Mansfield viewers STILL watch black and white TV

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Television may be available in flat-screen HD, LCD, 3D and boosted with surround sound, but figures show there are some in Mansfield who still choose to watch old black and white set boxes.

It may be hard to believe, but figures revealed from TV Licensing that there are still nine people in the town who bought licences for monochrome viewing in the last year.

Despite it being five decades since colour TV was first broadcast, and which can now be accessed across digital devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones, there are 9,356 people across the UK who still pay for the cheaper licence.

More than 800 are in the East Midlands.

Mark Whitehouse, spokesperson for TV Licensing in the East Midlands, said: “It’s astounding that more than 800 households in total across the region still watch on a black and white telly, especially now that over half of homes access TV content over the internet, on smart TVs3.”

However, he issued a warning saying: “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.”

The first programme in glorious technicolour in Britain was the Wimbledon tennis championship screened in June 1967.

Since then the number of black and white licences has been in steady decline.

In 2000 there were 212,000 black and white TV licences in place, but by 2003 that number had shrunk to 93,000 and in 2006 the number stood at less than 50,000.

According to this year’s figures, London leads the way in black and white licences, with more than 2,200. The licence costs just £49 per year, compared to £145.50 for a colour licence.