More than 9,000 Britons still watch TV on a black-and-white set despite it being nearly 50 years since the first colour broadcast. A TV Licencing survey revealed that thousands of households continue to pay the reduced black-and-white licence fee every year, shunning modern sets in favour of keeping bills low.
The vast majority of the 9,000 black-and-white televisions are in England and Wales, with only 550 sets registered in Scotland, according to the BBC. Despite the surprising number of black-and-white TV licenses issued each year, the number continues to fall steadily – down by a staggering 203,000 since 2000.
There are a number of different theories as to why people continue to prefer watching black-and-white television. While some are likely to be older viewers who simply never made the switch to colour TV, while others may be opting for a vintage viewing experience or simply trying to save money.
Speaking of the trend, TV and radio historian Jeffrey Borinsky said: "We like the glow of valves, rich sound and wonderful warm smell of these old sets." He told the Mirror: "Older people who grew up with black-and-white still love it and don't see why they should throw away their perfectly good set to get colour they don't even want.
"Unfortunately even the youngest black-and-white sets are more than 20 years old and very few people now mend TVs at all. In a few more years this group will have gone to TV heaven," he added.
The financial appeal of a black-and-white TV is obvious. While a standard colour licence is £145.50 per household per year, a black-and-white licence is nearly £100 less at just £49.
While tens of thousands of Britons continue to utilise technology that went out of date half a century ago, others are fully embracing technological developments. It was recently revealed that more than half of UK households now access their favourite programmes online or through catch-up services rather than watch real-time broadcasts.