Boy
Lv 4
Boy asked in Consumer ElectronicsTVs · 2 months ago

Why were black and white TVs still popular back in the 1990s?

I remember back in the 1990s they still sold small TVs in black and white, and handheld TVs in black and white or color as a higher priced option.

Back in the 1990s even if you went into a causal barber shop or restaurant black and white TVs were still being used. 

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Cost, mainly. B&W is much cheaper. Also, before digital tech got to where it is today, B&W was much sharper than color, because putting three color guns could be very complicated. B&W is still sharper (because you have one color varied from white to black, while in color you have to coordinate three adjacent colors, and that can cause odd "artifacting"), but it's not as big a difference today with advanced digital technology.

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  • 1 month ago

    The license fee is cheaper and also the tv was cheaper.

    They give a different viewing experience and can still be very atmospheric especially when watching older films made in black and white.  

    • Boy
      Lv 4
      1 month agoReport

      We live in the USA so we don’t need or require a tv license 

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  • 2 months ago

    Because in the South, they still believed in segregation in the 90s.

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  • 2 months ago

    Money and trend. It takes a while for a trend to entirely get outdated!

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  • 2 months ago

    Cheaper.

    More likely to get decent reception over long distances.

    This is because colour needs a stronger RF signal to work right.

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  • 2 months ago

    they sell for 20 bucks,vs

     2-6-800 bucks for a wall mtd big screen

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  • 2 months ago

    I know an older lady who still watches TV on a small black & white set. For one thing it has lasted without needing to be replaced, and for another, black and white images are perfectly acceptable for plenty of programs like news and game shows--and are even tolerable (I found out as a result of pet sitting for this lady) for movies and TV series that we are used to seeing in color these days. In fact, the images seem to be sharper than those we get on most of today's color sets.

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  • 2 months ago

    They were very inexpensive, small, ran on batteries or could plug into a 12v outlet and many of them included a radio and tape player.  

    Most people can enjoy watching without color anyway.  

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  • 2 months ago

    In the case of small handheld units, B/W sets could be made smaller and lighter, crucial for such applications.

    Other than such units, I do not recall seeing any new B/W sets for sale in the 90s.

    In terms of places that still used them, they were using older sets bought well before the 1990s. Duh.

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  • 2 months ago

    I doubt that black and white TVs survived as far as the 1990s, by then colour TV had become affordable to anybody and you could buy them used for 50 bucks. Maybe the TV you saw was sold new in the 1970s and was showing and old b/w rerun from the 1960s

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  • Sandy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    those black and white tvs were built to last and they did. you didn't replace a tv back in the day unless you had a good reason. like to go color. many good tv shows were IN black and white anyway. so a color tv is useless. 

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