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Paul94
Occasional Poster

BBC TV Licence

I am thinking of cancelling my TV Licence.

Apart from the BBC iPlayer on NOW TV, is there anything else on the NOW TV service that would require a BBC TV Licence.

The BBC Licence website states that I only need a licence if I watch TV LIVE feeds and/or use the BBC iPlayer.

"You need to be covered by a TV Licence to

watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service
download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.
This applies to any provider you use and any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder."

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one

Thank you

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Andy Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: BBC TV Licence

@Paul94 The rules are fairly clear -you don’t need a TV Licence if you never watch or record live TV programmes on any channel and you never download or watch  programmes on BBC iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

Regards NOW TV specifically, if you don't have a TV licence you need to avoid the live channels on the entertainment, cinema and kids passes, and you can't watch sports passes at all (as they only provide live channel streams). If you use a NOW TV box/stick you also need to avoid any live channel feeds in any of the other available apps (for instance ITV Hub and some of the music apps provide live channel feeds - you can watch on-demand/catch-up content in those apps but not the live channels). 

NOW TV's official help page is here

https://help.nowtv.com/article/do-i-need-a-tv-licence-to-watch-now-tv

With regards the BBC's use of the term 'TV receiving equipment' I think it's specifically designed to confuse people, but their definition of 'TV receiving equipment is 'any apparatus used or installed for licensable activity'. But the 'licensable activity' only refers to watching/recording live TV and using BBC iPlayer. Actually owning a TV or any other device capable of watching live TV is irrelevant - it's what you do with it that counts!

If you (really!) want to read their official policy then make yourself a strong cup of tea and see here!

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/ss/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=content-type&blobheaderval...

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Mark_Weinreb
Advocate 5

Re: BBC TV Licence

@Paul94 My understanding is that watching any live tv requires a TV licence, regardless of whether it’s via an aerial, satellite dish, cable tv or internet. So, if you watch a program on NowTV using the “watch live” or even the “watch from the start” option, you need a licence. 

Also even if you only watch catch-up programs, your box is capable of showing live tv so the powers-that-be would certainly argue that you need a licence. 

Paul94
Occasional Poster

Re: BBC TV Licence

Thank you for your reply.

I agree, they may well use the excuse that having a device that can play live TV means a licence is required. However, it doesn't state on their website that simply owing such devices means you need a licence.

 

I think to be safe, I will contact TV Licencing and ask them for clarification.

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Mark_Weinreb
Advocate 5

Re: BBC TV Licence

@Paul94 The following is a cut-and-paste from my current TV licence, which is the source of my interpretation of the regulations:

About your TV Licence.
This licence lets you use and install TV receiving equipment at the licensed place. You are covered to:
a) watch and record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, including programmes streamed over the internet
and satellite programmes from outside the UK, and
b) watch or download BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer.
This can be on any device, including TVs, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, digital boxes, DVD, Blu-ray and
VHS recorders, or anything else.
You and anyone who normally lives here with you can:
• Use and install TV receiving equipment here at the licensed place.
• Use and install TV receiving equipment in vehicles, boats and caravans (except non-touring caravans when someone is watching or recording TV
at the licensed place).
• Use TV receiving equipment anywhere on any device powered solely by its own internal batteries.
You and anyone who normally works here with you can:
• Use and install TV receiving equipment here at the licensed place.
• Use and install TV receiving equipment in vehicles, boats or caravans used for business purposes.
This licence does not cover areas occupied solely by tenants, lodgers or paying guests.
The licence might also not cover areas that are self-contained, areas covered by separate legal arrangements or areas of business premises used
for a different purpose. Please contact us to find out more.
Other conditions.
We can cancel or change your licence. If we cancel it, we will let you know. If we change the licence conditions, we will publish a general notice on
the BBC website and, if we consider it appropriate, in other national media. Our Officers may visit to check our records and inspect your TV
receiving equipment. You don’t have to let them in. Your TV receiving equipment must not cause unreasonable interference to radio or TV
reception.
Even if you have a black and white TV, you need a colour licence to record programmes. This is because DVD, VHS and digital box recorders
record in colour. A black and white licence is only valid if you use a digital box that can’t record TV programmes

Paul94
Occasional Poster

Re: BBC TV Licence

Thank you for the information.

I see what you mean, the following statement makes it vague enough to cover ownership of receiving equipment:

This licence lets you use and install TV receiving equipment at the licensed place.

I really don't understand why the BBC doesn't become a subscription service. They can now scramble channels, so it shouldn't be any problem.

 

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Andy Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: BBC TV Licence

@Paul94 The rules are fairly clear -you don’t need a TV Licence if you never watch or record live TV programmes on any channel and you never download or watch  programmes on BBC iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

Regards NOW TV specifically, if you don't have a TV licence you need to avoid the live channels on the entertainment, cinema and kids passes, and you can't watch sports passes at all (as they only provide live channel streams). If you use a NOW TV box/stick you also need to avoid any live channel feeds in any of the other available apps (for instance ITV Hub and some of the music apps provide live channel feeds - you can watch on-demand/catch-up content in those apps but not the live channels). 

NOW TV's official help page is here

https://help.nowtv.com/article/do-i-need-a-tv-licence-to-watch-now-tv

With regards the BBC's use of the term 'TV receiving equipment' I think it's specifically designed to confuse people, but their definition of 'TV receiving equipment is 'any apparatus used or installed for licensable activity'. But the 'licensable activity' only refers to watching/recording live TV and using BBC iPlayer. Actually owning a TV or any other device capable of watching live TV is irrelevant - it's what you do with it that counts!

If you (really!) want to read their official policy then make yourself a strong cup of tea and see here!

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/ss/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=content-type&blobheaderval...

Paul94
Occasional Poster

Re: BBC TV Licence

Thank you very much Andy, that's crystal clear Smiley Happy

I am now off to cancel that wretched TV Licence.

chai
Contributor 2

Re: BBC TV Licence

I can't see how a TV license would be needed when using “Watch from the start” option, as all that feature does is to play the episode from the NOW TV library (and these episodes are completely different from the live streams - no adverts/trails/channel idents...)

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Mark_Weinreb
Advocate 5

Re: BBC TV Licence

@chai Let me play Devil’s Advocate for a moment. A program starts at 8pm and finishes at 9pm. You don’t switch on until two minutes past 8 and get the option to watch from the start, which you take. Until the first commercial break you’re watching two mins behind. From then on until the next break, you’re probably watching (nearly) live. After the next break you will be watching ahead of anyone else watching the live broadcast and for you the program will stop at around 8:45.

I’m sure that the authorities would see this as the same as watching a Freeview/Freesat recording from the buffer as it is being recorded with a one or two minute delay. That is, you are watching it live.

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Matty-B
Contributor 3

Re: BBC TV Licence

The watch from start bit would be an unnecessary risk anyway, you might as well just wait the 24 hours and watch the catchup version. It isn’t like you are missing out on anything by doing so. In our case we would quite happily go without the license, but my partner likes football, so of all things we can’t get away with is Match of the Day. We can even buy episodes of Strictly come dancing digitally if I must or what have you, but there’s no other legal way of getting Match of the day without a license.

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