Are TV detector vans in the UK now able to prove you are watching a live broadcast?

Cyrusgsxr

Active Member

bag head

Active Member
we live in a democracy last I checked that means choice so lets have choice on this extortion ..................
You don't get a choice on absolutely everything, that's not how democracy works.
 

soozle

Standard Member
I had one visit when I was out so they left a letter saying they might be back. That was about 2 years agon - nothing since. I haven't missed the bbc one bit . No harrassment.

It seems now that they harrass to death anyone who does not have the TV licence even if they dont have a TV in the house. They simply assume everyone who does not pay the licence must be a cheat lol. I know a man who really does not have a TV in the house but they send him theat letter like they were the Mafia or something lol.
 

soozle

Standard Member
You can watch emmerdale and Corrie as long as you don't watch them live. As I always recorded them anyway this hasn't made much difference to me except I now can't skip through the ads


A great way to put is,

If you watch Emmerdale or Coronation St but

Never watch the BBC, never listen to BBC Radio, Never use the BBC website you will still need to pay money to the BBC
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
As I always recorded them anyway this hasn't made much difference to me except I now can't skip through the ads

You can watch Corrie etc on ITV player without a license.

You shouldn't be recording them though if you have no license as you're recording a live transmission, which you still need a license for.
 

rpr

Active Member
Your post encapsulates the misrepresentation of what the BBC is.

Your post discusses your personal viewing choices which again is irrelevant when it comes to BBC funding because the BBC is a national resource that goes way beyond TV channels and individual choice. The BBC is the backbone of media production and music in the UK and the provider of unbiased news reporting worldwide.

You didn't pay £160 to watch ten episodes of a TV series, you paid £160 to fund a national resource that goes way beyond a few TV channels and is the backbone of broadcasting in the UK, both for public broadcasting but also commercial broadcasters. It's not about you, it's about "Us".

The TV licence funding should come from taxes not an individual licence. The BBC has been stitched up by having to collect this money and it lays them open to criticism from short-sighted self-centered people.
Exactly
 

THX1138UK

Well-known Member
and whom exactly would you class as people on very low income ? the corporation have recently revoked the free tv licence for all elderly who clearly are pensioners ? some pensioners are millionaires some live on state pension why should they pay the same ? then you have the current elevated unemployment issue where struggling families can't feed their children do they qualify ? or people living with long term chronic disabilities forced to live on meagre income do they qualify ???

the enforcement of the BBC licence is indeed antiquated you cannot force every single house holder to pay for a service they don't need or want or simply can not afford , we live in a democracy last I checked that means choice so lets have choice on this extortion ..................

That’s why it should simply be called an entertainment tax, and not a licence.

I pay taxes for many things that I don’t personally use or benefit from, but I accept they are necessary to benefit society as a whole.

The argument needs to be changed from ‘I don’t benefit, so I shouldn’t pay’, to: ‘does British society benefit from a universal TV service paid for by a very low financial contribution by every household?’.

You and others may argue that society doesn’t benefit, which is a perfectly reasonable position to take. But while it’s called a licence with legal ways to avoiding paying it, the current debate will never move on.

Regards,
James.
 

soozle

Standard Member
You can watch Corrie etc on ITV player without a license.

You shouldn't be recording them though if you have no license as you're recording a live transmission, which you still need a license for.
I'm not recording anymore - I said I used to but now I watch on demand and therefore can't skip the ads
 

PAUL7331

Well-known Member
You can watch Corrie etc on ITV player without a license.

You shouldn't be recording them though if you have no license as you're recording a live transmission, which you still need a license for.

How would they know? I'm sure there's no technology that exists to show you were watching live transmissions anyway is there?
 
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Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
How would they know? I'm sure there's no technology that exists to show you were watching live transmissions anyway is there?

That's not really the point though, is it?

If you watch it, you should pay for it.

Your argument is that if no one sees you stealing in Tesco and you don't get caught, then it's fine.
 

PAUL7331

Well-known Member
That's not really the point though, is it?

If you watch it, you should pay for it.

Your argument is that if no one sees you stealing in Tesco and you don't get caught, then it's fine.

Correct but again, if the news was accidentally turned on for 10-mins there is now way of them knowing. Like another poster has mentioned the only way to enforce it would be to link your TV to the licensing database so that it checks your details against the database and only transmits live TV if you've paid for it. Otherwise people will cancel TV license simply because they don't like the BBC.
 

tich77

Active Member
Correct but again, if the news was accidentally turned on for 10-mins there is now way of them knowing. Like another poster has mentioned the only way to enforce it would be to link your TV to the licensing database so that it checks your details against the database and only transmits live TV if you've paid for it. Otherwise people will cancel TV license simply because they don't like the BBC.

I dont think you understand how broadcast technology works, do you :)

You cant link a TV to a database in the way you suggest, and you cant transmit live to (or not transmit) to a given device/list of devices.
 

Cyrusgsxr

Active Member
service paid for by a very low financial contribution
that depends on your level of income , surely if the extortion persists it should be fully means tested don't you think ?

You don't get a choice on absolutely everything, that's not how democracy works.
Then what is democracy do we have any choice at all or do we simply submit to bbc extortion ?
I pay taxes for many things that I don’t personally use or benefit from, but I accept they are necessary to benefit society as a whole.
that is logically understandable , we all pay taxes and NI contribution in the event that we will call on the service if and when we need it . The BBC extortion is completely different it only serves a small minority in 2021 who may enjoy the radio channels and any other benefit it may provide to them but to the general populous we don't need or want it ..

changing the name to entertainment tax is also a ridiculous attempt to force the poor people to pay for radio channels that serve only a minute number of wealthy customers who do not even notice the cost .

ESA in uk is set to £3866.2 PA
state pension is £7,157.17

Benefit and pension rates 2021 to 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you run the formula the percentage of income versus cost is ridiculous over 4%.

so the question must be asked would you pay for a service you do not need or want if it took 4% of your entire income whilst being forced upon you ???

seriously how can this continue into the 21st century ....
 

ash1942

Standard Member
Nobody is suggesting that we should 'lose' the BBC. The issue is how they charge for their product. If the BBC is confident that it is offering a superb service, which they repeatedly say they are, then they should have no problem in adopting a subscription model. Then those who agree with the BBC's claim of providing superb content would sign up, and those who disagree, won't. I think Netflix has superb content, so I am happy to pay £8.99 a month for it. I do not think the BBC has super content, so I do not want to pay £13 a month for it. I should not be coerced into paying for something I do not want.

It isn't an issue of whether we agree or disagree on the quality of the BBC content - it is just an issue of how we should pay for it. Those who want it should be free to pay for it, those who do not want it should be free to go elsewhere.
I understand where the argument comes from but I personally think that we need a service that is publicly funded to protect the information we are given (especially in this day and age). I know a lot of people suggest that the BBC has an agenda but even if thats true, commerical outfits probably have more of an agenda to protect their interest (take AppleTV+ product placements as an example The Virtuous Circle of Product Placement in Apple's TV+ Shows). To me the daily saturation of advertising is a scary prospect and having a public service that is free of the requirement to sell me something is a valuable thing.
Also as Nuck_the_king mentioned above, the BBC do cover a few niche topics which may go undiscovered in the commercial market. Look at what Netflix's current model is, churn out as much content as possible and find out what is popular and cancel the rest.
The TV license model is definately outdated, it was defined in an age pre subscription TV, but I don't think keeping infrastructure funding a tax and making BBC content a subscription is the right answer.
 

ash1942

Standard Member
Guys lets not forget that era of public broadcasting is long time gone...... Now tech is much more advanced and content is being delivered over different sources which BBC does not need to fund for.
...
Why should person pay tv license fee if he watches live on sky or amazon? Cost should be accounted into monthly fee of service provider. Where now BBC gets money in just because people are FORCED to pay for it.
I think the cost of the TV licence is mis-understood as a charge for infrastructure and content provision.
To me it's a public service that is covered by everyone. It's a service that would be there when needed.
The BBC provides much more than just TV content. For me personally their services helped me get through secondary school exams. Their service educates (rather than just entertain) my kids.
It's not as simple as I don't watch it so I don't want to pay. It's publicly funded to provide something for the public regardless of whether they use it for a given period of time.
If we loose all publicly funded services to commercial outfits then we get a poor service all round.
I live near a train station and very rarely use the service because the private companies that run on my line cancel trains minutes before they are expected to arrive citing reasons to the affect of "the journey isn't commercially viable anymore".
Commercial markets eventually get saturated and the only way to compete is to reduce quality until eventually most of the competitors die off.
I don't think all things should be publicly funded but definately the core services that keep a country going, and I think a TV / Radio / Education / News service should form part of that.
 
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Cyrusgsxr

Active Member
How about the BBC incorporate Netflix , Prime etc within their theft guised as a tv licence on a tired structure that provides choice over content delivered and is included within the annual licence theft ? so £150 basic licence = status quo or £155 includes netflix or plus and Disney or prime £170 all services etc etc .

I am pretty sure they could negotiate a far better solution than we as punters currently face as individuals regards entertainment costs and to my mind they owe us that given they have creamed the profit since 1922

personally I think if its beamed into your space and possibly affects your well being without the need to target your personal property then its FREE then and only then , anyone with the ability to decode their broadcast should be freely allowed to do so instead of the current You may be decoding our signal as you own a tv malarkey
 

tich77

Active Member
How about the BBC incorporate Netflix , Prime etc within their theft guised as a tv licence on a tired structure that provides choice over content delivered and is included within the annual licence theft ? so £150 basic licence = status quo or £155 includes netflix or plus and Disney or prime £170 all services etc etc .

I am pretty sure they could negotiate a far better solution than we as punters currently face as individuals regards entertainment costs and to my mind they owe us that given they have creamed the profit since 1922

personally I think if its beamed into your space and possibly affects your well being without the need to target your personal property then its FREE then and only then , anyone with the ability to decode their broadcast should be freely allowed to do so instead of the current You may be decoding our signal as you own a tv malarkey

??????????

Affects one's wellbeing? No one is forcing you to watch it.
As for the rest of the post, Ive not been able to parse it in a way that makes any sense. But I very very much doubt the BBC would be able to negotiate an inclusive deal. Assuming 25milion homes, each provider (netflix, amazon, disney) will charge as close as possible to their current monthly subscription, not £20 per annum, with the £25/annum/licence divided amongst the content providers.

And that would expose the BBC to a massive commercial of liability to pay content providers, against the risk of a drop in funding.
 

Masterstroke

Active Member
This old chestnut... again. Apologies for long post.

TV licence evasion detection was never accomplished via a vehicle-based electronic detection systems. Yes, the vans existed. Some may even have had $gadgetry in them. $gadgetry never worked for detecting licence evaders.

The vans were a scare tactic.

Before you knee-jerk with "but I saw one one in operation/it found my Uncle Bob watching TV without a licence/I had a knock on the door because of the van/etc etc", THINK.

About four seconds of thought - 4 seconds too much for many people "back in the day who reported on these vans - tells you it doesnt work. A van drives up and down a street full of houses watching TV. Its going to picking up every single household. Two problems:

1. Most houses are semi-det, with lounge against lounge. A significant number of TV sets are going to to be within a couple of feet of each other. How do you differentiate between two sets?

2. More importantly - how does the man in the van know that No22 doesnt have a licence? Especially back in the days before mobile internet, mobile phones, etc?

Because the man in the van already knew. And he knew because of the way the TV licence system works - or worked, and to a degree still does*.

TVLA has a database of every address in the UK. Every new build is added to that database, eveyr property conversion is added to that database. Many years ago, when you bought a device capable of receiving broadcast TV, TVLA were informed of that purchase (this legal requirement was dropped a decade or so ago). Thus TVLA could cross-reference equipment against address and licence.
And once upon a time, TVLA also received occupancy details from councils and HMLR.

A list of non-licenced premises is generated. Once the number of non-licenced premises reaches a given threshold, it triggers an alert to start an 'investigation'; there are now sufficient number of non-licenced addresses that the cost of investigation (paying someone to knock on doors) is likely to be recouped by fee recovery.

There is much wrong with the existing implementation of the licence collection and enforcement system. For example, incentivising TVLA enforcement agents with a bonus based on licences "sold" let alone to starting prosecutions, which leads to the tactic of asking a resident to sign "this form stating that I visited the property" when the 'form' is the bottom portion of a folded document confirming the signatory was watching TV sans licence....

Yes, its a criminal offence. And so it should remain so. That might seem harsh, but it is actually better than the alternative of being a civil offence, because of the evidentiary burden of proof:

In a criminal case, the burden of proof is "beyond reasonable doubt", for civil it is "balance of probability". This might seem a fine line. But for everyone, including myself, who owns a TV but whom does NOT watch broadcast TV/use iPlayer, it is a vital legal protection:
At the moment, TVLA would have to prove I watch live TV; an almost impossible task. If it became a civil matter, then the fact that I owned a TV, and there is an aerial on the roof/cable feed to the property, may be sufficient for a magistrate to side with TVLA, that I "probably do watch TV".

How many of you, when someone states "I do not have a licence because I do not watch TV" think "yeah, course you dont".

But getting slightly ahead. That self-signed admission is the low-hanging fruit for TVLA, and many many people fall for it. Otherwise, they need a warrant of entry to enter your property to gather evidence. For that, they need a present sufficient grounds to a magistrate. This is another area where duplicity can arise; "I saw a blue glow, typical of that from a TV, inside the property". has been sufficient grounds in the past.
... and has been rightly challenged when the property in question is several floors up a high-rise block of flats, or only view of the lounge window was from within an enclosed garden, implying a trespass by the investigator. I digress.

Warrant in hand, and accompanied by a Police officer, TVLA now have power of entry. You own a TV. Its connected to the wall by an aerial. Ooops. You probably watch TV. Its not connected, but there is a coiled antenna lead covered in dust? Pleeeeease do not do as the gent from TVLA asks and connect it to the TV set... and then photographs it as evidence.

Under current law, TVLA start proceedings. These are generally sent in bulk to magistrates court. And they are signed off, in bulk, because many people - for whatever reason - do not take the time to defend themselves. If one was silly enough to sign the document referred earlier, I'm afraid its tough; you have signed a confession. But if you do take the time to challenge it - as well you should - ownership of a device capable of receiving broadcast TV signals (or internet TV) does not require a licence. lack of a licence does not pass the evidentary burden if uncontested.

Where it to be de-criminalised, then the burden of proof literally falls onto the defendant. Its wrong, but thats the way it is. Try proving a negative...

Do TV detector vans play a part in this? None. What. so. ever. There has never been a single prosecution where the "evidence" from a detector van was presented and resulted in a conviction. Its never been tested in court, because it would be ripped to shreds by the defence.



*Disclaimer. In 1990 I designed TV licence database system.
Ideally you would completely remove said arial from wall/TV and then reset the TVs channels which would delete the lot of them in one go.
 

Masterstroke

Active Member
You can watch Corrie etc on ITV player without a license.

You shouldn't be recording them though if you have no license as you're recording a live transmission, which you still need a license for.
I don't think you can watch ANY live TV from whatever source, which includes ITV.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
ITV Player isn't live. It's the ITV version of BBC iPlayer.

You can use all the catch-up apps without a TV licence, just not BBC iPlayer.
 

boxrick

Well-known Member
I am posting this question as retired pensioner recently deprived of a free TV licence by the BBC.

I will just say it wasn't the BBC who deprived you of your license it was the government. The BBCs hand was forced, it otherwise meant large scale cuts across major services or massive redundancies ( after already having to do so in around 2015/16 ) because of a government decision to push this onto the BBC rather than funding it themselves.
 

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