HD? 4K? Some Still Prefer Black & White

Written by Andy Stout

ShutterstockBlack and White TV

 Latest figures released by the UK's TV Licensing Authority reveal that some people are still firmly wedded to the 1960s and continue watching current television on their old black & white TV sets.

It's not many — 11,550 to be exact, which is a minuscule fraction of the 25m licenses in the UK as a whole — and over 80,000 sets have disappeared in the past decade, but they are still stubbornly there. That is despite the majority of UK houses owning HDTVs, digital switchover (which has made watching them harder and harder) being completed, and all sorts of finicky small print to discourage their use, such as the fact that you require a colour license if you have a device that can even receive and record programmes in colour connected to one of them.

There is at least one historical reason for this. Every household that possesses a TV in the UK (ie most of them) legally has to have a TV License, the revenue from which funds the operation of the BBC. A colour license currently costs £145.50 a year, while a B&W one has been pegged at £49 for a while now. And it was common practice, especially in the 1970s, and even 1980s, for people to claim they were only watching in black & white to make sure they had the cheaper license.


Either that sort of chicanery is still going on despite the 4m visits the Licensing Authority makes every year (catching 1000 evaders a day in the process), or there are genuinely 11,500 people out there that think that television still looks better the (very) old-fashioned way: a kind of video Instagramming if you like. After all, if it was good enough for the Moon landings...


Tags: Technology


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