People really do still watch black and white televisions

Forget 8-bit videogames, the vinyl revival, and the resurgence of cassette tapes. Hundreds of households in Scotland are watching black and white television. The data comes from the organization that handles the mandatory licenses required to operate a television set. The annual fee is £145.50 to watch or record on a color set and £49.00 for black and white.

"It's astounding that more than 550 households in Scotland still watch on a black and white telly, especially now that over half of homes access TV content over the internet, on smart TVs," TV Licensing Scotland spokesman Jason Hill told the BBC News.

According to the Museum of Communications' Jim McLauchlan, "There are an increasing number of collectors throughout the UK collecting black and white sets from as early as the 1940s onwards, with some now fetching good prices. In general, younger visitors to the museum show very little interest in the black and white televisions but the occasional senior visitor will comment in a nostalgic way."

Notable Replies

  1. Maybe the 'license fees' should be changed to just cover a TV, rather than whether it has color or not.

  2. KXKVI says:

    Enthusiasts of tube-based black and white TVs (videophiles) agree that a B&W tube TV is much "warmer" and has a higher frequency content than either color tube or LED TV. This is especially true if it's hooked to a special high harmonic antenna via gold antenna wire. You can get a reasonably priced system for about $25,000.

    Those Scots are really onto something.

  3. You.... Monster®

  4. it was a dark day for the USA.

    the digital signal's HD picture quality and aspect ratio are awesome. having the info button would also be awesome if the damn networks actually put the info on there more than half the time.

    what i miss about analogue: it was instant. immediate. every power up, channel change, and button push on digital lags like crazy. you have to scan for channels before the tv will receive them for some infuriating reason (can you imagine having to wait for your browser to scan the entire internet before it would show you anything? ridiculous.) also, with digital, any interference and the signal doesn't just get snowy/blurry/jumpy while the audio keeps coming in like with analog broadcast; the whole transmission just drops out and it has to rebuffer. black screen/no sound every time a car pulls in the lot.

    digital is the future, they said. it makes everything easier, they said.

  5. Nelsie says:

    Given that the Licensing Authority does nothing more than send out demands for payment (the TV detector vans were a lie), how do they know that there are actually 550 monochrome TVs, and not an unknown number of people who claim they only have a B&W set because the licence is cheaper?

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