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Discussion in 'Community' started by Nermal, Oct 10, 2004.
Just found this on Slashdot, is it true?
Yes it is true, but the 5 channels have no adverts, and far far more than 're-runs' - which include many dramas and documantaries that are produced with a £100,000 per HOUR budget.
Many people don't have one (a license), simply becuase the way they find out if you don't have a license is by looking at television purchase records. Which im sure you can assume is easy to foil. They do not, I assure you, go around detecting the 'local oscillator'.
I will also mention that www.bbc.co.uk is funded by the fee as well, and as any web guru knows, this is the LARGEST website in the entire WORLD.
Oh, and not forgetting many freephone (toll free) support lines for people who need advice or support, ranging from disabilities to coping with a death, which are manned by hundreds of people, 24 hours a day.
Oh yeah, and the BBCi interactive tv services, which include news multiscreens, to extensive interactive revision material for students.
OHHH yeah, and how about the dozens of radio stations you also get for the fee. From popular music and sport to asian talk shows.. the BBC has it all too. Then theres the local stations, aross the entire country - as well as news teams for the local news, on 3 times a day for 30 minutes a pop.
Then there is the transmission costs, on analogue and digital. Both included in your fee.
All in all, it doesn't seem that bad having to pay for something that supports so many people across the globe.
Im sure the entire 3rd world population of africa would appreciate the turn off of the BBC world service radio station, so they could listen to propaganda by their own regime instead. Excellent.
edit.. also it doesn't mention that people on benifits (from our governments generous hand) get it for free here too.
Furthermore, that also includes ummm... about 7-9 digital & analogue radio stations, if not more counting the local ones.
All without commercials and some of them quite good.
The collecting powers have been handed over to Capita, a data agency which also administers the traffic congestion charge in central London amongts other things.
They're the ones with the heavy-handed reputations...
Ummmm..... how can you say that, only two of the channels have no adverts, although our channels do tend to have fewer ad breaks than in the US. The licence fee goes to fund the 2 bbc channels which is general are terrible. Although at least the bbc is not as right biased as many of thje stations in the US. One thing I should say, is the fines are rarely that high, in fact I can remember reading about how they are often less than the cost of buying a license.
A lot of people misunderstand the BBC license till they've actually seen the quality of some of the programming from the Beeb, the News service alone is worth the price, as it is still the most reliable and accurate news in the world (yes, I know it has its bias, but it's still better than anything else). The Radio services are excellent (if you discount Radio 1), and the general programming is better than any other broadcaster in the world.
There's always going to be critisism of the way the Beeb spends the license fee, but as mentioned, the prevalence of high quality drama, documentary and news programmes on the channels is still worth the cost.
There are also a bunch of kids channels like CBBC that are very good, and BBC news 24, plus the Beeb underwrites a lot of very good productions in other countries.
If the alternative is to suffer the kind of TV output that passes for entertainment in other parts of the world, then I'd rather have no TV at all.
Besides, how is this different from being charged for cable or sattelite access? It's stil bloody expensive, it illegal to get it without paying and they'll come down on you hard if they catch you doing it.
LOL.. if you actually read my first post you would see that it funds far more than '2 channels'. Take a look at this then..
And I don't know if you have ever acutally been to america, because they have adverts every 10 minutes in every program. The bbc has NO breaks during programs, and the breaks in between programs are either to advertise other bbc programs, or to introduce the next program, and are very short. I have never seen a single SUV or toilet roll advert on the BBC.. or any of its websites, radiostations or interactive services.
The 5 standard British stations you get for your TV license are much better than what we get standard in Oz, and a bit better than what you get in Toronto, although CityTV has a very "Canadian" quality to it. The TV license funds the BBC1 and 2, which I think are quality in comparison to other stations. And BBC Radio 6 is good.
On the other hand, my flat mates and I never paid the TV license until I had lived there for quite a while (they had lived there for longer), so whatever.
Tell that to the inspector with a detector in his hand who caught me out a few years ago and cheerfully demonstrated how it worked... a court appearance and a fine soon followed.
Absolutely plain (and slightly maliciously)... wrong.
The only discount you get is if you have a B&W TV, are blind or over 74. That's it.
Ok I misunderstood your first post, you were referring to the bbc channels including their digital channels right? I however was refering to the 5 standard TV channels the original poster asked about. For the benefit of our American readers the majority of the population need extra equipment to view the digital channels provided under the license fee (its not built into the TV). The proportion of people buying set top boxes is growing but most people who don't subscribe to commerical cable or satellite TV don't have access to the extra digital channels.
Another point is I mentioned our adverts are shorter over here and while I understand what the license fee is spent on, you had not even editted and written that part of your post when I quoted you. please do not troll over misunderstandings.
Yes IIRC in the Phoblacht they charge a license fee for business owners who have a TV (bars, for instance). Knowing that, this doesn't seem unreal.
Us 'muricans don't flinch at paying exorbitant amounts of ever-increasing cable bills but for some reason having to pay to own a TV set rubs us the wrong way.
BTW, in my area, I can recieve exactly 2 broadcast stations without cable, an NBC and a FOX affilliate.
Cable brings me 2 NBCs, 2 ABCs, 2 FOX, a CBS, a PBS and about 50 cable channels. This costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 a month.
Oh, and they all have commercials that interrupt the programming, too.
Sometimes entire blocks of programming (hours and hours) are advertisements dressed up as TV shows. We call these infomercials. And pay to see them.
And then are outraged at the idea of spending $15 a month for 5 channels.
By the way, BBC America is available on digital cable. But you have to buy it with a package and it costs $99 a month.
But at least I can have a TV that gets 2 stations in (sometimes the picture is fuzzy) without having to pay a yearly fee! Woohoo! Thank God I don't live in a fascist craphole like Europe!
After three years of living as an expat in the USA, and with 40+ years of living/working around the globe, I have to observe that you're a whole hamper of sandwiches short of a picnic if you really think this......
I miss the Beeb more than anything (except maybe Marks and Sparks ) while I'm here in N.America. Many of my American friends are in love with the BBC too. Its depth and breadth are unmatched by a single broadcaster anywhere in the world.
Yeah I meant in general, typing coherently after just waking up and dragging my PB to the bed appears too much for me. Personally I rarely watch the bbc outside of the few decent sports events they do actually have covered and some of the current affairs shows. I fear we are a generation apart however as a result of you missing M&S and as such our viewing prefernces are going to differ which is something the bbc has to deal with more than any other network. BBC news is good and when I used to have cable I would watch news24 over any other news channel, but I prefer the channel 4 news nowadays, I guess to quote Jon Snow due to the "pinko liberal" I am. Generally I find I don't watch the BBC anymore, question time and the odd newsnight/documentary apart. Although I do understand it appeals to many and never to all, as a result of its public service remit, it just seems to lack a bit of innovation.
I am very glad I don't have to watch American news coverage however
Yeah, they hide out in vans, drive up to a flat and just sit there and check to see who's using their TV, then he checks his list to see if each user he detected has paid the TV licensing fee.
So that was also the explaination I got.....that they used a detector to find you out, not through TV purchase registration and such.
This is how it works:
The licence-collecting agency have a database of all addresses in the UK.
If your address doesn't appear to have a licence they will then start a barrage of increasingly serious-sounding letters, some of them disguised as bills.
Then, you will be visited (Sat morns are favourite).
If you're not in, then they'll leave a card saying they called.
They will persist in this for some time.
If they have legal grounds or evidence to suspect you may have a TV, then they may apply for a court order to enter your property and seize ANY equipment which includes computers with TV cards.
A number of people who've had enough of this bullying have started their own websites e.g.
I think the TV License is a disgrace... it's an outmoded form of financial support for an outdated institution that prides itself on it's supposed 'independence' that is unwilling to either A. share the income with commercial channels B. not allow any adverts other than that for it's own products, the very notion that the BBC does not show adverts is completely false, because they DO and they've won many awards for those commercials.
With the advent of the Digital TV signal, and the switching off of the Analogue signal, there will be no excuse not to make the TV License optional, the technology is already employed by Sky that would allow those people that wish to pay the £121 can do so, and will receive the subsequent BBC channels, those that don't wish to pay won't have to and will receive the rest of the channels, plus the countless other commercial channels that are currently available on Digital services for free.
I'd be willing to bet that the BBC would be in the sh*t very quickly through lack of funding.
I think the worst aspect is the fact you can't have a set that's soley for watching DVD's and playing games. they'll still come looking to prove you're watching Blue Peter...
I think we'll see a shake-up once the analogue signal goes, and I do think the Beeb will suffer because of it. I really don't mind paying for quality programming (although my free soft-core porn channel is cool... sorry, I mean Channel 5)
Apparently, if you can prove that:
A) The set is not connected to an aerial and
B) That it's detuned away from the appropriate frequencies...
Then you may be able to get away with it (if you're lucky)
This is the kind of fascistic nonsense that's involved.
I'm a mass of contradictions on this. On one hand, I appreciate the BBC but on another, the methods employed are so heavy-handed and so authoritarian...
The BBC does have far superior programming (in general) to other commercial stations.
Someone has said that the BBC do not allow adverts for commercial products other than their own and that they have won awards for their own adverts. The fact is they are not ALLOWED to show other's adverts and the awards are won for things like the station idents (like MGM's lion and fox's searchlights)
Also you often find that these award winning segments seem grand and self indulgent but are require to fill the 1 hour time slots taken up buy shows made to a schedule that would normally include upto 15min of adverts if shown on commercial of US TV.
Someone else has said that some of the funded channels are not available to the population without set-top boxes. None of the channels are available to those without TV's or radios in the same way that the internet is not available to those without a computer.
The search for people without licences is done by address and postcode. My uncle does not have a license and ignored all those letters that were sent. He wasn't in when they called round and got summoned to court. He went along stood there while they accused him of not having a TV license and asked the judge to issue a £2,000 fine. His only defence was that while they kept hassleing him over whether he had a license noone ever asked if he had a TV so he never got to tell them he doesn't. They apologized. How that for high-tech scanners etc?
Those who don't feel it's fair the pay a fee to fund channels that they don't watch, what's the alternative?
The government will still take a license fee, why wouldn't they? If the BBC is not funded as it is think of all the programming that would be lost. Probably not BBC1,2 or 3 although they'll be beseiged by commercail adverts but the local programming and radio stations appealing to the advertizers. I read that MTV has a weekly playlist of 36 songs!
Take away the license system and level the playing field and remember that the commercial channels that compete directly for viewers with the BBC limit their adverts to about 60% to that of pat per view channels about 9min/hour to 13min/hour. No license will mean less programming.
NB The story about my uncle, I should also point out that that he, and I, don't even live in the UK but still have to pay as we want to see the BBC content.
Yes, but it's still up to you to prove it, not them, and they'll still fine you if they disagree.
I used to have a Sony video monitor in my loft, it had RGB and composite inputs but no tuner, I figured you could get something like Formacs converter and simply plug that in, then hide it realy quickly when someone came to the door.....
It sucks, but it's still the best telly I've seen in the world (although some of that Japanese reality TV is beyond belief).
I've never really understood the whole licensing deal in the UK. Here in Australia there are two non-commercial stations (ABC and SBS, and I'd say they're not anywhere as good as the BBC) but their funding comes from the government (we used to say the ABC cost us each 8c a day, but it's more now I'm guessing). To me it seems a whole lot simpler than chasing down people for having an "illegal" TV in their homes.
In norway you pay over $200 a years for two (yeah 2) broadcast channels!
Everyone has to pay if you have a tv..
There is no options for only looking at the commercial financed brocast chans.
I don't think anyone disputes that they don't advertise other peoples products
But the common perception that the Beeb doesn't employ commercials is FALSE. They do, and in a surprisingly excessive way for a supposedly 'non-commercial' channel.
And they do happen to win multiple awards for those commercials (not idents, they're totally different with a different award category), remember the 'Le Parkour' ad a few years ago? or last years '1XTRA Streetmusic Commercial'? or how about the Rap/Commentator face off, a'la 8 Mile? and no doubt the current rip of Honda's Accord Ad (itself a rip of Der Lauf Der Dinge) involving Football items will win awards next year as well.
If they are able to advertise their own products, why not free up another revenue stream and make those slots accessible to other companies and other products to help reduce the ever increasing cost of the TV License? That way programming wouldn't have to be interrupted by adverts.
But the bigger issue is why should people be expected to pay for services they cannot use or indeed do not want... what is fair about that??
So do you think it's right to pay for something that you don't use??
What's the alternative?? they should become a commercial channel... or like I suggested above, with the advent of the Terrestrial Digital signal... (much like how Sky packages work now) if someone wants to receive the BBC and to fund it's associated spin-off channels then they pay for that choice, if not then they should have the right to choose what they want to receive and pay any resultant costs associated with that decision.
But to have to pay the BBC £121 just to own a TV (that as WinterMute has pointed out) even if it is to be used purely for gaming or watching DVD's, you have to pay for that priviledge, is IMHO totally wrong.
I'd much rather have Ad's every 15 minutes (advertising is an art form in itself) than pay £121 every year, to a supposedly 'independent', outdated and outmoded institution with pretty poor programming, with an excessive roster of repeats, and a DG and Board paying themselves far too much f**kin' money.
You mean all the great programming that a former BBC DG recently suggested is "dumb, dumb, dumb"??
But it's amazing how every other channel copes isn't it... and I really do not think that BBC is leagues ahead of ITV and certainly not Channel 4.
Or maybe it will mean that more care is taken in producing good quality programming... and the wasting of less money that the BBC is famously recognised for.
Good on your Uncle...
Im thinking that no license would result in more populist crappy programs (e.g. 'Eastenders') to attract viewers in order to boost ratings, rather than to provide any quality programs.
If you're unhappy at playing the licence fee, just watch a few hours of FOX "News" and you'll feel much better
Couldn't it be argued that is exactly what is happening at the moment though??
Look at the recent BBC Review that has resulted in a number of channels, radio stations and websites being culled purely through lack of understanding of it's current and potential audience and as such it could be considered that they were not only ill conceived, but also executed poorly and were a waste of financial resources.
I don't see why the gradual phasing out of the License fee and it's subsequent financial replacement would result in any noticeable drop in quality, that then comes down to the visionaries and creatives that work there to make it work.
errrr... we'd still need to fork out the $$$ just to own the TV so we could watch Fox News on it...