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UK TV license


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#1 Milo Sekulovich

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:19 AM

Hi guys,

How expensive is the TV license that people in the UK have to pay for?

I take it that this money is used to pour into programming production?

Perhaps I'm wrong?

Remember the days of there only being BBC 1 and 2? Or was there also a 3?

Milo
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:19 AM

I think it's around £150 a year. Not that I'm paying for one myself, I think that's way overpriced for a mere 5 channels and I don't watch television anyway.
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#3 Nick G Smith

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:01 AM

TV licence in the UK is £130 per year. If you have a tv you have to pay the licence otherwise they will send out detector vehicles and knock on your door and give you a hefty fine. I think that if you are over 70 years old you get a reduction or maybe it is free.
The licence money only goes to fund the BBC. BBC channels therefore have no commercials.
It is a contentious issue which can keep you in arguments for a long time if you can be bothered.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:25 AM

If you have a tv you have to pay the licence otherwise they will send out detector vehicles and knock on your door and give you a hefty fine.

You only have to pay for a license if you're using your television to actually WATCH (and record) the programs. If you're merely watching dvds and playing consoles, there is no need for a license, despite what the TV licensing company would like you to think.

I actually have a serious aversion to this company. Their own information literature is very ambiguous about when you actually do need a license. They are obviously hoping for people to think that they need to pay for a license even if they're not using their television to watch programs. Their threatening ads in the tube and other places (Pay either £130 now or a £1000 fine later) really show how they look down on anyone who does not have a license as a potential criminal. I always ignore their mail (they have me registered as not needing a license, but after 3 years or so they contact you to check up on you). If someone came around to check, you are under no obligation to let them in, they have absolutely no legal power, despite acting like they do.
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#5 Ollie Bartlett

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:27 AM

If youre blind i believe you get a 50% reduction... 50% (seriously... no joke)!

Once you start paying, they've got you. You cant ever just stop, because really, how many people just decide theyve had enough of the TV.

Add on the Sky or cable connection (£40/£20 a month), and suddenly youre paying 50 odd quid a month for something you dont really use other than to watch the DVD's you own outright anyway. Ok, i watch Top Gear, the football when its on and the news, but thats really the extent of the service i get from partially funding the BBC.

... Just one more of those payments i still havnt got round to cancelling.
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#6 Keith Walters

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:40 AM

I'm amazed they can still get away with charging license fees.

In Australia they did away with TV and radio licenses in back in 1973, just before the commencement of colour TV broadcasts.

My brother and his wife had managed to survive without a license for about 10 years, but then they had a big advertising blitz and she got nervous. So he finally bought a license, four months before they were abolished! And no, there were no refunds.

I suppose they could make a case for them when there were only three channels apart from the ABC network, which the licenses were supposed to fund, but there are so many choices now, I don't think too many people would miss the ABC.

I have heard that in the old days at least, the TV detector vans had nothing in them, just a couple of fancy looking antennas and some ominous-looking signs. We never had them here at any rate....
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#7 Will Earl

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:57 AM

It's quite nice to not have commercials on the tele for once. Although I was a little surprised when I first saw a "pay-your-tv-license" ad. I'd expect nicer ad's from racketeering mobsters.

Seriously I paid the tv license just cause I didn't want to lose any of my digits or have my kneecaps busted. Although if the licensing fee helps pay for the iplayer service and no commercials then I don't feel quite so ripped off paying it.
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#8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:16 AM

You only have to pay for a license if you're using your television to actually WATCH (and record) the programs. If you're merely watching dvds and playing consoles, there is no need for a license, despite what the TV licensing company would like you to think.


As I understand it, if you have equipment in your house that is capable of receiving a TV signal (either a TV or a PC with a TV card) then you have to pay the licence fee, regardless of whether you actually watch it.

The detector vans are pure nonsense. What they actually have is a database of every address in the country that does have a licence. If yours isn't on it, then they figure there is a good chance that you're breaking the law, as there are very few homes that don't have a TV.

Multiple occupant houses (student houses, for instance) are supposed to have multiple licences too.
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#9 Ollie Bartlett

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:01 AM

I think Stuarts right on the 'you've just got to have one' policy. I had to sign something for the liscensing people recently when i bought a new computer, purely because it had a tv-tuner card in it.

As far as i know, student houses and the like only need multiple liscences if there are certain types of locks on each of the individual bedrooms. I think council tax also works this way in some cases.

And while were on the subject of council tax... :angry:
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#10 Max Jacoby

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:49 AM

Some years ago I had a lady from TV licensing on the phone. I explained to her that I was not using my television to watch programs and hence did not want to renew my license. I did have the antenna unplugged already, and she merely suggested that I also remove the frequency memories. Otherwise they were fine with me just using my TV to watch dvds and not paying for a license.

It's like I said, they'd like you to believe that if you have a Tv you must have a license, when in fact that is not the case.
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 10:47 AM

Well i am going to support the BBC License i think for £130 per year its good value ,BBC 1,2 3,4 News 24 and a few others plus god knows how many Radio stations . Of course if you want a sat. company like SKY that will cost you about anywhere between £20 -£50 per month!! . For a mostly a pile of poop and repeats .
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#12 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:02 AM

Hi,

About 18 years ago when I was living in Lonodn I got woken up by the doorbell. It was the TV license idiots asking for me by name, claiming I did not have a license. I was able to produce one showing my name and address! I intentially never put a flat no on my application so I was in effect covering all 5 flats in the building.

Stephen
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#13 Ollie Bartlett

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:07 AM

Of course if you want a sat. company like SKY that will cost you about anywhere between £20 -£50 per month!! . For a mostly a pile of poop and repeats .


The man speaks the truth, but unfortunately in my house we demand our fair share of the football, the UFC, the girls next door, ray mears, top gear repeats and Carribean Cops uncovered.

Its tough these days to not end up with cable TV, or certainly in Bristol anyway. Virgin media make you get two of their services, so its internet plus one, and phonelines in a shared house is never going to work so cable it is.

They essentially force you to add services you dont need by monoploising the media market in the area and only selling bundles.

To be fair, i'd forgotten about the radio incorporated in the liscensing fee. The kit room would be a far duller place if radio 1 were't blaring out one of their 5 tunes they choose to play.
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#14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:26 AM

Don't forget American Football on Sky! But for that I either go to the Sports Cafe or friends.
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#15 John Holland

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:35 AM

Well not a sport fan ,but a great movie fan so a good reason also not to have Murdochs Sky movies in my home just like his newspapers .
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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:20 PM

I think the TV licence would be more defensible if the BBC actually did anything useful with it. If they actually did what you'd expect it would allow them to do, that is to be innovative and interesting without fear of commercial failure, then it would be worthwhile.

What the buzzword-spouting management actually do is to ape as precisely as possible what the commercial channels do. Well, I suspect they use different, cleverer words to describe it, but the moment they started interpreting "public service broadcasting" as "giving people what they want" it became a sick joke.

They chase ratings like everyone else so their output is identical to everyone else's; ergo the entire setup is a complete sham. And yes, the licencing enforcers are a bunch of scum.

P
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#17 John Holland

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:55 PM

I agree with you Phil the BBC have no reason what so ever to chase ratings their income is from the license fee and BBC sales they dont have to attract advertisers to make money . As for licensing enforcement it stinks , its seems most women jailed in this wonderful country is because of lack of a tv license .
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#18 John Sprung

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:10 PM

The detector vans are pure nonsense.

Back in the CRT days, it would have been possible to detect the 15.625 KHz EMF from the scanning of a TV set. But today, with LCD's, plasmas, DLP's, etc. that would be very easy to evade. It's something that they could have done in the past, and later abandoned.



-- J.S.
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:28 PM

I thought they looked for the demodulator IF, which would be detctable on anything with a terrestrial receiver.

P
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#20 John Sprung

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:15 PM

There's many orders of magnitude more power in the horizontal sweep than the demodulator, but that might work, too. I'm not sure if all receivers necessarily have to use the same IF frequency, so they might have to look for a list of different frequencies.


-- J.S.
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