Who Needs 4K? Report Reveals Black and White TV Usage in UK

There’s always a buzz about what is new in the tech world. People have marketing campaigns pushed at them every day, showing how fantastic it would be to upgrade to a flat panel TV, high-definition, 3D and more recently, 4K, OLED, curved and more types of TV. Of course, new tech isn’t the primary concern for everyone and a recent report from the BBC proves just that.

The statistics show that around 9000 people in Britain are still using an older black and white TV. This isn’t a huge number, especially given the millions of TV viewers in the country, or that the first colour TV broadcasts started almost 50-years ago. I’m 31 years old now, and I personally haven’t seen a black and white TV in the house in since the late 80’s!

“We like the glow of valves, rich sound and wonderful warm smell of these old sets. 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 color they don’t even want.” said TV and radio historian Jeffrey Borinsky. “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.

I’m partly amazed there are still old black and white TV’s still working, but I guess the saying “they don’t make them like they used to” still rings true. Of course, the other saying of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” is also valid, and perhaps many of the viewers holding onto their old sets don’t use it that often, or just like watching Betamax tapes of classic black and white movies! Of course, there is one other reason, a black and white TV licence is about £50, while a colour one is around £150 per year.

It’s not only England that are rocking it old-school, as there are a few hundred sets also in use in Scotland. Although I do wonder what the global usage of older TVs is these days.

TV Licensing Scotland spokesman Jason Hill said: “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. Whether you have the latest 4K TV or a black and white set from the 1970s, if you are watching or recording live television, then you do need a TV licence.”

Do you still have an old black and white TV in your house or have you upgraded to something a little more modern?