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Using a TV without an aerial?

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by ericmark, 8 Mar 2014.

  1. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Any device powered solely by its own internal batteries (i.e. it is not connected to an aerial or plugged into the mains) does not require a TV licence.

    OK the only way I could see this can work would be a optical link to a broad band router which must very rare.

    WiFi must have an aerial even it internal to the PC. Same goes for mobile phone link. So how could my wife watch TV on her tablet without breaking the law as even if she wanted to could could not buy a licence for every place she visited and watched Sky on her tablet.

    The plugged into mains is fair enough, but the aerial thing just seems crazy. It would mean to watch TV other than at a already licensed premises you would have to plug it into a LAN rather than using WiFi which really is the reverse of what I am sure is intended.
     
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  3. rjm2k

    rjm2k

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    I think you are thinking about it too much, it's clearly aimed at TV Aerials not wifi. You don't need a TV license to watch catchup TV such as iPlayer, so the only time a PC would be covered is with a TV Card in it, which would need a TV Aerial of some kind.

    The batteries thing was from the days before everything being connected and was to cover portable TVs away from home.
     
  4. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Do I need a TV Licence to watch TV on my smartphone, tablet or laptop?

    Read more: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/digital-home/3423808/do-i-need-tv-licence/#ixzz2vNzrZnnV


    You don't need a TV Licence to watch on-demand content on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. However, if the content is live, you will need a TV Licence to watch TV on a mobile device.

    Your home's TV Licence also covers any device that is powered solely by its own batteries, wherever you are. This means, provided that you don't plug your device into the mains, you can watch live TV on a mobile phone, tablet or laptop inside a property that isn't covered by a TV Licence, such as when you're in a shop, bar or restaurant or at work. (You might get sacked, of course, so be careful.)

    "As long as the address where you live is licensed, you’re also covered to watch TV outside your home using any device powered solely by its own internal batteries. This includes your mobile phone, laptop and tablet," according to the TV Licensing authority.


    Do I need a TV Licence to watch Sky Go?

    Yes, Sky Go demands a TV Licence. Regardless of whether you watch content from the BBC and other Freeview channels or stick to Sky's own programming, your home must be covered by a TV Licence if you subscribe to Sky. In this case, you will also be covered to watch live content from Sky using Sky Go on your smartphone, tablet or computer - and do so from outside the home, provided the device is powered solely by its own batteries. Although the catch-up content within Sky Go is technically exempt from the licensing requirement, a Sky subscription itself is not
     
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  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Thank you Lucid it would seem there has been a change in the law at one time you needed a license to have a TV even if you did not watch it but that has changed.

    I am sure you are allowed to use built in aerials and the aerial rule is to stop you using the aerial fixed to the house.

    However the TV license has traditionally been poor English as one time it defined the TV as the device for turning radio frequency signals into electrical signals which when I went to school was called an aerial? The TV amplifies and decodes TV signals and displays or stores them.

    I have talked about a sky box which does not decode a TV signal until it is watched but most TV law is built on case law not the English of the license. I remember some one with a monochrome TV was given a video recorder and was taken to court because the video recorder records in colour. The Judge found the old lady guilty as he said other wise it would set a president but only fined her £5.

    The point is all aerials receive colour it is down the the equipment to if colour information is displayed or stored.

    The big word is of course "Broadcast" any signals transferred one to one are not broadcast I am not permitted to broadcast except to call CQ I have to make contact with an individual and then send my signals to them even if I know others are listening so if a see an accident on the motorway I can't tell anyone about it until I have made contact with an individual.

    So if when you go to a web site and watch video content you have the ability to start it from the beginning when you want then it's not broadcast, but if when you start to view you see it are some pre-set point then it's broadcast so http://www.tvcatchup.com/ in spite of the name is broadcast and you need a TV licence to watch it.

    I have a licence so it does not worry me at home. However I have carried a Yagi and HB9CV beam aerial both up mountains and to car parks and erected them on a temporary basis and my equipment is capable of receiving broadcast transmissions and displaying results on my computer screen.

    I have already had an argument with a TV detector van guy where I was trying to tell him I needed a radio licence not a TV licence to receive and transmit slow scan TV which if printed rather than viewed on a screen would be called fax. It would seem that what ever was in the TV that detector vans detect was still transmitting even though the item being viewed was being transmitted from my mate a mile down the road. We were using 70cm so close to TV frequency. This was late 1960's early 1970's era and as I said at that time it was owning a TV not using it and we had taken to set up to a house which was not licensed and signing as alternative. I am sure if we were using CB and not amateur radio we would have been charged.

    The problem with case law is keeping up. What was legal yesterday may be illegal today or reverse. I have often wondered if listening to TV needs a licence? My FT50R will tune to TV band but has only a speaker no screen? Since my only battery failed I use a larger battery and a cable to connect it so not running off internal batteries. It does have a wide band receive as well as narrow band used for amateur stuff so when bored on a RAYNET event I have tuned into the news normally radio but could select TV and connected likely to a HB9CV aerial.
     
  6. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Sorry you are incorrect PC does not need to have a TV card to watch broadcast content cable TV still needs a licence does not even need to be radio waves it's the fact it is "Broadcast" that matters.

    This does mean streaming video would need a court to decide if a licence is required. This is my whole point the English is so poor the only way to find out if permitted or not is to wade through case law.
     
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  8. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    You are correct because, in British English, "license" is the verb and "licence" is the noun.
     
  9. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    Actually, you have only ever needed a licence for equipment capable of receiving a broadcast transmission. So if you have a TV which is not connected to an aerial (such as being used as a computer monitor) then that has never needed a licence.
    I'm fairly certain the law has always been about use, not possession, but if you have a TV connected to power and an aerial (ie all in working order if switched on) then I challenge you to prove that you never use it !

    However, TV Licensing have a different view, and seen to consider that if you don't have a licence then you must be a criminal until you prove otherwise - or at least send them a strongly enough worded letter telling them to stop harassing you about it.
     
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  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    When working on the Building of Sizewell Power station living in a caravan I took the attitude this was asking for a detector van visit so wanted to be the right side of the law.

    At that time I used an Amiga 1200 computer and packet radio to talk (well write really) around the world. To start with I used a colour TV with the Amiga and since connected with Comp Sinc cables was going to just put a blanking plate over the aerial socket.

    However on enquiry I was told by a Judge among others that it would need the tuner removing to comply. So I swapped to using an old BBC monitor for the computer.

    I did not watch TV much so got a Black and White licence for that and used a Black and White set.

    I read the licence and it said the equipment for receiving the TV (I would assume that's the aerial) had to be Black and White that was clearly non sense as the aerial can't select what signal it receives but I did not want to fight a test case so discretion being better part of valour played safe.

    On the end of the job I did not renew licence of course and I had letter after letter asking me to renew and promising court action even though I had a colour licence for my main home. I wished I had never bought the black and white licence no one else did and no one got caught.

    It would I suppose have required two detector vans to show you were using TV at home and in caravan at same time so in hind sight unlikely.

    But one case which was pointed out to me was where a woman using a black and white TV was given a video recorder and was taken to court as receiving a colour signal with the video recorder the judge said he could not let her off as it would create a precedent but accepted she did not think what she was doing was wrong so fined her £5 only.

    This is now in dispute as clearly all digital boxes receive colour even if TV is black and white and since you can still buy a black and white licence clearly you can still use a digi-box.

    It was a surprise when cable TV required a licence as it was not a radio signal so there had to be clearly a change in the law and so we now have the PC with fibre optic broad band which can be used just like a cable TV it would seem the big question is down to one word.

    Broadcast

    Since a router sends a signal to a set computer it is not broadcast however streaming is a type of broadcasting but it will depend if the receiving machine has to hand shake in some way.

    So if I drive down the road with my CB and shout out "Watch out lads accident on the A55" that is broadcast but if I say "Are you there Fred" and he says "Yes" then I say "Watch out Fred accident on the A55" then it's not broadcast as I made contact first so although everyone can still hear what I said it's not broadcast.

    This again makes what is being said seem wrong. If I make contact to a website which has live TV available and say "can you send me live TV" then still not broadcast I had to make contact first. That TV signal is not going to be sent down my fibre optic link until I ask the web site to do it so it's not being broadcast.

    However the government says we need a licence for that even though it's not technically broadcast.

    The question is really is it some one who says "It should be like that so that's what we are saying on the website" or has there really been a change in the law to make it a requirement?

    In my trade as an electrician I have had people say many times "Your not allowed to do that" but when questioned as to where it says your not allowed it transpires it was all Chinese whispers and there is either no such rule or the rules has been changed.

    I went to a website called "Catchup TV" but in spite of the name you get live TV or so it seems. I am sure everyone with Sky and Freeview has flicked between the two and found a few seconds difference between the two. How many seconds delay would mean it's not considered as live?

    I have watched delayed TV a lot before my DVD recorder went US and I would skip back on start of viewing maybe an hour and then skip adverts so be end of night likely back to live. I was not doing this to avoid buying a licence as I said don't want to be that test case but clearly if people like Catchup TV delay the program by just a couple on minutes then no longer live.

    As I said I am sure the idea of the aerial rule was to stop up plugging the main house aerial into the device but that was not the way it was worded.

    So as it stands if my wife goes away in our caravan and I stay at home I should ring her and arrange when she watches TV and when I watch TV as they should not be on together. But if I go with her then no problem. Yes and I am really going to do that.
     
  11. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    I respectfully disagree with some of that.
    The WTA is quite clear that it is the act of receiving signals that requires a licence - so if you aren't using the tuner, and it's not connected to an aerial, then you are not receiving the signal and no licence is required<period> The bit about having to remove the tuner is just rubbish - it may have been told to you by a judge, that doesn't make it right. People have been using TVs as computer monitors for a lot of years (less so these days), that use has never required a licence.

    However. If you are in a situation where you have a working aerial, and a working TV (even if it's only connected to a computer), then if it gets to court there is a "who does the judge believe" if TV Licencing suggests that you just hid the fly lead. If you've removed the connector (or blanked it), then they'd have a hard job proving you'd hidden the flylead and blanked off the socket in between them ringing the bell and you answering the door !

    As you hinted at, there are some oddities, such as needing a licence to use a VCR even if you don't have a TV. However, the TV Licencing people are quite clear that if you have a Freeview box that isn't connected to a TV and is used just for the radio channels then you don't need a TV licence.
     
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