Why 276 households in Manchester are still watching black and white TV


It’s very surprising that in the age of high definition television with spectacular true to life pictures, there are still 8000 homes in the UK happy to view in monochrome.


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Coloured television celebrated its golden anniversary on the 1st July, giving the country 50 years of spectacular programmes brought to life in colour, and leaving the black and white TV in the dark ages. hOWEVER, there are many families around the UK who have not succumbed to the lure of colour, and the only reason that can be found is the cost of the licence.

For these televisions to still be working is proof that televisions were built to last back in the 1950s, as black and white receivers are no longer manufactured. Over the last four years, 5000 old style televisions gave up the ghost and were replaced by colour according to the licensing stats, and during 2016, a further 70 dropped off the chart.


The age of colour was not an instant success; it took ten years to overtake black and white, and by 2016, more than nine million viewers were recorded, tuned into BBC iPlayer. It costs £100 more for a colour license, so people might be tempted to buy the cheaper one.


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Enforcement efforts focus on catching viewers who have no licence, and not checking the type of television you have in your household, but if you claim to have a black and white television and in fact have a coloured one, you risk prosecution and a £1000 fine.

Television aerials and satellite dishes are visible on nearly every house, regardless of the type of television. If they get damaged or broken, there are a wide range of companies able to come out and repair them, such as Stroud TV aerial repair specialists, Steve Unett Aerials (http://steveunettaerials.co.uk/services/tv-aerials-repair-and-installation-stroud/).

It’s mainly large urban areas which still have black and white licences, with 1500 in the London area, 377 in Birmingham and 276 in Manchester. Even if you are downloading a BBC programme onto an iPlayer or device, you still need to have a TV licence.

The luxury of HD colour screens is now available to the masses. Let’s hope that black and white will soon become a thing of the past.

Ellie Darbyshire