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Can "TV detector vans" detect plasmas/LCDs?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by StooMonster, Jul 2, 2003.

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  1. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    There's a recent article on DigitalSpy New "invisible" TV detector vans hit streets. I always thought they were invisible because they didn't exist and were just PR -- more plausible reality being a quick database exception query of electoral role versus who has paid, or more likely Sky subscription database versus council house tenants. :devil:

    However, the thought occurred if one was a bad person who didn't pay their television licence could one of these "invisible" vans detect ones plasma or LCD television?

    Is a plasma/LCD a television or a monitor? Would they detect a CRT monitor?

    StooMonster
     
  2. GaryB

    GaryB
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    They certainly do exist - I've seen inside one. Most older models work by detecting the IF (intermediate frequency) leakage from the set (39.5Mhz ish usually). They can detect any set tuned to any broadcast. Even if you're watching a DVD, the internal tuner in your TV will probably still be receiving and can be detected. Newer models can do the above and detect the leakage from the high voltage scanning on the monitor. Some can even give a copy of the display of whatever is being watched. I believe this has been used industrial espionage once or twice.
     
  3. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    That's exactly what my physics teacher used to teach me years ago. So if you have a plasma/lcd without an analogue tuner (even VCR) it can't be "detected" by an "invisible van"?

    StooMonster
     
  4. GaryB

    GaryB
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    Plasmas use high voltages for scanning so can almost certainly be detected. If you've ever switched a radio on near a plasma you'll hear the large amount of "mush" they emit. This can easily be detected even on my scanner.LCDs I'm not so sure. They don't use a high voltage but I'm sure that this would have been taken into account for the new vans so they probably have something to detect line/field scanning. The company I work for is introducing LCD screens soon and guess who gets to test them all, so I'll probably find out then.

    Edit: On second thoughts, most LCDs use a high frequency oscillator to run the backlight, so the chances are that would give you away.
     
  5. Andrew_B

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    C'mon Stoo, five grand for a plasma display? Just stump up the licence fee and stop worrying about it ;)

    When I moved into my current home, it took over four years for the road to appear on any maps and the local authority didn't put up a street sign because it had not yet been adopted. Did I pay my TV licence - nah! Did I get a visit - nah! They only finally got around to calling when they knew where I was, even if they did go up the road with a detector, they wouldn't have known where they were to look me up on the 'list' :D
     
  6. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Ah ha, Andrew_B provides evidence for my "it's all a database query" theory!

    A salesperson at Dixons, Currys, etc once told me that they had to take your name and address when you bought a new set to give to TV Licence people -- not to send you junk mail or phone you about useless extended warranties.

    Whole thread out of interest, not evasion. :nono:

    StooMonster (who's always paid his tv licence :boring: )
     
  7. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Yes, thats right dont TV retailers have to report every TV sale to the DVLC. No thats cars, but you know what I mean.

    Regards Richard
     
  8. Andrew_B

    Andrew_B
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    That was the only time I ever thought it was worth being an 'evader'! I have always assumed that they worked from a database of 'unlicenced' homes because there would be no point in randomly knocking on doors of homes where a TV was 'detected' if they already had a licence. They have started to indicate that they work from a database in recent 'shock and awe' advertising campaigns. They use the evidence collected from TV sales outlets and use detectors to 'zone in' on unlicenced homes where they deduce that a TV is being used.

    I actually know someone who does not have a TV set! He gets called on by them every year, he always tells them he has no TV set, they always take his word for it and never insist on him proving it. No TV set? That's just plain weird! They should be able to fine people for not having a telly. But then I also think the police should be able to issue on the spot fines for drivers of soft-top cars who blatantly drive with the roof up on a sunny day. Sorry, getting waay off topic there:blush:
     
  9. codlord

    codlord
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    I'm with you StooMonster on the "database theory" I have not had a TV license for about 3 or 4 years - I do not have any form of TV or even any way of picking up TV (no tuner, no VCR) - but I still used to get constantly hassled by the TV licence people.

    I used to send back the paperwork stating "no set in use" but it didn't matter they still kept sending me stuff and sending people around (always when I was out).

    I eventually called them up and told them the situation and they said they would have to send someone around to confirm my story! Nobody has come around since and if they did I would not let them in :nono: let their fancy detector vans waste some time :D
     
  10. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello all

    At one time we had over 100 Barco SCM2850 video wall monitors in our hire stock - we got lots of letters looking for us to purchase a TV licence!

    I also remember one of the mad boys I worked with in one of the Edinburgh HiFi emporiums having his bedsit lined with chicken wire or similar to stop the detector vans 'detecting' his TV - mind you he also used stacked Quad ESL loudspeakers as 'Headphones'.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  11. dejongj

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    I did some work on the call centre. Just a shame I had to sign the official secrets act ;-)
    Just to let you in on a secret that I can give away, not a secret thus....It is against the data protection act and the freedom of information act to cross reference databases between government departments unless two designated officers are present at the same time. Or in English....ah forget it I am from Dutch origin anyway ;-)
     
  12. gunrock

    gunrock
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    If you had no tuner, no CRT TV with tuner and no VCR and no DVD recorder with tuner, i.e that's NO TUNERS whatsoever in your home, and you had a plasma or LCD for playing console games and watching DVD's I doubt that there is any case to answer.

    Though I suspect they can pick up the RF or EMF from the your plasma, even though it's different from CRT technology.
     
  13. codlord

    codlord
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    Last time I checked the license people state that "If you watch or record any television programs" you need a TV license - so even if you have a TV or VCR but don't use it you do not need a licence.
     
  14. kelvin

    kelvin
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    This is true :) I used to work in HoF and for every single item that contains a tuner, we had to take an address, and forward it to the TV Licensing Division. We had annual check to ensure that we were keeping all of the paperwork up to date, not to mention the "mystery shoppers" that used to crop up every now and then to ensure that we were doing things properly :rolleyes: In short... very strict.

    It could well have been scare mongering... but we used to receive letters every now and again saying that for every item not reported, HoF could face a fine of up to £500 :eek: - Big money when you're shifting large volumes of stock if you get caught.

    K.
     
  15. kelvin

    kelvin
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    Yes, that's right Mr. Judge, I have a TV, a Video, a DVD Player, and a Sky Box, but I don't ever use them... honest ;)
     
  16. mikeblanche

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    If they were packed away in the loft it would be a good enough defence.

    mike
     
  17. cadmeister

    cadmeister
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    I used to live in a flet and the next doors were only seperated by a stud wall. My TV was on one side of the wall and their was on the others i.e. the TVs were approx 1 foot apart seperated by nothing more than plaster board. Whilst I'm sure a detector van could show at TV(s) in the building I never believed they could tell the two apart.
     
  18. sinbad999

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    Despite the prevalence of "detector vans" in TV licensing advertising and literature, the main method of detecting evaders is by the database system known as "LASSY", which contains a list of all addresses in the UK. Letters and agents from Capita, referred to as "enforcement officers" or "enquiry officers", are sent to any address listed in the database as not having a TV licence.

    No evidence from any kind of detection equipment has been used by Capita in any UK court case to date. Some speculate that such evidence would be inadmissible because information about how such equipment works is not known (unlike for example Gatso speed cameras, which require regularly updated calibration certificates); however, a more accurate reason is that use of the detection equipment would constitute covert surveillance - evidence from which is inadmissible in court unless properly authorised in line with the Police Act 1997 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

    In other words, TV detection vans are used solely for scaring evaders into coughing up the license fee.
     
  19. matt5cott

    matt5cott
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    Sounds like he wasn't that mad, building a faraday cage is a pretty smart idea :D :smashin:
     
  20. -BA-

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    Unless he had alektorophobia and was trying to keep the chickens out. :D

    The chickens! The chickens! OMG noooooooooooooooooooo
     
  21. needhelp

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    So what if you had no tuners, but decided to stream everything from the internet to a 'display'. sounds like a service someone shuold be providing by now...
     
  22. codlord

    codlord
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    No, becuase it does not matter what equipment you use only that you need a license if you watch or record TV as it is being shown on TV. So, by their own definition, downloading a program that was shown a week ago would be o.k. without a licence. Streaming a "live" broadcast would not. See here:

    http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/index.jsp
     
  23. Thug

    Thug
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    I have mixed thought on this, although i DO buy my license every year (by DD).

    Firstly, would it be an invasion of privacy by 'looking' into some ones house and seeing what they are watching, similar to looking at what web sites they visit.
    Secondly, that report states that 440,000 people had been caught without a license. It doesnt say how many of these were dealt with or taken to court, but only 'caught'. Does anyone reading this know anyone or know OF anyone who has been 'caught'?

    Where does the money for the license go? Does anyone know? It should be catagorised in your bill to say what happens to it, so you know what your getting for your money.
    i have heard that it goes to the BBC to pay for their services. If this is correct, then i dont see why i should pay it because i dont watch anything provided by the BBC, so dont want their transmission in my home. Imagine getting junk mail through the post, and then having to pay for that mail, and not having any option. Being forced to pay for something you dont want. Its like being held to ransome.


    MATT
     
  24. codlord

    codlord
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    I believe that apart from the several million pounds a year it takes to administer and collect the fees, the rest goes to the BBC for all their radio, TV, internet, digital stuff.

    Yes, but at the end of the day it is just another tax really. Personally I think they should scrap the license fee and just pay from existing taxes - would save millions of pounds a year. But the same could be said of many other fees/taxes. Only way to legitimately not pay for a TV licence is to not watch TV, you just have to put up with threatening letters and inspectors on your doorstep treating you like a criminal - what fun...

    A good site for information on TV Licensing etc:
    http://www.marmalade.net/lime/
     
  25. ScoobyDoo555

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    Even though you don't want BBC-stuff in your house, the Beeb also have alot of 3rd party production houses that generate material for worldwide distribution (not under the BBC badge)...... this is also where the license fee goes.......

    But it has always intrigued me as to how the whole detction thing works, regardless of the fact that I havea license :)

    What really interests me is the potential requirement for scrapping the license fee in favour of a PAYG scheme for the BBC services - would be much fairer too......

    Fat chance that it will happen, even in my life time ;) :D

    Dan
     
  26. Mickey G

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    I know a couple who have a TV but no tuner/aerial and they don't pay the license. They had someone come round and check it all out.

    I personally think it should be scrapped. It must be expensive to collect, lot's of people dont pay it, we have to pay for content that we're not interested in.

    I'm not against public broadcasting, just the way the tax is administered.
     
  27. dibdab

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    I always thought the TV van thing was myth, i can honestly say i have never seen one in my 29 years of life.

    Mind you i have lived on estates for most of that so maybe they don't bother as it's harder for them to detect.
     
  28. codlord

    codlord
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    I think you are right, they can't/don't detect, they simply threaten all addresses without a valid licence with prosecution and if they don't get any joy from that they send an inspector to try and scare the resident into action. This is regardless of what the resident may or may not have in the way of tv equipment.

    Personally I have nothing in my house even capable of recieving TV but I still get hounded on a regular basis.
     
  29. gd2

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    The first letter I recieved at my new house was from tv licensing and at the time I didn't even own a TV! It was a new build and the road still isn't on the map! To those who think the TV licence should be scrapped just consider that you're pocket is also £300 a year lighter in what you pay through ads to ITV!
     
  30. dibdab

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    It should be scrapped i don't wish to pay ****s like terry wogan and that woss bloke a million plus a year for being a tv presenter.

    How do i pay £300 a year to ITV?
     
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