BBC to broadcast Olympics in 3D – why?

According to the BBC the Olympics will be broadcast in 3D.  Looking closer I see that what they really mean is the opening and closing ceremonies and the final of the 100m sprint. Oh yeah, and some retrofitted highlights.

Hardly “The Olympics”.

The problem, it seems, is one of capacity.  The BBC is worried that if they punt too many extra dimensions our way they’ll not be able to cope and we’d lose some sports that nobody will watch anyway swimming coverage.

But why bother?  Only 6% of British households have 3D televisions and despite serious promotion by all channels (including hardware vendors) take up has been only  marginally lukewarm.  If the film industry is anything to go by, the increased expense and lack of any discernible benefit means that 3D will go the same way it always has – into the gimmicky bin. If people want anything, it’s affordable quality entertainment.  I have to ask whether the BBC would be better off investing in new different programming?

Let’s be clear.  Muddying the image, reducing the broadcast quality and all in the name of adding an extra dimension doesn’t seem like a good commercial idea. Manufacturers like it because we need new kit.  Broadcasters like it because they can say they are charging more for gimmicks innovating. However Joe Punter doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic. As someone who gets headaches and can’t really see the type of 3D film makers are using. I am certainly never forward to sticking a  Brechtian Alienation Device on my nose and in fact refuse to indulge this current fad.

2 Comments on “BBC to broadcast Olympics in 3D – why?”

  1. ExpatPaul says:

    Adding 3D does seem a bit pointless, to say the least. It doesn’t work for films and I don’t see any reason why it would add anything to the Olympic ceremonies.

    It’s a gimmick and the sooner this particular fad dies out, the better.

    • antihippy says:


      “And now we will welcome the athletes to the games through the medium of interpretive dance… in 3D.”

      Surely the point in any additional gimmick is to enhance the actual event? What a waste of money.

      And I say this as a big fan of the Beeb.

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