TV Licence

I have no TV but watch the news, weather etc on computer as well as using bbc iplayer. I regularly get a notice from the licencing authority telling me that if I have a receiver (including computer) that can receive "live" tv then I must buy a licence. Now I have tried several things to see what is "live". My digital radio plays the same programme slightly later than my FM radio so the digital radio cannot be "live". I was in away at New Year and both watched and listened to the Vienna New Year concert, it was "live" on FM radio, slightly later on digital radio and later still on TV so that was not "live", The news and weather from bbc on the computer are also later than those on a tv. Does anyone know what "live" really means? Thank you.
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Transmission and processing delays (more obvious with digital than analogue) would not prevent it still counting as live.
I recall reading that "live" in this context means receiving any part of a programme whilst the programme is still being broadcast, but I don't know where that came from.

I think you have to make sure you don't receive a program until the broadcast of it has finished.
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     snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) writes:

Quick browse of the tv licensing website says much the same; for it not to count as "live", you mustn't start receiving it until after the broadcast has finished. (Also note that it's the receiving of it and not the listening to it which needs a license.)

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Andrew Gabriel
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Stewart wrote:

endlessly discussed elsewhere.
The conclusion being that 'live' means that the WHOLE program is not buffered anywhere. Or in practical terms, you cant halfway through go back and watch it from the start.
In short, technically, you need a license.

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On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 10:36:27 +0000, Stewart wrote:

Mere sophistry. Still "live" although the use of the word "live" is a mistake by whoever used it!

The TV licensing site says:
"You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it's being broadcast. This includes the use of devices such as a computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/video recorder."
So, "as it's being broadcast" is the critical thing. The slight digital delay wouldn't count unless you tried with an expensive lawyer.
Also useful...
"Watching TV on the internet You need to be covered by a licence if you watch TV online at the same time as it's being broadcast on conventional TV in the UK or the Channel Islands.
Video recorders and digital recorders like Sky+ You need a licence if you record TV as it's broadcast, whether that's on a conventional video recorder or digital box.
However, you don’t need to be covered by a licence if you’re only using ‘on-demand’ services to watch programmes after they have gone out on TV. So, you need a licence to watch any channel live online, but you wouldn’t need one to use BBC iPlayer to catch up on an episode of a programme you missed, for example.
Mobile phones A licence covers you to watch TV as it's broadcast on a mobile phone, whether you're at home or out and about. If you are covered by a valid licence at the address where you live, you will be licensed to use any device powered solely by its own internal batteries outside the home too."
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The law uses the words similar to "capable of receiving broadcasts". Therefore if there are live broadcast on the 'net, your system will be capable of receiving then, and hence you theoretically need a licence.
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Nonsense.
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Yellow wrote:

No, true.
The burden of proof is on you to show that the requisite plugins are not installed etc etc.
The whole license system and legislation is possibly nonsense, but that statement about the legal position is not.
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Unless you have a stream of data containg a live TV program being fired at your computer, and the software on your computer is decodng it, then your computer in not capable of recieving live TV.
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If your TV is turned off, it's not capable of receiving live TV. You still need a license. Get the idea?
MBQ
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Man at B&Q wrote:
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Exactly.
That definition has been tested in law sometime ago IIRC. people using TVS PURELY fr computer monitors on their ataris etc, were advised to fill the antenna socket with araldite etc, in order to show that they were INCAPABLE of reception of off-air signals.
Assuming they were using RGB, and not some kind of PAL modulated carrier.

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Which most folks using ataris etc were. Most TVs only had aerial in.
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

That would not be enough. I used to work in a TV repair shop in the '80s. We were required to modify the tuning circuitry so that it would only tune into channel 36. That way it cannot be tuned to any other channel, regardless of whether there was an antenna plugged in or not.
-- JJ
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On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 22:14:55 +0000, Jason

In the end it isn't up to the TVLA to decide whether or not you've been watching TV without a licence - it's for the magistrates' court to convict or dismiss, after TVLA have produced their 'evidence'. Such 'evidence' _may_ consist largely of a likelihood of use (cf. availability), but as I said it's up to the JPs to decide who's telling the truth.
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Frank Erskine

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wibbled on Tuesday 12 January 2010 15:39

Not true - assuming it is *always* turned off it does not need a license. It's not even necessary to disconnect it and put it in a cupboard, although it helps your story should you be foolish enough to let an inspector in your house.
I forget the edge case where you only use the TV for watching DVDs...
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Tim Watts

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Tim W wrote:

No, but YOUR household does, since it contains the requisite apparatus. The law is written or interptreted that way to forestall the situation were the TV goes off the moment someone knocks on the front door. Claiming you have a TV but never use it, is not considered sufficient defence.

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wibbled on Tuesday 12 January 2010 16:40

Anyway...
The household does not need a license either under these conditions. Quote from http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one /
"You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it's being broadcast. This includes the use of devices such as a computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/video recorder."
That's a surprisingly succinct statement, given who it's from. Now, we could go back to the Act(s) itself, but if that's what TV Licensing say, I think it's safe to assume that it's a currently accepted interpretation of the Act(s) by the only people who have an interest in busting you or I.
Nothing there about installed (but not used to watch live TV) equipment or stored equipment capable of doing the same. There is no need to be aralditing your aerial inputs either.

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Tim Watts

Icicles - nature's way of pinpointing all the leaks in your guttering...
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember The Natural Philosopher
That's be that downloaded pron?
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wibbled on Tuesday 12 January 2010 20:33

They think they are the New Staasi.
I think they are a bunch of cnuts.
I suppose it's fair. I did tell them what I thought of them in writing. They didn't proceed to hang me upside down by my testicles and use me as a dart board, so I suppose they can't be that Nazi after all.
--
Tim Watts

Icicles - nature's way of pinpointing all the leaks in your guttering...
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Along with the PRA ...
Who seem to have backed off now that I phoned them back when they put the phone down on me when I got a bit sweary ... and got even more sweary with them
... as I am wont to do
"listen you retard, do you hear any music? NO? Now fuck off"
"So you don't have a radio then sir"
"Just FUCK OFF"
"Thank you sir"

I haven't had a letter from the TVLA for over a year now, but I'm sure it's too much to hope that they have taken on board that I'm not sitting around watching TV all day at work
--
geoff

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