Belfast Telegraph

611 NI homes still have black and white televisions

By Rebecca Black

Hundreds of viewers in Northern Ireland still watch television on a black and white set.

The figure has emerged on the 50th anniversary of the first colour transmission by the BBC.

But new figures from TV Licensing have revealed that more than 8,000 homes across the UK are still enjoying programmes in black and white - and 611 of these are in Northern Ireland. The TV Licensing B&W Index1 published today shows that large urban areas hold the majority of black and white TV licences, with more than 1,500 homes in London watching in mono.

Almost 70 postcodes dropped out of the index in the past 18 months, including Augher and Donaghadee, as entire villages and towns convert to full-colour viewing. A further 313 postcodes across the UK boast a sole black and white viewer in their community.

Karen Grimason of TV Licensing in Northern Ireland said: "It is striking that in an era of HD TV and spectacular true-to-life pictures, there are still 611 viewers in Northern Ireland content to watch spectacular programmes like Planet Earth in monochrome.

"Whether you watch in black and white on a 50-year-old TV set or in colour on a tablet, you need to be covered by a TV licence to watch or record programmes as they are broadcast."

While the figures reveal there may be life in the oldest TV equipment yet, BBC statistics indicate that emerging technologies are changing the way many of us watch television.

A TV licence is required to watch or record live television programmes, or to watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer. A licence costs £147 and can be bought in minutes at tvlicensing.co.uk/ni.

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