Do I need a TV License?

Do I need a TV License if I don't watch any BBC content - live or on catchup?

I watch things like Netflix, 4OD... on my tablet and phone.

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wave1  Sep. 22, 2014 at 13:44

"The law states that you need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record television programmes, on any device, as they're being shown on TV. This includes TVs, computers, mobile phones, games consoles, digital boxes and Blu-ray/DVD/VHS recorders.
You don't need a licence if you don't use any of these devices to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV - for example, if you use your TV only to watch DVDs or play video games, or you only watch ‘catch up’ services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD."
From: http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/how-to-tell-us-you-dont-watch-tv-top12

It has nothing to do with whether it is BBC content or not. If you are watching any programmes as they are still being broadcast (so you can't just use the "back to beginning" button), you need a TV licence. Netflix is fine anyway.

TJ Skywasher  Sep. 22, 2014 at 13:46

You can get away without a TV licence if you don't watch live TV, you still need a licence if you watch live TV that isn't on the BBC, they catch you out there unfortunately. If you get all your TV via catchup on the web or via your phone or tablet then no need for a TV licence.

Just watch out for a knock at the door and be prepared to answer any questions about not paying for your TV licence though lol

g_horricks  Sep. 22, 2014 at 15:20

Its not a question of whether you need one or not. (The answer being no, so long as you dont also have a freeview tuner or satellite dish & box capable of receiving BBC channels).

Its well known (due to programs on TV and stuff on Youtube) about the collections agency not giving a flying monkeys about the specifics of the law... only that they come and ask for access to your house and then do their best to convince you that one is needed.

They will find any technicality they can.

Only way to avoid it 100% would be to not have any big screens or TVs in the house and just use your laptop or computer for such things.

What I am trying to say is that I think they should remove the license fee or make BBC Subscription based.


JanSt / MOD  Sep. 22, 2014 at 15:37

DO NOT LET THE INSPECTORS INTO YOUR HOME. TELL them to come with the police and a warrant.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 22, 2014 at 16:24

As long as you don't watch or record any TV programmes at their time of broadcast, you do not need a TV licence.

If you get a letter about not paying it, put the letter in the recycling bin. If the TV licence thugs come to your house, tell them to get off your property, if they refuse, close the door and call the Police; tell them you feel threatened and intimidated by uninvited persons on your property who are refusing to leave. The only way the licencing thugs can enter your house is with a warrant, which they won't have.

If they wait outside your house and try to question you when you leave, if they won't take a polite "please leave me alone" as an answer, call the Police and report them for harassing you.

If, in an extreme case, you find them snooping around the back of your property, or in any other secure area (for example, they climbed over a locked gate to look for TVs through your back windows), call the Police immediately.

TL;DR version. For the uses you stated, you don't need a TV licence. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise, and inform the Police if a situation arises where you feel it's necessary to do so.

an1  Sep. 24, 2014 at 04:23

After shedding the license I've had no hassle from them, but then I live in a house converted to flats so if I'm in, I never answer the door (don't know anyone in area, get parcels sent to work). Also I'm in the upstairs flat. I hardly get a chance to watch TV anyway and that £150 can pay for the odd box set instead.


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