The new endangered species: Only 70 black and white TVs left in Newry
Figures released today by TV Licensing reveal black and white TV licences have dropped to below 850 in Northern Ireland.
Across the UK, the number of families watching on black and white TVs has dropped a further 12 per cent in the past year, with fewer than 12,000 sets now in use nation-wide.
With advances in technology, the demand for black and white licences has been in steady decline for years. At the turn of the millennium there were 212,000 black and white licences issued, but by 2003 that number had shrunk to 93,000.
Just three years later, in 2006, the number was less than 50,000 and today just 11,550 black and white licences remain in force across the UK.
Despite it being nearly 48 years since colour transmissions began, digital switchover and the recent Christmas seasonal surge of television, laptop, tablet and smartphone sales, it seems there are still some nostalgic UK homes firmly attached to their trusty black and white TV sets.
Deborah King spokesperson for TV Licensing, said, “Today’s figures show, even in the digital age, more than 800 homes in Northern Ireland still watch their favourite programmes on black and white televisions with less than 70 of these households in the Newry area.
“We may be on the brink of losing black and white sets to the history books, but older technology will always be replaced by exciting new ways of watching live. It’s important that no matter how you watch live TV, whether on a black and white set, or online, you’re correctly licensed to do so.”
Iain Logie Baird, Associate Curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, and grandson of television inventor John Logie Baird, added, “The National Media Museum has hundreds of black and white television sets in its collection and there will always be a small group of people who prefer monochrome images, collect vintage sets or just don’t want to throw away a working piece of technology.
“Despite over 25 million people opting for a colour TV Licence in the UK, it may be some time before the black and white television disappears completely from our living rooms.
“The National Media Museum has hundreds of black and white television sets in its collection and there will always be a small group of people who continue to make the most of black and white TV. They may prefer monochrome images, collect vintage sets or just don’t want to throw away a working piece of technology.”
According to this year’s figures Belfast leads the way in black and white penetration across Northern Ireland followed closely by Omagh and Newry.
Top 10 black and white towns/cities in Northern Ireland :
Belfast – 113
Omagh – 101
Newry – 68
Dungannon – 63
Enniskillen – 52
Armagh – 44
Derry – 41
Magherafelt – 32
Ballymena – 30
Craigavon – 20
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