People really do still watch black and white televisions


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Maybe the ‘license fees’ should be changed to just cover a TV, rather than whether it has color or not.


Today I learned that BBC TV still broadcasts an analog signal

probably a converter. whoopsie.


And here I thought I was being all nostalgic by admiring the 1980s Zenith console TV in a charming bed & breakfast yesterday. I did get to watch a tube-driven B&W TV in the same town a few years back, in a “hotel” called the Shady Dell. It was in a 1949 Sparton trailer.


“…in Scotland…”! Way to go keeping a stereotype alive!


I am astonished. They didn’t become modern by forcing everybody to throw away their television?


The BBC are making £49 a year from each of those vintage TV sets! Why on earth would they deprive themselves of that revenue stream?


RF spectrum is a tragically scarce resource; of which TV is a pretty tragic waste. Even if we must humor it, a teeny DTV-B converter box can spit out exactly the RF that a TV older than monotheism expects, so it isn’t a terribly jarring sacrifice.


Enthusiasts of tube-based black and white TVs (videophiles) agree that a B&W tube TV is much “warmer” and has a higher frequency content than either color tube or LED TV. This is especially true if it’s hooked to a special high harmonic antenna via gold antenna wire. You can get a reasonably priced system for about $25,000.

Those Scots are really onto something.


You… Monster®


it was a dark day for the USA.

the digital signal’s HD picture quality and aspect ratio are awesome. having the info button would also be awesome if the damn networks actually put the info on there more than half the time.

what i miss about analogue: it was instant. immediate. every power up, channel change, and button push on digital lags like crazy. you have to scan for channels before the tv will receive them for some infuriating reason (can you imagine having to wait for your browser to scan the entire internet before it would show you anything? ridiculous.) also, with digital, any interference and the signal doesn’t just get snowy/blurry/jumpy while the audio keeps coming in like with analog broadcast; the whole transmission just drops out and it has to rebuffer. black screen/no sound every time a car pulls in the lot.

digital is the future, they said. it makes everything easier, they said.


Not having a TV works just fine for me.


Given that the Licensing Authority does nothing more than send out demands for payment (the TV detector vans were a lie), how do they know that there are actually 550 monochrome TVs, and not an unknown number of people who claim they only have a B&W set because the licence is cheaper?



but i will say, even with my gripes, it’s still mostly good; beats the hell out of paying for cable.


The question is, do people still watch TVs at all or aren’t they just background noise to ignore while you play with your phone or do more important stuff? I still keep a (kodi-powered) black and white TV in my kitchen to keep me entertained while doing kitchen chores and cooking and do not plan to allow a color TV to invade that room. If I did I might begin to give it more attention than the occasional glance…


Which is really annoying, because I’m pretty sure that your biggest complaint could be fixed relatively easily. Your digital tv signal should just be a MP4 stream like any other video you watch. The reason that it takes so long for it to sync up is that it needs to wait for a key frame, which is when a new, full picture is sent. Between keyframes, only differences are sent, which are useless unless you have the original frame. All they’d need to do is say that the keyframe interval is shorter in the standard, and you wouldn’t be waiting as long (but they’d get worse compression.)


I know nothing of the actual process for how the licensing authority collects its fees, but is it also possible that there are simply people who keep paying year after year without realizing what they’re paying for? Kind of like AOL’s legacy dialup customers?


Dodgson, Dodgson, we’ve got Dodgson here!
Nobody cares.


They don’t broadcast any analog TV anymore & haven’t for a while. I assume these people have Freeview set-top boxes (digital tv converters) with rf out, so they can be used with older tv’s. RF out isn’t that unusual. (at a stretch I suppose you could plug the Freeview box into a vcr with scart, then plug the vcr into the tv)