Back to Black (& White)

Currently a television license costs £145.50 for a colour and £49.00 for a black and white. Back in 2005 we changed our TV to a small B&W portable, the type people used to keep for the bedroom or caravan. When I phoned up the TV License people to change the lady said I was the first customer she had ever had to do this for! At almost £100 a year between the two license fees by next year we will have saved almost £1000.

As at 31 March 2013, 12,076 black and white (mono) TV Licences were in force (figure from TV Licensing) and  25,338,330 licenses issued in total.

I read a book about a chap with a smallholding who commented on people asking him how he managed to get so much done. to which he simply replied “I don’t have a television” and that got me thinking about what a time-waster it can be and could we go without? The decision was made to switch to B&W. You can not buy B&W televisions new any more so we had to search the second hand market and now have a couple of spares in the loft, just in case our current one dies. We are using a lovely red Hitachi set, with a dial tuner. It is rigged up to a Goodmans digibox so the channels are changed via the digibox remote control. There are a few digiboxes with aerial connections, which is good as the TV we use has no scart connection. The television is also connected into the stereo speakers so has excellent sound.


Just turning down the colour on a colour set doesn’t count. If you have the ability to watch in colour then you still need a colour license.

We are not technophobes, we have just found the programmes we watch are just as good without colour. I would still be reluctant to go TV free……lunchtime without Bargain Hunt? no way.

If we do need a colour fix then we watch using iPlayer, 4od etc. Provided you don’t watch “live” broadcasts in colour then using the computer or laptop is fine.


People either totally get it or want to offer us old colour sets they have, missing the point completely. Could you go TV free? Could you go back to black & white? How could you use the extra time gained from not watching so much TV?



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