TV Licensing - where do I stand?

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  • ProfessorLesser 1 Nov 2006 18:22:54 19,356 posts
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    Apparently our College is going to be having spot-checks by whichever authority is responsible soon. Basically, my situation is this:

    I have a TV set in my room, and I haven't paid for a license.

    I don't watch TV broadcasts on my TV, nor do I record them. I don't watch them on my phone or laptop either, or anything except for the TV in our JCR, which is licensed.

    I don't have an aerial cable. All I use my TV for, in fact, is watching DVDs and playing games.

    Will they still try and make me pay a license? Are they actually on firm legal grounds to do so? What will I have to do to prove I am not watching or receiving TV broadcasts in any way or form?

    Cheers,

    Prof.
  • repairmanjack 1 Nov 2006 18:28:23 6,019 posts
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    ProfessorLesser wrote:I have a TV set in my room.

    You owe. It starts and ends there, I'm afraid.
  • ecureuil 1 Nov 2006 18:28:59 76,732 posts
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    If you have a TV, you have to have a license. There's no way around it.

    Well.. unless you want to hide your TV in the cupboard every time they come to check. :p
  • ProfessorLesser 1 Nov 2006 18:30:57 19,356 posts
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    TV licensing authority seems to disagree:

    If you use a TV or any other device to receive or record TV programmes (for example, a VCR, set-top box, DVD recorder or PC with a broadcast card) - you need a TV Licence. You are required by law to have one.
    As far as I can see, they're the ones trying to impose a fine - they need to prove I can watch TV, which I can't.

    EDIT: watch TV, that is.

    Edited by ProfessorLesser at 18:30:47 01-11-2006
  • Morb0 1 Nov 2006 18:32:52 132 posts
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    If what these guys say are true, things have changed in the last few years, since I was in your situation.

    I phoned them and told them it would be connected to a games machine and a VCR, and I nice lady told me I would not have to pay.
  • Dragul 1 Nov 2006 18:34:06 5,478 posts
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    if it works like the portuguese law used to work (and it seems to work like that), well you done for...

    You only need to own a TV nothing more to have to pay a license...
  • ecureuil 1 Nov 2006 18:34:41 76,732 posts
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    Morb0 wrote:
    If what these guys say are true, things have changed in the last few years, since I was in your situation.

    I phoned them and told them it would be connected to a games machine and a VCR, and I nice lady told me I would not have to pay.

    I got a warning for it at uni, and all I used it for was games. I said I didn't use it to watch TV, and they said there was no way for me to prove that I wasn't using it for TV since I could quickly take out the aerial and hide it if they came to check.
  • Morb0 1 Nov 2006 18:37:33 132 posts
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    Perhaps rather crappily of me, I was assuming ProfessorLesser lives in the UK, as I do.

    :s

    I'd give them a call. If you are worried calling them might put you in line for a visit if you are supposed to pay, perhaps don't give them the correct name/room no?
  • skuzzbag 1 Nov 2006 18:38:40 5,638 posts
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    repairmanjack wrote:
    ProfessorLesser wrote:I have a TV set in my room.

    You owe. It starts and ends there, I'm afraid.

    Yup, better get used to the idea of people taking money off you cos that's what it's all about when you get a job.
  • Razz 1 Nov 2006 18:39:37 61,087 posts
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    You can buy TV' without built in tuners.

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  • Morb0 1 Nov 2006 18:40:21 132 posts
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    ecureuil wrote:
    I got a warning for it at uni, and all I used it for was games. I said I didn't use it to watch TV, and they said there was no way for me to prove that I wasn't using it for TV since I could quickly take out the aerial and hide it if they came to check.

    Ach that sucks. Who gave you the warning though - official tv licence people or your halls of residence people.

    What about if you make sure all your channels are detuned too - surely noone can unplug the aerial and detune all the channels fast enough?

    Edited by Morb0 at 18:40:40 01-11-2006
  • ProfessorLesser 1 Nov 2006 18:41:19 19,356 posts
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    That's a ridiculous argument, ecureuil. Like you say, if I had a TV in my room, I could just hide it whenever they came to check. Are they going to make everyone without a TV set pay too?
  • Grunk 1 Nov 2006 18:41:37 4,718 posts
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    they can't come and search your premesis without a search warrant. so if they come round refuse them entry.

    don't pay, the BBC are fuckers.
  • JammyB 1 Nov 2006 18:42:06 756 posts
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    ProfessorLesser wrote:
    I don't have an aerial cable. All I use my TV for, in fact, is watching DVDs and playing games.

    Ignore the first replies. This is all we need to know - you don't have to buy one. If you have any questions then phone/email TVL who will confirm.

    I've had a TV inspector in my house, looking at my TV with Xbox connected, no aerial cable, and walked out without a fuss.

    Just make sure you detune your channels as well because otherwise they could possibly say that you've just hidden the aerial.
  • quedex 1 Nov 2006 18:43:18 3,135 posts
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    TV Licensing people wrote:
    What if I only use a TV to watch videos/DVDs/as a monitor for my games console? Do I still need a licence?

    You need to notify us in writing that this is the case and one our Enforcement Officers may need to visit you to confirm that you do not need a licence.

    Please write to us including your name, address and the reason you believe that you don't need a licence at:

    TV Licensing
    Bristol
    BS98 1TL
    Although it's unlikely they'll really leave you alone for a year. One of my friends tried this, and after telling them for the fifth time in a month that they don't watch TV, they gave in and bought one just to make them go away.
  • ProfessorLesser 1 Nov 2006 18:43:21 19,356 posts
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    My main problem is that their website says if I don't receive a TV signal, I don't have to pay. So I categorically am not going to. Not without a fuss, anyway.

    How do I detune my channels?
  • ecureuil 1 Nov 2006 18:54:21 76,732 posts
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    ProfessorLesser wrote:
    That's a ridiculous argument, ecureuil. Like you say, if I had a TV in my room, I could just hide it whenever they came to check. Are they going to make everyone without a TV set pay too?

    Oh, believe me, I think it's ridiculous, too. Come to think of it, they might just have been trying to scare me in to buying a license, rather than giving me a chance to challenge them over the issue. If that's the case, it worked.

    First year I was at uni, I stayed in a house rather than halls. There were five people there, but since it was a first year house, each person counted at a seperate tenant. We ALL had to pay a seperate TV license. It's a joke, they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.
  • Scurrminator 1 Nov 2006 18:55:16 8,405 posts
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    remove the aerial and just manually tune them to static.
    destroy the aerial as well or leave it at home if you're at uni.

    You dare to strike Scurrcules!?

  • TechnoHippy 1 Nov 2006 18:57:22 14,708 posts
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    JammyB wrote:
    ProfessorLesser wrote:
    I don't have an aerial cable. All I use my TV for, in fact, is watching DVDs and playing games.

    Ignore the first replies. This is all we need to know - you don't have to buy one. If you have any questions then phone/email TVL who will confirm.

    I've had a TV inspector in my house, looking at my TV with Xbox connected, no aerial cable, and walked out without a fuss.

    Just make sure you detune your channels as well because otherwise they could possibly say that you've just hidden the aerial.

    This is correct, I am in the same situation and the licensing people haven't given me any problems.

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  • TheSaint 3 Nov 2006 15:45:20 14,312 posts
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    Grunk wrote:
    they can't come and search your premesis without a search warrant. so if they come round refuse them entry.

    don't pay, the BBC are fuckers.

    +1

    They have no legal authority to enter your room so just tell them to come back with a warrant. Maybe you could also mention to them why Catherine Tate deserves her own show let alone to be paid by the BBC?

    /Goes back to listening to commercial radio/


    Edited by TheSaint at 15:46:59 03-11-2006
  • Tiger_Walts 3 Nov 2006 15:51:22 16,587 posts
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    I thought that if it's a portable set then while at uni you can claim it's included in your real home's TV license.

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  • terminalterror 3 Nov 2006 15:51:51 18,937 posts
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    TheSaint wrote:
    Grunk wrote:
    they can't come and search your premesis without a search warrant. so if they come round refuse them entry.

    don't pay, the BBC are fuckers.

    +1

    They have no legal authority to enter your room so just tell them to come back with a warrant. Maybe you could also mention to them why Catherine Tate deserves her own show let alone to be paid by the BBC?

    /Goes back to listening to commercial radio/

    You don't need a TV license to listen to BBC's radio stations.
  • bivith 3 Nov 2006 15:51:59 2,466 posts
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    repairmanjack wrote:
    ProfessorLesser wrote:I have a TV set in my room.

    You owe. It starts and ends there, I'm afraid.

    You're wrong.
  • bivith 3 Nov 2006 15:53:22 2,466 posts
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    ecureuil wrote:
    Morb0 wrote:
    If what these guys say are true, things have changed in the last few years, since I was in your situation.

    I phoned them and told them it would be connected to a games machine and a VCR, and I nice lady told me I would not have to pay.

    I got a warning for it at uni, and all I used it for was games. I said I didn't use it to watch TV, and they said there was no way for me to prove that I wasn't using it for TV since I could quickly take out the aerial and hide it if they came to check.

    You don't have to prove that you don't watch TV programs. They have to prove you do.
  • bivith 3 Nov 2006 15:54:14 2,466 posts
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    JammyB wrote:
    ProfessorLesser wrote:
    I don't have an aerial cable. All I use my TV for, in fact, is watching DVDs and playing games.

    Ignore the first replies. This is all we need to know - you don't have to buy one. If you have any questions then phone/email TVL who will confirm.

    I've had a TV inspector in my house, looking at my TV with Xbox connected, no aerial cable, and walked out without a fuss.

    Just make sure you detune your channels as well because otherwise they could possibly say that you've just hidden the aerial.

    Why did you even let him in your house???? Did he have a warrant?
  • Hunam85 3 Nov 2006 15:56:54 4,114 posts
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    See, what i was told is that unless you proffsionally have your tv disabled from ever being able to watch TV then you got to have one.
  • KTM 3 Nov 2006 16:00:27 1,674 posts
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    An interesting note regarding TV on mobiles, I'm just looking at the PDF on the TVL website to see whats covered by a tv license. If you have a tv license for your home address and you use a tv which is powered by internal batteries it is covered by your main address license. However as soon as you plug it in to the mains and you're in a different place it needs its own license.

    SO if i come round your house and you haven't got a license and Im watching tv on my phone and charge it up at your house, I'm breaking the law.
  • Deleted user 3 November 2006 16:01:39
    One of my friends enquired about this a few months ago - the woman on the other end said that you don't have to pay, but you should do the detuning thing.

    But if in doubt - phone them and ask!
  • pjmaybe 3 Nov 2006 16:03:27 70,676 posts
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    TV Cards in PCs FTUW.

    We used to have the spot checks too but no one ever thought to look at the back of my PC :)

    Peej
  • Fatfish 3 Nov 2006 16:05:40 3,377 posts
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    If I remember correctly, the issue comes down to whether or not your set has a receiver in it. If it's a straight forward display screen with no analogue/digital TV receiver built in and you don't own any additional TV signal receiving equipment then technically you could argue the case. However, it would be difficult to prove.

    If however you own a standard set with built in tuner, you will be liable for prosecution even if you say that you don't actually watch TV.

    afaik, the licence covers you for the possession and use of a TV receiver, not for owning a display screen. With the advent of so many different options for receiving TV signals using external devices (freeview boxes, cable TV, TV tuner cards in PC's etc.), it makes the job of proving you don't use the display for receiving TV signals very difficult.
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