8:00am Sunday 13th January 2013
NEW figures show more people have black and white TV licences in Grays than anywhere else in Essex.
Even though colour TV has been around for 46 years now, 13,202 people across the country prefer to watch their programmes the old fashioned way.
Just 28 people have a black and white licence in Grays but that hasn’t stopped it topping the table in the county.
Its followed by Colchester, where there are 25 black and white licences in force, and then Chelmsford and Gravesend which both have 21.
A black and white licence costs £49 and is frozen at that rate until 2016. At present, a colour licence is £145.50.
John Trenouth, a television and radio technology historian, said: “Although 13,202 monochrome licences may sound a lot, it's now a tiny percentage of the 25 million licensed viewers in the UK.
“The numbers of black and white TV sets in regular use has fallen dramatically over the last few years, hastened by the fact that it's now almost impossible to replace them and by the need to buy a suitable set top box to continue to use them after digital switch over.
“The continued use of black and white TV sets, despite the obstacles, is more likely to be driven by economics than by nostalgia.
“For low-income households the black and white licence fee is an attractive alternative to the full colour fee.
“There will always be a small number of users who prefer monochrome images, don't want to throw away a working piece of technology or collect old TV sets.”
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