/ Technology

Your view: is there any future for 3D TV?

3D glasses

Is the BBC suspension of all its 3D programming a sad day for television – or an inevitable move beyond a technological fad? We put that question to you this week and got an unusually unanimous response…

So the Doctor Who Christmas special is to be the last 3D programme from the BBC. Our technology researcher Jack Turner isn’t bothered – and didn’t think many other viewers would be either.

As it turned out, he was right. So far, our poll reveals that 68% of you don’t even have a 3D-capable TV, and of those who do, only half choose to watch 3D programmes on it.

3D takes too much commitment

So why aren’t more of us interested in the 3D experience at home? While Dave has grown to enjoy 3D, he thinks that some viewers are put off because they have to be too actively involved:

‘In your home watching TV you may be doing many things at the same time which do not lend themselves to wearing goggles. So a home 3D TV viewer has to commit.’

For William, the glasses are too restrictive because you can’t watch en masse:

‘Back in the day, you could invite friends round to share a sporting experience or some such, now with 3D you’re limited to only those with compatible glasses. 3D will only truly take off when the need for special glasses goes, and that’s quite some way off.’

Feeling very nauseous…

The main problem a lot of you have faced with 3D TV is feeling nauseous while watching – hardly a pleasurable viewing experience! Vynor Hill says he’s sticking to his 2D telly:

‘Having watched 3D TV for an hour and a half on someone’s posh telly, I was not impressed. I ended up feeling slightly nauseous and the effect, though realistic enough, was not that exciting. I came back to my own television happy to watch in 2D.’

Jeremy had a similar experience:

‘We’ve bought a 3D TV which came with a set of Shrek DVDs [in] 3D. I still have not managed to watch the entire set. I found that watching for any length of time made me feel nauseous and strained. I finally put this down to the fact that one’s brain is constantly having to cope with contradictory depth information.’

Blame it on the eyesight

For some, the reason they ignore their TV’s 3D function is down to poor eyesight – Rarrar explains why:

‘My smart TV has 3D. Never gets used – it doesn’t work for me anyway as I don’t have good vision in one eye.’

Alfa has the same problem:

‘3D TV has never appealed to us because of slightly bad eyesight and having to wear special specs.’

Anyone in favour?

While there are many convincing arguments to wave goodbye to 3D telly, a few remained positive. Dave, who is our Commenter of the Week, has overcome his issues with 3D and grown to enjoy it when watching sport:

‘I was not keen initially [but]I have come to embrace Rugby, Football, even Sky Formula 1 testing and now Wimbledon presented in 3D live. I’m sorry the BBC has chosen to “mothball” their development project for three years as it may never return and we have a lot to thank the BBC for in technical broadcast developments over the years.’

So where do you stand – or should that be ‘sit’ – when it comes to 3D? Can you think of any other reasons to convince the sceptics, or are you steering well clear of the glasses?

Do you watch 3D programming on your TV at home?

I don't even have a 3D-capable TV (77%, 818 Votes)

No - I have a 3D TV, but I don't watch 3D programmes at home (16%, 171 Votes)

Yes - I have a 3D TV, and I watch 3D programmes at home (7%, 76 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,065

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What happened to the possibility of 3D TV without the need for glasses? If these become available at a sensible price, many including me would be interested. I hope development is not killed off just because not many have taken up the option for 3D TV with glasses.

I have never seen 3-D TV myself and little of the available programme material appeals to me. Nevertheless, I marvel at the technology and hope that one day it will be possible to enjoy lifelike pictures at home without having to wear special specs.

Something I am also waiting for though is a pair of glasses that will convert the reality of 3-D in the street to 2-D as some of the sights I behold are truly abominable and more than my brain can handle without causing nausea.

I don’t enjoy gore and violence on TV and films, John. Thanks goodness for Radio 4.

Lack of content, more expensive T.V.’s, Intrusive glasses. Why bother? I find H.D. and Dolby 5.1 a great step forward in T.V. and until we have more 3D content and easy viewing I will stick at what I have, Thank You!

I watched the Wimbledon Men’s Final on my 32″ 3D TV. It was more a nuisance than an an enhancement. The foreground image looked, ironically, like a 2 dimensional image stuck on to the rest of the picture. It also means that it’s difficult to do anything else, having to take the glasses on and off all the time. Anyway, much of the population would be discouraged from watching, with Sky cheekily wanting to charge you extra!

I’m pleased the BBC are not wasting any more money on this technology.

I have binocular vision which means I can not see the 3D effect. I can only see a slightly blurry picture overlaid with another blurry picture. When it becomes possible to see a 3D picture with one eye, without special glasses, I may be interested but not for ordinary programmes or sport. The only programmes I would like to see in 3D are wildlife and travel documentaries.

I thought that most of us have binocular vision, which is what helps us see in 3D.

On my last eye test I was told I had Monocular vision not Binocular. I don’t use both eyes together which means I can’t see a 3D effect.

Which?, please can we have an edit funtion,

Sorry. I had not heard of this problem in anyone with two working eyes. If Which? would tell us we are not going to get an editing facility then we might stop asking ,but for the time being we live in hope. 😉

Mike says:
27 July 2013

Although I love modern technology, I don’t have a 3D TV and don’t want one. I have sampled 3D and found that it does have a wow factor, but it is not a compelling experience – just a gimmick. It’s fun for a few minutes, but it’s not real enough to be an advance on 2D. And it causes eye strain. So, I’ll stick with 2D until it is replaced by something that’s actually better. Like holograms …

Damon says:
9 August 2013

I have a 3D TV and love it,
Cant wait for more content form BBC and other stations
I have seen 30-40 3d films and they are improving all the time
Seeing depth and things coming towards you is fantastic
The last film I watched was Upside Down and had some of the best 3D effects I have seen.
Documentaries and Sport are also very good in 3D
The only thing I feel after a good film is slightly drunk, but that is the vodka I enjoy whilst watching it.
Cant wait to get in my “Man Cave” to watch some more 3D films tonight!