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13,000 people in the UK have black and white televisions

Might even be enjoying them
Thu Jan 10 2013, 14:00
Old television

THERE ARE 13,000 households in the UK that have black and white televisions and enjoying them, according to the people who sell TV licences.

TV Licensing, the body that makes sure we pay for a licence to watch episodes of Eastenders, found the most black and white televisions in London and offers a top ten list in case we were wondering where there are other black and white television hotspots.

There are 2,715 black and white TV sets in London, 574 in Birmingham, which is in second place, and 413 in Manchester, at third, all the way down to 118 in Sheffield at 10th.

It is very unlikely that these are lifestyle choices, unless they are puzzle fans who enjoy a snooker challenge, and more likely that they cannot afford or refuse to pay the higher licence fee that colour television requires, roughly £150 against £50.

"Although 13,202 monochrome licences may sound a lot, it's now a tiny percentage of the 25 million licensed viewers in the UK. The numbers of black and white TV sets in regular use has fallen dramatically over the last few years, hastened by the fact that it's now almost impossible to replace them and by the need to buy a suitable set top box to continue to use them after digital switchover," said John Trenouth, a television and radio technology historian.

"The continued use of black and white TV sets, despite the obstacles, is more likely to be driven by economics than by nostalgia. For low-income households the black and white licence fee is an attractive alternative to the full colour fee."

The number of black and white licences sold has fallen from 212,000 in the year 2000 to 13,000 in 2013. µ


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