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pugwash84
14th February 2014, 18:54
http://www.grumpymiddleagedman.co.uk/2012/11/14/145-50-a-year-to-fund-the-bbc-and-its-dirty-little-secrets-scrap-the-tv-licence-now/


A lot of people on facebook and a few of my friends mentioned this to me and I have to agree, it seems outdated because I pay virgin for my tv and also I pay this, I do not think this is fair and it should be reviewed xx

Nick Matkin
14th February 2014, 21:52
Note for non-British readers: In the UK, if you own a TV or any equipment capable of receiving BBC TV programmes by any means, including via the internet, live as they are broadcast, a TV licence is required. No licence is required to watch recorded BBC TV programmes, by whatever means, as long as that’s the only way you watch BBC TV.

At present a one-year licence costs 145.50 pounds ($243). This enables the BBC to run completely commercial-free programming across its 11 or 12 TV channels and 50 or more radio channels.

When the BBC started broadcasting in 1922 it was funded by a radio licence, and it wishes to keep this funding system to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ in audience ratings and also avoids any government interference – in theory anyway. Since 1971 no radio licence has been required.

I tend to agree with you Pugwash. It is becoming increasingly untenable to force everyone (with a TV) to buy a TV licence when there are people who (at least claim) never to watch or listen to any BBC TV or radio programmes now there are dozens and dozens of commercial channels.

However, those families who seem least able to afford it manage to pay for their Sky subscription at 258 pounds ($432) per year. And those programmes are stuffed full of commercials every 12 minutes, but still people are willing to pay!

(How much is a Virgin TV subscription and what does it provide?)

But what people wishing to scrap the licence often overlook is the fact that the BBC is the main (but not quite only) British programme maker. The exclusive Sky and Virgin channels just broadcast sport, imported shows, films, music videos, and old BBC and ITV programmes. What do they actually make themselves? Vanishingly little.

As for radio, the British commercial stations mostly broadcast a bland mix of music and mindless phone-ins where the public can flaunt their ignorance and narrow-mindedness. It’s the BBC that’s left to produce decent speech-based radio with investigative journalism, plays, and (mostly) intelligent entertainment shows along with new music and bands that the commercial stations won’t touch.

Actually, come to think of it, would commercial TV produce ‘The Blue Planet’, ‘Life on Earth’, ‘The Sky at Night’ or investigative journalism like ‘Panorama’? No, because they are far too expensive or have too small an audience.

It seems the lethargic British public are more or less satisfied with the current arrangement or can’t be bothered to mobilize a mass non-payment civil disobedience campaign! Nevertheless, I suspect the funding model in the next decade or so is likely to follow that of the US Public Television and NPR and the licence fee will indeed be scrapped. This means direct government funding and no-doubt direct government interference.

Regarding British TV, the writer and journalist Clive James hit the nail on the head when he said: “There’s more to ignore than ever before!” He’s dead right.

By the way, I don’t have a TV.

Nick

SPIRIT WOLF
14th February 2014, 22:10
I'd prefer the BBC took on commercials and scrapped the TV licence. Its expensive, but whats worse, much worse, is the way they go after licence dodgers, treating them as criminals, forcing entry into homes, totally disgraceful

Nick Matkin
14th February 2014, 22:25
Yes, licence dodgers (and people like me without a TV) do get unnecessary hassle. But that's no longer anything to do with the BBC, that's contracted out to some third party.

The enforcement body has no legal right to enter a home, but they don't emphasise that fact! There are stories of them claiming to be from the gas board or something, but I'm not sure if there is actual evidence of this.

Some armchair lawyer I know, also without a TV, had bother from them. He claims that there is no legal definition in English law of what a TV receiver actually is. He's been itching to go to court and ask them to provide a legal description of what a TV receiver is before he tells them if he has one or not!

I suspect this factoid is untrue or it would have been used by now and any legal oversight corrected!

Note: Lists of addresses without a TV licences have been available to the authorities for decades. They assume everyone has a TV and just knock on the door and ask to see the licence, or check that there is no TV on the premises.

I know other counties find this hard to imagine, but there used to be TV detector vans driving around (mostly poor areas) receiving the radiated signals from TVs. They could easily tell what station it was tuned to and often pinpoint fairly accurately which room the set was in. These vans really existed, I've seen inside an operational one. But most were just dummies with impressive-looking antennas to scare people to go to the Post Office the next day and get a licence!

Nick

pugwash84
14th February 2014, 22:55
My nanna doesn't watch tv much and tried to get rid of her tv so she didn't have to pay it every year and they asked her if she had a computer and she said yes and they told her she would still have to pay it then untill retirement age. She wont get rid of her pc so she kept her tv too.

gnostic9
14th February 2014, 22:57
Note for non-British readers: In the UK, if you own a TV or any equipment capable of receiving BBC TV programmes by any means, including via the internet, live as they are broadcast, a TV licence is required. No licence is required to watch recorded BBC TV programmes, by whatever means, as long as that’s the only way you watch BBC TV.

At present a one-year licence costs 145.50 pounds ($243). This enables the BBC to run completely commercial-free programming across its 11 or 12 TV channels and 50 or more radio channels.

When the BBC started broadcasting in 1922 it was funded by a radio licence, and it wishes to keep this funding system to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ in audience ratings and also avoids any government interference – in theory anyway. Since 1971 no radio licence has been required.

I tend to agree with you Pugwash. It is becoming increasingly untenable to force everyone (with a TV) to buy a TV licence when there are people who (at least claim) never to watch or listen to any BBC TV or radio programmes now there are dozens and dozens of commercial channels.

However, those families who seem least able to afford it manage to pay for their Sky subscription at 258 pounds ($432) per year. And those programmes are stuffed full of commercials every 12 minutes, but still people are willing to pay!

(How much is a Virgin TV subscription and what does it provide?)

But what people wishing to scrap the licence often overlook is the fact that the BBC is the main (but not quite only) British programme maker. The exclusive Sky and Virgin channels just broadcast sport, imported shows, films, music videos, and old BBC and ITV programmes. What do they actually make themselves? Vanishingly little.

As for radio, the British commercial stations mostly broadcast a bland mix of music and mindless phone-ins where the public can flaunt their ignorance and narrow-mindedness. It’s the BBC that’s left to produce decent speech-based radio with investigative journalism, plays, and (mostly) intelligent entertainment shows along with new music and bands that the commercial stations won’t touch.

Actually, come to think of it, would commercial TV produce ‘The Blue Planet’, ‘Life on Earth’, ‘The Sky at Night’ or investigative journalism like ‘Panorama’? No, because they are far too expensive or have too small an audience.

It seems the lethargic British public are more or less satisfied with the current arrangement or can’t be bothered to mobilize a mass non-payment civil disobedience campaign! Nevertheless, I suspect the funding model in the next decade or so is likely to follow that of the US Public Television and NPR and the licence fee will indeed be scrapped. This means direct government funding and no-doubt direct government interference.

Regarding British TV, the writer and journalist Clive James hit the nail on the head when he said: “There’s more to ignore than ever before!” He’s dead right.

By the way, I don’t have a TV.

Nick

Good for you Nick. I don't subscribe to the opium of the masses! Withdraw from the programming people, look at the world, take it in, look within, listen. see, for those with eyes that see, and ears that hear!

SPIRIT WOLF
14th February 2014, 23:00
Its a disgrace because yes they picked on the poorest in society to drag to court and fine all because they dared have the luxury of a tv, years back you could get a B/W (monochrome) licence instead of a color one but who has old analog B/W TVs now LOL

Nanoo Nanoo
14th February 2014, 23:48
Just dont watvh tv, its not really interesting anyway.

We would all be much better off without it

N

Nick Matkin
15th February 2014, 07:48
...but who has old analog B/W TVs now LOL

You can still buy a B&W licence for £49. Some folks do that to get the address off the "no TV licence registered at that address" list. But they're wise to that trick.

It's not that hard to find an old B&W TV and get it working with Freeview or whatever.

On the other hand, poor families could always join the library and read books. My parents read to me when I was a kid!

Nick

panopticon
15th February 2014, 08:53
I reckon that the TV Licence is an excellent idea.

I reckon that it should be extended to everyone living in the UK whether they have a TV, Computer, Mobile phone, colouring book, library card or not!

Some of the best shows on Australian TV are from the BBC so I reckon you should keep up the good work and all pitch in to entertain us poor colonials. BTW the BBC coverage of the recent Ashes "contest" (I use the term loosely) was thoroughly enjoyable as well.

http://jlroeder.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/stir-the-pot-66219454052.gif

Kind Regards, :yo:
Panopticon (A poor colonial boy). :P

mahalall
15th February 2014, 09:42
Nik Matkin: I know other counties find this hard to imagine, but there used to be TV detector vans driving around (mostly poor areas) receiving the radiated signals from TVs. They could easily tell what station it was tuned to and often pinpoint fairly accurately which room the set was in. These vans really existed, I've seen inside an operational one. But most were just dummies with impressive-looking antennas to scare people to go to the Post Office the next day and get a licence!
BBC comedy programming at it's best ;)

and people pay for this programming: fear, fear off; the licence thugs and a visit to the magistrats court for a £1000 fine and a criminal record with your name in the local paper;

To overcome this;
a; get rid of the tv (present option)
b; Keep the ariel on the roof (entises the men in the van onto you) but remove the ariel socket into the house. Obtain a large smart tv-connect it via your internet router (wifi disabled-health reasons) and watch as much TV as your saturated brain can take. When the licence thugs bang on your door-cordially invite them in for tea and watch them recall when they establish your not watching live TV The look on their face is a picture.

Nick Matkin
15th February 2014, 13:56
Well the BBC doesn't have a monopoly on quality radio and TV programmes, but it does win a disproportionately large number of international programme quality awards. We need to ask why this is happening. Is it the way it's funded and so can afford to do this because it's not too bothered about audience share? Is the BBC influencing the judges? Or does it actually make good programmes? The latter must be the case since so many other broadcasters are so keen to acquire BBC material.

If you have a completely cut-throat commercial broadcasting environment like say Italy, all the advertisers want the biggest audience share, and on Avalon we know that most sheeple are passive consumers of mindless crap. They'll never choose to watch expensive, thought-provoking, well filmed documentaries if they can watch dreadful talent shows, police chase programmes or mindless soaps.

So it's left to public service broadcasters like the BBC to do its best to at least provide the thinking public some challenging, educational or even controversial material - the sort of stuff the commercial broadcasters just won't do for obvious commercial reasons. Don't forget the BBC did manage to piss off Mrs Thatcher's government big time at least twice with the documentaries 'Death on the Rock' and 'The Zircon Affair'.

The UK's Channel 4 used to do decent science (Equinox for example) and it's news coverage is still easily as good as the BBC's, but it too has fallen back to more popularist programming.

Nick

happyuk
15th February 2014, 15:54
I know of one person who played a game of cat-and-mouse with the TV licensing authorities for ages.

When after finally letting them come in and have a look, it turned out that the telly he had on display in his living room window had been converted into a fishtank.

Chortle!

Corncrake
15th February 2014, 17:44
I have pondered about the pros and cons of the TV licence over the years. They certainly used to make excellent programmes as mentioned above but more recently have gone off. I mean good documentaries, classic series and discussion programmes are still there but there is a lot of mind numbing rubbish too. I am also aware that their news coverage is questionable. They used to be criticised for left wing bias - now they are accused of right wing bias. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bbc-accused-ofpolitical-bias--on-the-right-not-the-left-9129639.html but what concerns me more is what they don't report. Since I only watch television about twice a week the fee does seem excessive but then I do watch a lot of archived material on the web and I listen to BBC Radio 4 a lot. I loathe commercials on the other channels particularly at peak times although they are not as bad as in the US when the the commercials jump in immediately after the opening credits. I don't have much spare cash and I don't like shelling out any more than anyone else but maybe it is worth it.

pugwash84
15th February 2014, 18:37
Around here they are closing down the library's and the parks and having a computer means you can stream the tv and even if you don't stream it you have to pay it. Most of the homework now insists that you have a computer too, it is just ripping off the poor yet again.

Hazel
2nd March 2014, 10:35
Here, here Mr Pan


I reckon that the TV Licence is an excellent idea.

I reckon that it should be extended to everyone living in the UK whether they have a TV, Computer, Mobile phone, colouring book, library card or not!

Some of the best shows on Australian TV are from the BBC so I reckon you should keep up the good work and all pitch in to entertain us poor colonials. BTW the BBC coverage of the recent Ashes "contest" (I use the term loosely) was thoroughly enjoyable as well.

http://jlroeder.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/stir-the-pot-66219454052.gif

Kind Regards, :yo:
Panopticon (A poor colonial boy). :P

BUT by the same token hear you Pugwash.... the poverty trap deepens for the have nots.... and that's abusive

TigaHawk
3rd March 2014, 09:17
TV scanning van's are BS. You know how tv signals work right?

Imagine a hill, and someone standing at the top with a megaphone. They speak into the megaphone, and their voice is broadcast thru the megaphone. Everyone that's around that hill, depending on how loud they were, could hear it.

A TV signal works the same way, it's a signal being broadcast from a set point, that radiates out. Anything within range can listen in. There is no connecting by you to their equipment, exchanges of information or the such.

The only way they can tell if you're listening is if they see you (the TV) That's why they can charge you purely for having a TV. The assumption is - you have a TV, you must be watching it. It could be for a computer, rather than an actual television - but because it can receive the signal, they can charge you for having it in the house.

They can track pay TV all the want, because those require exchanges of information. Both your details and credit card number's - and information from your set top box and them.

GuyFox
3rd March 2014, 12:32
"they asked her if she had a computer and she said yes and they told her she would still have to pay..."

THAT is crazy.
And is one of the reasons I am happy that I no longer live in the UK

I wonder what percentage of the TV license fee winds up in the pockets of Senior BBC paedophiles?

Nick Matkin
3rd March 2014, 12:35
I beg to differ TigaHawk regarding your statement on TV detector vans. Most of them were dummies, looking impressive to scare those who see them into getting a TV licence if they didn't have one. But I know at least two were real. I've seen inside one as I stated in post #4.

You are right in asserting that there is no connection from your TV to the broadcasting station; they cannot tell what you are watching that way. But seemingly you don't know how radio or TV equipment works.

TVs in particular (especially old analogue types) have a number of oscillator circuits in them to generate picture-scanning waveforms amongst other things. These signals radiate for tens of yards and sometimes much further (some makes of TV were worse than others). Don't forget that the TV antenna is connected to the TV and also acts as a radiating element for these signals, although the signals will radiate straight from the components in the TV. And just in case there are conspiracy theorists who'd like to think these signals are added as 'tracking devices', they aren't. They are generated as a fundamental product of a TV's electronics.

So those who say TVs do not transmit any signal because they are only for receiving signals are talking out of their a***. If you don't believe me go up to a TV (the ones with cathode ray tubes demonstrate this particularly well) with a portable AM radio. See? A load of buzzing. And with technical gear more sensitive than an AM radio this noise is easily picked up for yards and yards.

Even radios radiate a signal, that's how spies were caught during the cold war. (Read Spycatcher: The autobiography of Peter Wright, a Senior Intelligence Officer for MI5.)

Nick

panopticon
5th March 2014, 16:25
TVs in particular (especially old analogue types) have a number of oscillator circuits in them to generate picture-scanning waveforms amongst other things. These signals radiate for tens of yards and sometimes much further (some makes of TV were worse than others). Don't forget that the TV antenna is connected to the TV and also acts as a radiating element for these signals, although the signals will radiate straight from the components in the TV. And just in case there are conspiracy theorists who'd like to think these signals are added as 'tracking devices', they aren't. They are generated as a fundamental product of a TV's electronics.

So those who say TVs do not transmit any signal because they are only for receiving signals are talking out of their a***. If you don't believe me go up to a TV (the ones with cathode ray tubes demonstrate this particularly well) with a portable AM radio. See? A load of buzzing. And with technical gear more sensitive than an AM radio this noise is easily picked up for yards and yards.

Even radios radiate a signal, that's how spies were caught during the cold war. (Read Spycatcher: The autobiography of Peter Wright, a Senior Intelligence Officer for MI5.)


Just wanted to thank you for the information Nick.

I found that really interesting.

A simple "thank you" wasn't enough for the effort you put in there.

-- Pan

Nick Matkin
6th March 2014, 11:53
Thank you for your thoughtful words Pan.

I see the problem with many "alternative" discussion boards is that from time to time real science sometimes must be included. Most contributors don't have a background in any science (that's not their fault), often claiming to distrust it all and those who work in it. Yet they're still happy to use a TV, the internet, drive a car, expect pain-free dental work and experience all the other things science has brought.

I'm drifting a bit off topic now, but I'm often disappointed that there are not more contributions on Avalon from people who have a scientific background. I've come to two conclusions over this:

1) Because they have a scientific background, and at least know how physical stuff works, they have no time for what they see as incoherent, mindless, ill-informed ramblings on these sorts of forums. They have better things to do than explain that comet Ison is just a comet!

..or...

2) They just lurk in the background, cringe in disbelief at the content of some postings, but don't often contribute for fear of being accused as part of the "problem" or of being a troll or shill!

But occasionally, when it's related to something I have experience of or training in, I try to clarify some misconceptions so that readers can be a little better informed.

There's stuff going on that I don't understand, that doesn't fit into my model of the universe, so I'm here to find out more. My mind is open, but not so open my brain can fall out or that other crap can blow in!

Regards,

Nick