transmissions even if they wanted to. The upshot is that 3D broadcast TV MUST use dedicated channels aimed exclusively at 3D TV owners, and this means only premium content (essentially new 3D Hollywood movies) can possibly earn enough

  • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:08PM (#44196567) Journal

    On top of that, it's damaging to developing minds. Sega dropped development of a 3d product years ago because of a study they commissioned - the results depicted that children exposed to the 3d display suffered permanent problems with depth perception. Most adults recovered quickly from the 3d interface, but children were permanently affected.

    It was discussed on /. here: 3D Displays May Be Hazardous To Young Children [slashdot.org]

    For that reason alone, I won't allow my children to attend a 3d movie, and I won't have 3d equipment in my house.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

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