People are STILL watching black and white tellies

6 January 2014

You would have thought that the black and white TV had gone the way of the mangle and the Spinning Jenny by now, but according to TV Licensing, 11,550 households in Britain still have a B&W TV licence.

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London is a hot bed of monochrome TV watching, with 2334 sets – four times as many as other large cities in the UK.

Of course, this unrelenting group of people who like to fly by the seat of their pants while they’re watching the snooker (is it a red? Is it a green?) might just be pretending to have black and white tellies to avoid paying the full licence fee. It’s only £49 for the B&W licence, compared to £145.50 for colour.

But Iain Logie Baird, grandson of the famous John Logie Baird - inventor of the gogglebox - thinks people hang on to their old sets out of nostalgic pride. ‘It may be some time before the black and white television disappears completely from our living rooms.' he said, banging his pipe against the sideboard. 'There will always be a small group of people who prefer monochrome images, collect vintage sets or just don’t want to throw away a working piece of technology.’

And it might not be such a bad idea to go back to black and white. Not only is it cheaper, but you don’t have to be blinded by the fake tans on Celebrity Big Brother. And if the sound is broken on it, even better.

TOPICS:   Technology   TV   Consumer Advice   High Street News

17 comments

  • Samantha
    You'd think they'd do away with the black and white license and replace it with a reduced price SDTV license. That's something that would actually benefit a great many low income families.
  • wonka
    @Samantha sadly low income families, as shown by the media, have flat screen TVs, Sky, beer and cigs. Benefit Street starts soon, oh the joys. I agree that in reality and not in Daily Mail land your idea makes sense. At the moment paying a £150 to watch Top Gear (without a Christmas special you bastards), Sherlock (3rd series seems to blow however) and HIGNFY seems excessive to me!
  • Marky M.
    @ wonka Top Gear's Christmas special coming in March, according to Clarkson. Plus you could always watch those things on iPlayer and save £150 a year.
  • Coran
    I don't see how people can watch in black and white... Analogue signal has been ceased (right?), and which manufacturer, in the age of DVB, ever made black and white TV sets? Sounds like people being cheeky and getting out of license fees. My guess is the colour of the TV is never checked.
  • MackemDave
    Could still watch a free view box through a black and white set
  • Han S.
    @Coran - Run it through a set top box, lets you watch on non digital TV's including Black and White's
  • People P.
    @Han Solo et al - but if the set top box receives colour broadcasts, is not a colour licence needed?
  • Dick
    ^ Yes, if they receive it in colour in their set-top box, then they should be charged more. TV Licensing should just scrap the B&W license option. And the Government should scrap the TV license completely.
  • Myles
    "Plus you could always watch those things on iPlayer and save £150 a year." Technically you need a licence for that in the same way as tv.....
  • dvdj10
    Not if you watch it on catchup.
  • dvdj10
    I'm considering cancelling mine as I don't watch much and never on the BBC (I know I still need one if I'm capable of receiving etc).but can't be arsed with the hassle and it's only £11 direct debit so don't even notice it.
  • Han S.
    @People - All broadcastas are receiveed in colour but you pay on what TV you have, it's still displayed in black and white regardless
  • Coran
    Good point. I guess scart technology probably existed at the same time as black and white TVs..?
  • Coran
    I think I was mainly surprised at how technology roughly two decades apart (1980's B&W TV and 1998+ DVB) can work together.
  • Han S.
    @Myles - If you do need a TV licence to watch iPlayer if you change your output to greyscale do you only need a Black and White one?
  • Yully
    @Myles No , no you do not need a licence to watch iPlayer, not unless your watching the live broadcast, catch up TV does not need a licence, do not know what gobshite your spouting.
  • Yully
    @Myles No , no you do not need a licence to watch iPlayer, not unless your watching the live broadcast, catch up TV does not need a licence, do not know where you got that crap They even state it on their OWN website https://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/about_bbc_iplayer/tvlicence

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