Black and white TVs still used in Luton

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Some people in Luton are still seeing things in black and white, with 76 households holding licenses for a black and white TV.

Despite nearly 46 years of colour transmissions, more than 13,000 households in the UK still use the black and white sets, figures released by TV Licensing yesterday (January 9) revealed.

The number of black and white licences issued each year has steadily been declining; in 2000 there were 212,000 issued.

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.”

In neighbouring town Milton Keynes, there are 31 households with a black and white TV license, and in Bedford, there are 28.

John Trenouth, a Television and Radio Technology Historian, said: “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.”

However, 76 households is only 0.00037 per cent of the households in Luton, so it’s safe to say most of the town is watching television in full colour.

> Do you know anyone who uses a black and white television? Get in touch on Twitter: @LutonNewsConnie , email or comment below.