It took 7 years of alternating between ignoring them and telling them that I knew their rules better than they do, but the wonderful people of TV Licensing finally decided to send one of their crack team of enforcement agents to my door – a woman in her 50s with a Range Rover Sport and one of those attitudes that says that you are scum and you are now officially “In Trouble”. To be honest, I was disappointed…
So, I can now tell you how deep and involved their interrogation techniques are.
You’ll need the tag end of a roll of co-axial cable, tucked behind the radiator, preferably covered in cobwebs. You’ll also need to make sure that the channels 1 to 4 are tuned to static.
- Show the officer the end of the cable.
- Show the officer channels 1 to 4 of static
- Wave goodbye to her
Of course, if you happen to use your DVD player or digital set top box as a receiver then your first four channels wouldn’t be tuned in, would they?
So, just remember boys and girls – you only need a license to receive broadcast TV at the time that it is broadcast.
Things you need a license for:
- Watching or recording TV broadcasts that have come down your aerial
- Watching an internet stream of live TV if it’s being broadcast live by a UK provider – you can watch The Daily Show live, but you can’t watch the Olympics via a Bolivian TV station if it’s being shown on the BBC at the same time
- Using a TV card in a computer
- Technically, watching a VHS of something someone else recorded for you
Things you don’t need a license for:
- Watching iPlayer, 4OD or similar on demand internet streams from UK broadcasters, as long as they aren’t being broadcast at the same time. I’m not sure how this works for repeats…
- Watching DVDs
- Playing computer games
- Using it as a strangely expensive and useless mirror
Don’t let their bullying letters scare you. If you don’t watch live broadcast TV on your TV, don’t get a license. Spend the money on a congratulatory meal out instead…