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How many people still watch TV in black and white?
“FOR those television viewers watching the snooker in black and white the pink ball is next to the green.”
Commentator Ted Lowe's famous words may be redundant for most people in Southampton but there are still some who prefer to watch their television in antiquated black and white.
Figures released this week by TV Licensing reveal after nearly 46 years of colour transmissions, 69 black and white TV Licences are still in force in Southampton.
While many children see it is a form of technology as old as the dinosaurs across the UK, more than 13,000 households still have a black and white TV in use.
Visitors to any electronics store will be dazzled by a wall of televisions each boasting the latest in visual technology.
Some are in high-definition, some have access to the internet, a few are in 3-D, all of them are flat screens, some people even watch TV on their phones.
Despite the historic switch to digital television last year, and an increase in the sale of the latest technology, some homes in the UK just cannot bear to part with their trusty black and white television sets.
Victoria Sykes, spokesperson for TV Licensing in London and the South East, said: “It's remarkable that with the digital switchover complete, 41 per cent of UK households owning HDTVs and Britons leading the world in accessing TV content over the internet more than 13,000 households still watch their favourite programmes on a black and white telly.”
The city is in the top ten for towns in the South East where people have black and white television licenses.
The number of black and white licences issued each year has steadily been declining with the price frozen at £49 - just a little more than a third of a full TV licence at £145.50.
Television and radio technology historian John Trenouth said economics might be behind the figures.
“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.
“There will always be a small number of users who prefer monochrome images, don't want to throw away a working piece of technology or collect old TV sets.
“Maybe these will still be around in 10 years from now when the number of black and white licences will have fallen to a few hundred - about the same number of black and white sets that were in use on the opening night of BBC television 70 years ago,” he said.
- DO YOU still like watching Strictly Come Dancing or the snooker on black and white television? Then give Ed Stilliard a call on 023 8042 4445, or if you are connected to the internet email firstname.lastname@example.org