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Topic: Colour TV Comes To The UK (60s/70s) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 11:44am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Through 2018 eyes, black and white TV seems ancient. It would seem very ancient if I showed a b/w show to, say, my 8-year old nephew or 6-year-old niece. 

Yet, historically speaking, it doesn't seem that long ago that us Brits got colour TV, late 60s to start with, and then the 70s. The US got colour TV long before that.


 QUOTE:
On 1st July, 1967, BBC2 launched Europe’s first colour service with the Wimbledon tennis championships, presented by David Vine.


 QUOTE:
On 15th November 1969, colour broadcasting went live on the remaining two channels, BBC1 and ITV, which were in fact more popular than BBC2. Only about half of the national population was brought within the range of colour signals by 15th November, 1969. Colour could be received in the London Weekend Television/Thames region, ATV (Midlands), Granada (North-West) and Yorkshire TV regions. ITV’s first colour programmes in Scotland appeared on 13th December 1969 in Central Scotland; in Wales on 6th April 1970 in South Wales; and in Northern Ireland on 14th September 1970 in the eastern parts.

Source: LINK

So by 1970, all Brits had the option to view colour programming. Yes, that was 47+ years ago (an eternity to some), but historically speaking, it does not feel that long ago. In some respects, it feels 'recent'.

I sincerely hope pool and snooker were not shown on British TV prior to colour because I have no idea how you'd have been able to tell what colour some balls were!

I hope you found that interesting. When someone tells you black and white programming is ancient, ask them how ancient 1970 is. ;-)
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I believe some snooker had been shown prior to the start of the BBC's Pot Black which helped popularise it as a televised sport. However, when it began in 1969 a lot of viewers would still have been watching in black and white, a situation that would have continued well into the seventies. Commentator "Whispering" Ted Lowe once famously said, "For those of you watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green."

Edited by Robbie Moubert on 10 February 2018 at 12:02pm
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 2:26pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

If I remember correctly, my family got our first color TV set in 1976.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 2:49pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I think our first colour set was 1984-85. 
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 2:56pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I think we got our first colour TV in the late seventies - I can always remember looking in wonder when I would see a colour TV at friends' houses.

(Of course, this was at the time when my parents rented a TV rather than bought one as it was the most cost effective way to have one.) 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 3:29pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Yes, my mum rented a TV probably around 1980-81. Looking back, it seems surprising that renting a TV was a thing (I would be surprised if ANYONE rents a TV nowadays).

We also rented our first VHS player. The guy, who looked exactly like Burt Reynolds, came every so often to collect the payments. I think we bought a VHS player around '87. 
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 4:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Our first colour tv was around 1974,they were
extremely expensive! I remember us getting it on hire
purchase,i went off to Boy`s Brigade and my mom and
dad went visiting their friends.I raced home eager to
watch The Goodies in colour, but when i got in,there
was NO TV!!! My mom and dad were still out, and i
thought my dad had hidden the tv as a joke, so i was
extremely miffed! It turned out that my dad worked out
it would be cheaper to get a bank loan than to hire
purchase, so when he rang to cancel, they came and
took the tv within an hour! We recently watched a 70`s
British film,i can`t remember which, there was an
electrical store with posters advertising colour tv`s
and they were about £500, which in the mid 70`s was a
huge amount. Prior to that our black and white tv had
to be tuned like a radio to change channels(No pre-
sets) and run on valves not transistors, so the
`Reduced power` during The Winter of Discontent meant
they were virtually unwatchable! Our first video
recorder was about 1984, and the remote was corded!
Robbie is right, Pot Black was shown when the majority
still had black and white tv`s!Gerry Anderson was
ahead of the game, producing Stingray in colour in
1964!

Edited by Bill Collins on 10 February 2018 at 11:48pm
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 4:48pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Apparently, quite a few people in America still rent TVs. There are several stores near me that rent them out.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 5:17pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Wow. So surprised, Tim.

I don't know what TVs cost in the US, but they can be very cheap here. You can buy some TVs for a hundred quid or less. Probably two hundred quid for a smart TV. Very competitive prices from various retail outlets.

If rental of TVs was still a thing today, I doubt it'd be cost-effective, not unless it was a couple of quid a month (and if it was, I might rent a TV). :)
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 5:29pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

They're not really cost-effective here. The rates on the rentals tend to border on usery.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 5:33pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

We got our first colour tv late ‘70’s, maybe early ‘80’s

My parents were still renting a piece of crap tv about five years ago and I was horrified when I found out how much it was costing.
But they will repair it if it breaks was their reasoning.
But you are paying more than a new one costs each year and this thing is an old, over five years old, cathode Ray tv.

They were being so ripped off, I was livid.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I've just browsed online and the cheapest TV (UK) seems to be £99 from Currys.

I don't know what the rental costs are for a TV, but £99 for a 24" LED TV isn't bad (if you're a person who doesn't want to spend much). I've got a smart TV and it has lasted me a long time. I must have had it about 7-8 years. It's still going good.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 5:56pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Even in the U.S., my parents didn't buy a color TV until the late 1970s. I believe that color TV was first commonly broadcast on American television around 1964.

Fun fact: "The Adventures of Superman"'s color episodes were initially broadcast in black and white, and didn't appear in color until the series was reran years later.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 6:24pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

BONANZA was another early color show (1959) advertised in conjunction with RCA(then the parent company of NBC) color TV sets.
Just about all network shows were in color by 1965, and the two most notable exceptions, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and THE PATTY DUKE SHOW, ended in 1966(a creative decision for the former, a cost decision for the latter).
Supposedly, there was a PBS station in some rural Eastern location that didn't upgrade to color, and ran everything in black and white til it folded sometime in the '70s.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 11:51pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I guess the nearest to the rental rip off nowadays is
Brighthouse,with that you pay a small weekly amount to
buy the tv, but the interest rates are so high you end
up paying twice the retail price.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Back in the early 70s we would travel to Blackpool for our holidays.  There was no booking ahead, we'd just get off the coach and go look for a boarding house, of which there were many. So many, in fact, that they would compete for your custom Signs in windows declaring 'COLOUR TV HERE' made a place mighty attractive to a kid desperate to see an episode of Star Trek or The Time Tunnel in colour! (sad to say, and somewhat ironically, I can also remember signs saying 'No coloureds!' next to those television adverts).
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

No coloureds, no Irish,no dogs was a common sign in the
50`s/60`s
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 2:26pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

We got our first colour TV sometime around 1980 or 1981. We used to have a portable TV up in my parents' bedroom that was black and white and remained in use into the late 80s. When my parents watched the six o'clock news on the main TV downstairs, I'd be upstairs watching old movies on BBC2 in black and white. A lot of these films were black and white monster movies mind, so it didn't make all that much difference.

I do remember watching snooker in B&W...Surprisingly, you can differentiate the different colours after watching enough. You just learn which shade of grey corresponds to which ball. Don't recommend it though :)
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 4:30pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

It sounds like too much hard work, Peter. :)

And what about football? How am I supposed to tell what teams are playing? 

And what if I watch an MCU film featuring Infinity Gems? Exactly how am I supposed to distinguish between the gems?

I doubt there's any way of finding out, but I wonder how many folk in the UK still have a black and white TV. Some may as the TV licence is cheaper. A black-and-white licence is £49.50 per annum; a colour licence is £145.50 per annum.
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 5:57pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

My family didn't get their first colour TV until 1991 when my grandmother died and left her TV to my mom. They just didn't really see the point to buy a new TV when the B&W one worked fine. 

I didn't see Star Trek in colour until I went to University and watched TNG in the common room in the dorm. That was in 1989. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 6:22pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

If there's one thing I'm learning from this topic, and it is fascinating, it's that seeing things in colour has been a relatively recent phenomena for many of us. 

I knew folk who were still watching black and white programmes/films well into the early 90s, which was only 25+ years ago.
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Steven Myers
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 8:56pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I just was reminiscing  recently about how the early color TVs had a button to switch to B/W, because B&W shows looked better when the TV had the color turned off.
(I vaguely remember getting our first color set in the early/mid 70s?)
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 1:53am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

With football, were the strips not designed to
differentiate between teams, hence `Away strips`? Plus
you had the commentator and numbers on the players back
to help.I`m saying this as someone who actively avoids
watching sport on tv, even in black and white, so i`m no
expert!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 6:35am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Ah, how well I remember our first colour (it was in Canada) TV. A giant console model with doors that closed in front of the screen when not in use. I very quickly learned how to twiddle the knobs in the back, to get the hues I wanted.

I also remember my Dad calling from City Hall, saying he was bringing a co-worker home, and that I should "make sure there's something colour on the TV!" With only two channels to choose from, there was not a lot of likelihood I would be able to pull this off. Fortunately, prime time had begun by the time Dad got home, and I was able to switch to TARZAN!

And now, if you will excuse me…

COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR! COLOR!

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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 6:18pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

One advantage of the PAL TV system was that we didn't need a "Hue" control as found on NTSC sets.  
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