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hob
Sep 1, 2004, 07:46 PM
Hi, does anyone know if a TV License is required (in the UK) for a TV decoder? I'm about to go to University and am thinking of hooking up an EyeTV 200 to my PB... (gotta buy one first :P) but was wondering if i need to buy a tv license for it?

Cheers,
Hob

superbovine
Sep 1, 2004, 11:40 PM
This is a bit off the topic, but what is a TV license? Is like paying for an extra tv hooked up to cable subscription or something, or is it like paying tax on a TV?

bearista
Sep 2, 2004, 12:22 AM
A TV License is a bit like a tax on the TV, yes! It's about 110 a year I think and the money goes mainly to the BBC. When you buy a TV license, you are allowed to have as many TVs as you like in the house with just the one license. Monitoring is carried out by detector vans, I'm not exactly sure how they work though.

If you have a satellite or cable TV subscription then you still have to pay the license fee ontop of your subscription!

To the original poster, if you're going to uni you will no longer be covered by your household TV license and will need a new one if you plan on recieving TV signals through your EyeTV (either terrestrial, cable or satellite).

Finiksa
Sep 2, 2004, 12:42 AM
is it like paying tax on a TV?
Yup basically it's a tax, it allows you to watch TV broadcast in the UK.

hob You only need a license if you intend to watch UK broadcast programing (including satellite/cable), Prerecorded or foreign TV doesn't require a license. But yes you need a one if you're going to use an EyeTV or other TV card/tuner.

Here's (http://www.tvlicensing.biz/) a good site with info about the TV License

Blue Velvet
Sep 2, 2004, 12:49 AM
TV cards of any description are specifically mentioned in the TV licence regulations.

In theory, they have the power to obtain a warrant to *gulp* seize any equipment they suspect of having the ability to receive TV programmes.

Not only do they have vans, they have hand-held detectors (which I have seen) which can pick up certain high-frequency emissions from the back of CRT-sets. This enables them to tell what channel you are currently watching...

However, their biggest weapon is their database of addresses and their constant 'Big Brother' style advertising (ie - we know who are and where you live).

Despite that, apparently over 2 million people avoid licence payment by simply refusing to answer the front door.

-- A former convicted licence-dodger writes... :D

This tax exists to support the BBC -- all of its TV & radio channels as they are not publicly-funded by the Government and is currently around 140 a year (about US$250).

kettle
Sep 2, 2004, 01:09 AM
They need a warrant and a policeman to gain entry so tell the tv licence person to b'stard to "keep away from my fecking door and get a proper job!"

Remember - they have no right of entry.

And yes, detector vans are just minibuses to carry the mini men in black to their next doorstep gig.

superbovine
Sep 2, 2004, 02:13 AM
I just update my currency converter as now 110 = $197.846 USD. Looking at this I have to say, holycrap, $200 a year just to watch TV.

crap freakboy
Sep 2, 2004, 02:28 AM
I just update my currency converter as now 110 = $197.846 USD. Looking at this I have to say, holycrap, $200 a year just to watch TV.

yeah but the BBC is advert free, and having watched TV in the states I really don't know how you can bear adverts every 7 minutes or so.

kettle
Sep 2, 2004, 02:43 AM
yeah but the BBC is advert free, and having watched TV in the states I really don't know how you can bear adverts every 7 minutes or so.

The BBC is full of adverts for its own programs and services, the bloody BBC has even spent god knows how much imitating the HONDA advert (animated car parts) to advertise one of it's local radio stations. (Radio Bristol)

The BBC makes a fortune from its paid services and merchandising.

I'm sick of BBC apologists thinking that the Licence fee is a good deal.

20 quid a year would be fine for a news and information service. You wait 'till it's privatised and make a fortune and then tell me why the British Public won't be getting a penny in return for their years of investment.

GRAVY TRAIN.

crap freakboy
Sep 2, 2004, 03:31 AM
The BBC is full of adverts for its own programs and services, the bloody BBC has even spent god knows how much imitating the HONDA advert (animated car parts) to advertise one of it's local radio stations. (Radio Bristol)

The BBC makes a fortune from its paid services and merchandising.

I'm sick of BBC apologists thinking that the Licence fee is a good deal.

20 quid a year would be fine for a news and information service. You wait 'till it's privatised and make a fortune and then tell me why the British Public won't be getting a penny in return for their years of investment.

GRAVY TRAIN.

Gulp!! :eek:
Okay, okay, calm down, calm down. I thought I drank too much coffee ;)
The licence is expensive and I'm sure what you predict will come to pass...

superbovine
Sep 2, 2004, 03:37 AM
yeah but the BBC is advert free, and having watched TV in the states I really don't know how you can bear adverts every 7 minutes or so.

Tivo :)

Applespider
Sep 2, 2004, 03:56 AM
Having said that even if you don't let them in, they can still summon you to appear in court.

When I was in a rented flat, the landlord paid for the TV licence so I didn't have it. I was in the flat when they came to the door but obviously couldn't produce the licence. I told them to write to him directly - two weeks later, I got a summons to go to court about it. Luckily the landlord knew where the licence was so all was OK (the mistake had apparently happened because the TV licence people had the address down as 334 flat 4, and the licence was for 334D)

Addresswise - if you buy a TV card from a retailer, they are supposed to collect your name and address for the licensing bods.

garybUK
Sep 2, 2004, 05:01 AM
I thought you needed a TV License if you had anything with a Tuner that could collect BBC ?? I might be wrong... because it used to include Radio/Black & White TV which is free now.

We tend to get the most out of our tv license though, I listen to Radio1 dad listens to Radio5 / Radio2 and always watch the BBC for their news service, their news is second to none really.

If we didn't have the BBC we'd end up with news services like CNN, and if you have ever tried to watch CNN its awful, golf or hotel adverts like every 5 mins, no thank you!

dobbin
Sep 2, 2004, 05:08 AM
If you buy a TV from Dixons, they won't sell it to you unless you give them your address, which they will pass to the TV license people. I refused to give them my address, saying they could have my 400 for the TV, take it or leave it. They still wouldn't sell it to me, but I'm sure that's only Dixons rules and not the law.

In the end I went back and bought it and gave them my address because they had the best deal (I know, I'm soft). I just wanted to make a point, I wasn't trying to get out of a license as I already had one.

On another point, I bought a Performa 6200CD-TV in 1995 and that had a TV tuner card built in. At the time there were no rules on whether I needed a TV license for this and even when I phoned the TV license people to ask if I needed one they didn't know what to say! Times have changed, and these days you can't get away with it.

Incidently, I still maintain that computer was way ahead of its time in terms of being an entertainment centre, it even had a remote control for watching the TV and playing CDs. Nearly ten years later, I wish Apple would make a remote control!

dobbin
Sep 2, 2004, 05:12 AM
Oh yeah, I meant to say, I think the TV license is actually quite good value, although the concept is slightly outdated these days. The money is not just for TV, but for everything the BBC does around the world, including radio and its website. Both of these are very good but are available to everyone around the world, not just those who pay for them via the TV license in the UK.

And as someone earlier said, the BBC's adverts for its own products are so annoying. These are almost as regular now as ads on the commercial channels. If they got rid of those, then I'd be totally happy paying for my license.

Applespider
Sep 2, 2004, 07:21 AM
The money is not just for TV, but for everything the BBC does around the world, including radio and its website. Both of these are very good but are available to everyone around the world.

IIRC, BBC World are a separate division of the BBC and although they can use BBC programming etc, they are treated as a profit centre and do deals accordingly with foreign broadcasters etc.

Not everything on the website is available internationally either - their Olympic coverage was limited to UK IPs for example.

The BBC isn't perfect but it's probably the most recognised and respected UK company internationally.

Incidentally, having to provide an address isn't a Dixons policy but a requirement for all (major?) retailers. John Lewis, Selfridges and a Sony Centre have all required one before allowing the goods to leave.

hob
Sep 2, 2004, 07:43 AM
this kinda sucks a bit - ok, so I don't have to pay the full 12-months, i just pay 9 months that i'll be at uni, but I'm in pretty much a 6x6x6 box of a room with one tiny tv decoder! Correct me if i'm wrong, but if i lived in a mansion with 300 60" plasma screen tvs, I'd still only pay 110?

Blind people only get a 5 discount.

csimon2
Sep 2, 2004, 09:10 AM
When I lived in the UK for about a year, I had a Formac Studio DVR connected to my iBook. I didn't pay for the license because if someone ever came over to check out our house, all they would see would be a computer and an external box that looked like a CD burner. If all you had was a mac and a EyeTV, and had a small enough antennae that could be stored away quickly, I think you would be fine. Because, like the man said, the equipment to find moochers looks for rays and emissions and such that come from CRTs and Plasmas. What can they say about a computer?

iGav
Sep 2, 2004, 09:29 AM
Oh yeah, I meant to say, I think the TV license is actually quite good value,

quite good value... :eek: have you seen the quality of BBC programming over recent years? :eek: :p :p

hopefully as soon as the digital signal comes online and the analogue one is switched off, maybe we'll have the CHOICE so that those that want the BBC can pay the 121 for a licence for the privilege, and those that don't will not have to pay simply to own a TV set. :rolleyes: ;)

iGav
Sep 2, 2004, 09:32 AM
I'm in pretty much a 6x6x6 box of a room with one tiny tv decoder! Correct me if i'm wrong, but if i lived in a mansion with 300 60" plasma screen tvs, I'd still only pay 110?

what's the size of house and TV size got to do with it?? :confused:

you receive the same signal, the same programming. ;)

iGav
Sep 2, 2004, 09:40 AM
When I lived in the UK for about a year, I had a Formac Studio DVR connected to my iBook. I didn't pay for the license because if someone ever came over to check out our house, all they would see would be a computer and an external box that looked like a CD burner. If all you had was a mac and a EyeTV, and had a small enough antennae that could be stored away quickly, I think you would be fine. Because, like the man said, the equipment to find moochers looks for rays and emissions and such that come from CRTs and Plasmas. What can they say about a computer?

no... they'd confiscate the equipement to test it. ;)

we don't live in the technolgical dark ages, these people are very aware that you can watch TV on you laptop with the aid of that little box that sits next to it. ;)

I think the TV Licence sucks, but it doesn't suck as much as people who try and avoid paying for it, much like not paying Road Tax, or even Car Insurance, all it means is that others are subsidising freeloaders.

iGav
Sep 2, 2004, 09:46 AM
Black & White TV which is free now.
!

who told you that??

http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/licencefee/

I can't believe I've yet to see anyone quote the correct price for the TV licence... :eek: :p

crap freakboy
Sep 2, 2004, 10:17 AM
The annual cost (set by the Government) is 121. A black and white TV licence is 40-50. There is no radio licence. Other regulations govern second homes, residential homes, hotels, students or special situations

students huh, don't know that that implies.

Zaty
Sep 2, 2004, 10:27 AM
I just update my currency converter as now 110 = $197.846 USD. Looking at this I have to say, holycrap, $200 a year just to watch TV.

Superbovine, this is completely off topic but let me tell you that you have to pay to watch TV in most European countries. Here in Switzerland, a TV licence is even more expensive, if I'm not mistaken it's somewhere in the $300-350 range. Unlike in the US, in the begining of the TV era, almost all TV stations were State owned. This meant that for centuries, tv programmes were free of ads. But the governments needed the money to finance the stations. When the TV stations needed more and more money, TV ads were introduced on most State owned stations as well, although there are laws in some countries limiting the amount of air time for ads to a certain number of minutes/hours per day.

tomato
Sep 2, 2004, 10:48 AM
There's a signal resonator and amplifier in the back of all TV sets, which amplifies the antennae signal so that it can be used to control the scanning cathode guns. Leakage from this is what is picked up by TV detector vans / hand-held units.

In theory, you could cover your TV in aluminum, but it would be a highly dangerous fire hazard, plus i dont know if you need to cover the front as well or not.

I have no idea if they can detect a TV display on a monitor or not. It used to be if you had a studio monitor, (special monitor that only shows the feed from a video camera) you didnt need to have a licence, since obviously you couldnt watch live TV on it.

If you have a VCR with a tv tuner in it, as most do, that's 'TV reciving equipment' so you need a license.

I dont think there's any way they can pick up a signal from a LCD screen tho.

I used to have a PC tuner card from 1995, which worked once in a blue moon. My stance if they ever bashed in my door would be 'see if you can make it work! If it does, I'll gladly give you double the fee!' Never happened tho.

License warning forms are sent to every single address in the UK that isnt already registered as having a license (something like 98% i think) so there aren't all that many to check up on. Something like one or two in every street, a few dozen in each town.

I used to live in a hostel, which is specifially exempted from the licence requirements, and we all used to get threatening letters all the time, warning we would be sent to jail and so on, which scared some of the more mentally vunerable tennantsw and drove the care manager up the wall (and yes, she repeatedly contacted the licensing authoroties several times to register as exempt. didnt' stop the hassling. )

Now, I've not had a TV in my flat for several years, and I repeatedly get extremely nasty letters carefully worded to stay just this side of the law on illegal exhortation, telling me in big red letters that if i do not PAY 110 quid or whatever RIGHT NOW, I WILL GO TO JAIL!!! Then in tiny tiny print at the bottom is some bumph about how i should write to some dicky bird if i happen not to actually have a TV.

bollocks to that. I keep thinking about making a formal complainant, but dont have the time. I do know there are websites about it, and some old codger MP raised his concerns in Parliament about these theatening letters.

xoxo

tomato