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sj33
27-03-2009, 03:44 PM
Decided to ask here, because I'm getting mixed answers, even from the TV Licence people themselves.

5 of us are going to be living in a house. We will each have TV's, but none of us will be watching TV, or even connecting an aeriel up. It'll be strictly for game use, and using as a screen for our PC's.

Will we need a TV Licence? Some people say the simple posession of a TV requires you to have a licence. Others say that as long as you have no aeriel, it's okay.

Baseley09
27-03-2009, 03:49 PM
Yes you have to have one if you have technology capable of recieving broadcast, wired in or not!

tom-nook
27-03-2009, 03:55 PM
Yes you have to have one if you have technology capable of recieving broadcast, wired in or not!

That's my understanding too.

I think pc's / laptops are ok but the rules may have changed with the advent of BBC IPlayer etc.

tom-nook
27-03-2009, 03:59 PM
Just found this on the TV Licensing website. Would suggest you can avoid paying the fee if you notify them:

http://tvlicensing.metafaq.com/templates/tvlicensing/main/answerPage?_mftvst:answerRef=%24http%3a%2f%2fapi.t ransversal.com%2fmfapi%2fobjectref%2fEntryStore%2f Entry%2fhttp%3a%2f%2fwww.metafaq.com%2fmfapi%2fMet afaq%2fClients%2ftvlicensing%2fModules%2flicensing Info%2fTopics%2fgeneral%3a134832%3a5&_mftvst:moduleID=%24licensingInfo&_mftvst:topicID=%24&id=GCFQE6IK8Q5SDP5SFP0L566CLU (http://tvlicensing.metafaq.com/templates/tvlicensing/main/answerPage?_mftvst:answerRef=%24http%3a%2f%2fapi.t ransversal.com%2fmfapi%2fobjectref%2fEntryStore%2f Entry%2fhttp%3a%2f%2fwww.metafaq.com%2fmfapi%2fMet afaq%2fClients%2ftvlicensing%2fModules%2flicensing Info%2fTopics%2fgeneral%3a134832%3a5&_mftvst:moduleID=%24licensingInfo&_mftvst:topicID=%24&id=GCFQE6IK8Q5SDP5SFP0L566CLU)

...but you will need a license if you watch LIVE tv on your pc:

http://tvlicensing.metafaq.com/templates/tvlicensing/main/answerPage?_mftvst:answerRef=%24http%3a%2f%2fapi.t ransversal.com%2fmfapi%2fobjectref%2fEntryStore%2f Entry%2fhttp%3a%2f%2fwww.metafaq.com%2fmfapi%2fMet afaq%2fClients%2ftvlicensing%2fModules%2flicensing Info%2fTopics%2fstudents%3a135129%3a8&_mftvst:moduleID=%24licensingInfo&_mftvst:topicID=%24students&id=GCFQE6IK8Q5SDP5SFP0L566CLU

Archived stuff on Iplayer seems to be ok though:
http://tvlicensing.metafaq.com/templates/tvlicensing/main/answerPage?_mftvst:answerRef=%24http%3a%2f%2fapi.t ransversal.com%2fmfapi%2fobjectref%2fEntryStore%2f Entry%2fhttp%3a%2f%2fwww.metafaq.com%2fmfapi%2fMet afaq%2fClients%2ftvlicensing%2fModules%2flicensing Info%2fTopics%2fgeneral%3a138369%3a3&_mftvst:moduleID=%24licensingInfo&_mftvst:topicID=%24&id=GCFQE6IK8Q5SDP5SFP0L566CLU

peeveen
27-03-2009, 04:03 PM
I was under the impression that you only need a TV license if you intend to watch or record broadcast programmes.

I know a guy who has a television with no aerial/sky/etc, and has had TV license inspectors at his door several times, and nothing bad has come of it.

As for iPlayer, I'm sure you can use that without a license too, but the "watch live" stuff DOES need a license ... (have a look at http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone/watchlive/ site, and look at the warning in the bottom right). Gawd knows how they can prove it though ... does this mean if I browse to that page while at work, I'm breaking the law?

It's all so archaic ...

EDIT: More info about iPlayer legalities here ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/01/iplayer_does_not_require_a_tv_1.html

funkydan
27-03-2009, 04:29 PM
The TV License should have something similar to the Car Tax SORN scheme, where by if your car will be off the public highway at all times, it won't be necessary to tax it. You could have a similar scheme for TVs too (i.e. they'd only be used for gaming, not TV etc). I do think the TV licence is a feckin' joke - we have to be about the only country in the world who even pays tax on their TV viewing! Get rid of it - ads are null and void now that most people have Sky+ or some form of PVR, so I think it's time to put a stop to this ridiculous antiquated TV License bollocks!

[/rant]

Senna
27-03-2009, 04:38 PM
I'd have to disagree with the above post.

If it gives us nothing else than the wonderful BBC, then it is worth having.

The BBC is the last bastion of quality broadcasting - I can't stand ITV and Channel 5 - and Channel 4 is mixed, some really good programmes such as Horizon, Despatches and Unreported World, and some dregs of society stuff like Big Brother.

Parts of the BBC output is pants - so-called 'comedy' like My Family - but when it comes to sports (F1, football etc), and factual programmes (History of Modern Britain, David Attenborough documentaries) nobody does it better.

Anyway, back on topic. My understanding is that if you have a TV and it is switched on, regardless of what you use it for, then you must have a TV licence.

Casshern
27-03-2009, 05:33 PM
You dont need a license fee if your not going to have an aerial connected up, had the tv license people round the other week at my uni flat i have an HD tv which i use soley for my 360 and to connect up my laptop. They told me its fine and if i planned to connect up a tv i need to notify them when i do still have the letter here. I was also told when i asked about iplayer that currently i could watch iplayer without a license fee but could NOT watch the live broadcasts on the bbc website eg match of the day hope it helps

EDIT just noticed peeven said something similar but i can confirm what he said

sj33
27-03-2009, 05:39 PM
I'd have to disagree with the above post.

If it gives us nothing else than the wonderful BBC, then it is worth having.
But why should I pay for it when I neither watch, nor like, TV? Quality is subjective. (And here's another debate, if we're paying for it, why isn't the programming public domain?).

Either way, the link tom-nook posted is pretty clear, and it's the official TV Licencing website, so it looks like we're all good. Thanks to all who replied :)

ItsThere
27-03-2009, 05:43 PM
You have to pay if you own a laptop capable of streaming tv - that catches everyone.

I know because I was in the same situation as you.

5 people will make it so cheap anyway.

Casshern
27-03-2009, 06:20 PM
You have to pay if you own a laptop capable of streaming tv - that catches everyone.

I know because I was in the same situation as you.

5 people will make it so cheap anyway.

err no you dont only if you actually are streaming tv.

r3z
27-03-2009, 06:25 PM
I believe if you intend to watch or record live broadcast TV (even if it were just overseas TV via satellite) then you need a licence.


I do think the TV licence is a feckin' joke - we have to be about the only country in the world who even pays tax on their TV viewing!

Nope.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_licence
It's just that the UK/BBC is the most well known and make it such a big deal with strict enforcement.

Japan has no penalty for not paying, and it's almost like a voluntary contribution. When I was living in Tokyo there was a sign on the notice board of my apartment block stating we had to have a TV licence.. asked some friends if I should worry and they laughed at me!

MattyD
27-03-2009, 07:11 PM
I haven't paid a TV license in about five years. I'll tell you all what the score is so you can avoid it too, providing you do so legitimately of course. I don't want to condone breaking the law etc etc

The wording of the law IIRC is that if you are using equipment to receive television broadcast signals, you must pay the license. Just owning the equipment is not enough, otherwise technically every warehouse and depot that handled / stored TVs would need to have one.

The process might have changed now (there may be an online way to do this for example) but what I did is wrote a letter to the TV Licensing authority explaining that I believed I was expempt from paying a license because I was not using any equipment to recieve television broadcast signals, and could they write back informing me of my position regarding not paying a license.

A couple of weeks later I got a letter that basically said I was right and could cancel my license. It was very carefully worded though and full of thinly-veiled threats, which I assume puts most people off. They also said I'd be subject to an inspection.

They didn't actually inspect me for about 18 months after that. God knows if they actually sent out a TV detector van in that time but they never knocked on my door. It wasn't until I moved to another place that they finally inspected me. I called to say I'd moved and explained my situation and they made an appointment for some bloke to come look at my stuff.

I showed him what I had (A CRT for my retro stuff which was still boxed up plus my LCD, rigged to a 360 and PC) and he seemed quite happy. He did plug up the aerial socket with a plastic cover but I'm sure one could remove it with a knife if so inclined.

Moral of the story is, you CAN get away without paying if you are doing so legitimately (i.e. not actually watching telly at all, which I don't). People just think you can't because the TV License people are very good at scaring people off with legalese and sinister scare tactics.

sj33
28-03-2009, 12:35 AM
That's reassuring MattyD, thanks.

Honestly, we don't give a damn about watching TV. If there's football on, we'll watch it down the pub and have a few pints too. All we really want is to use our PS3's and PC's. We'll take down the aeriel if it comes to it (we're students, so the place probably had an aeriel fitted anyway).

Robster
28-03-2009, 12:50 AM
I'd have to disagree with the above post.

If it gives us nothing else than the wonderful BBC, then it is worth having.

The BBC is the last bastion of quality broadcasting - I can't stand ITV and Channel 5 - and Channel 4 is mixed, some really good programmes such as Horizon, Despatches and Unreported World, and some dregs of society stuff like Big Brother.

Parts of the BBC output is pants - so-called 'comedy' like My Family - but when it comes to sports (F1, football etc), and factual programmes (History of Modern Britain, David Attenborough documentaries) nobody does it better.

Anyway, back on topic. My understanding is that if you have a TV and it is switched on, regardless of what you use it for, then you must have a TV licence.

Could not have said it better myself.

sj33
28-03-2009, 01:06 AM
It could be the best progamming in the history of mankind. But if none of us watch TV, or have any desire to watch TV, then it really means nothing to us, and paying a tax to play games kinda sucks.

Kongster
28-03-2009, 01:22 AM
The TV licence people love targeting students. Funnily enough, I got away with not paying the TV licence for several months during my first year living in a Uni dorm.

When I went home for me xmas holiday, I took the TV back and left it there - I didn't watch TV much at uni anyway.

charlesr
28-03-2009, 09:06 AM
My TV doesn't have a receiver. \o/ (panasonic plasma monitor)

mekanor
28-03-2009, 11:29 AM
you guys need to have a licence to use a tv?????

gunrock
28-03-2009, 11:54 AM
you guys need to have a licence to use a tv?????

Yeah it pays for the BBC and also a bit towards Channel4, I think. And, having seen Australian TV, I'll happily keep paying for it! :D

Ady
28-03-2009, 03:08 PM
You don't need a license if you're not connected to an aerial. The TV in my flat isn't hooked up as I only use it for games and DVDs.

The TV license people are OK with it.