Around 8,000 people in the UK have a licence for a black and white TV. Are you one of them?
We were really surprised to discover that out of the 25.8 million TV licences that were in force in the UK in the 2016-17 financial year, 8,242 of those were for black and white TVs.
And it threw up a big question: how can you only watch TV in black and white?
It turns out that you can still use an analogue TV set, despite the fact that the switchover from analogue to digital was completed in October 2012 – although, you need a digital television converter box and a Scart cable.
It makes sense that you’d want to make the most of a perfectly good older analogue TV set. However, any black and white sets still in use must be pretty ancient.
We couldn’t find out exactly when manufacturers stopped making black and white tellies, but our (imperfect) collective memory reckoned the last ones must have been made in the 1980s or possibly the 1990s – if you know more precisely, please tell us!
Black and white TV
I shared this information on Twitter and got some interesting replies. One of my Twitter followers, who served as a Trustee of the BBC until April 2015, said:
And at least when I was a Trustee, programmes were still being quality tested for b&w transmission…
— Diane Coyle (@DianeCoyle1859) March 29, 2018
If you are really keen to switch to black and white, you can still pick up TV sets on sites such as eBay. We had a look and found several, ranging from a 5.5-inch portable (accepting bids from a tenner) to a rather fabulous orange space-age number for £220.
So we’re intrigued. Are you one of the 8,000 who only has a black and white TV licence? As it costs only £49.50 a year compared to the annual fee of £147 for a colour set, we can see why it would be attractive. Do let us know if you’re one of the last hold-outs – and why.