Feeds

Forget 3D: 13,000 UK homes still watch TV in black and white

Manchester surprising hotspot for greyscale telly

High performance access to file storage

13,000 households in the UK still watch TV in black and white, telly licence fee collectors have revealed.

In an age when TV sets are often internet-enabled with high-def plasma screens and 3D capabilities, some people obviously like to keep it simple.

And cheap too. At £49, a black-and-white TV licence is cheaper than the standard licence, saving users £96.50 a year on a UK colour licence. But the 13,202 hold-outs will most likely face problems when the nation's analogue TV transmitters are switched off and digital broadcast takes over: older colourless tellies require an old-fashioned RF analogue input and will need a digital set-top box with an RF modulator.

Manchester is the UK's black-and-white TV hotspot. Despite being next to Salford - "Tech City of the North" and the BBC's new TV hub - Manchester has the highest density of greyscale sets for its population, 0.08 per cent to be precise. It's more than the 0.06 per cent of Birmingham dwellers who have a black-and-white licence. Or the 0.03 per cent in London, going on population stats from the 2011 census.

John Trenouth, a television and radio technology historian says it's likely to be down to the costs:

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.

But the trend is down. Black-and-white watchers make up just a tiny fraction of the 25 million TV licences bought last year. In 2000 there were 212,000 black-and-white TV licences issued. It's also near impossible to replace a greyscale tube if it goes bust.

Stephen Farmer, spokesman for TV Licensing, added that Britons lead the world in accessing TV content over the internet. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.