It’s black and white for fifty Derry homes

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Fifty families in Derry are still watching black and white TV, new figures suggest.

Deborah King from TV Licensing described the figures, released only months after television entered the digital era, as “remarkable.”

The statistics suggest that 50 homes in Derry still hold a black and white TV licence, placing it fifth in the list of towns and cities in the north who still watch the box in monochrome.

Belfast (143), Newry (73), Dungannon (72) and Enniskillen (58) top the list.

“It’s remarkable that with the digital switchover complete, 41 per cent of UK households owning HDTVs and Britons leading the world in accessing TV content over the internet more than 13,000 households still watch their favourite programmes on a black and white telly,” Deborah says.

Across the UK just over 13,000 households still have a black and white licence - down from 212,000 in 2000.

“Although 13,202 monochrome licences may sound a lot, it’s now a tiny percentage of the 25 million licensed viewers in the UK,” Television and Radio Technology Historian John Trenouth says.

“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.”

He says people may still hold onto black and white sets for economic reasons rather than nostalgia.

The cost of a black and white TV Licence remains frozen at £49 until BBC Charter Review in 2016.