Technology

UK still has 13,000 black-and-white TVs

Monochrome TV set
Image caption Black-and-white television sets are surviving due to thrifty households

More than 13,000 households across the UK are still using black-and-white television sets, according to the TV Licensing authority.

London had the highest number of monochrome licences, at 2,715, followed by Birmingham and Manchester, it said.

The number of licences issued each year has dwindled from 212,000 in 2000. A total of 13,202 monochrome licences were in force at the start of 2013.

A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50.

TV Licensing spokesman Stephen Farmer said: "It's remarkable that with the digital switchover complete, 41% 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."

Television and radio technology historian John Trenouth said their continued use could largely be explained by low-income households wanting to save money on the licence fee.

But he added: "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".

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