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Author Topic: 008 - licensed to... watch?
Ugh, MightyClub
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
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Icon 1 posted August 12, 2010 21:17      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10932063

So let me get this straight. You have to have a license to watch the telly in the UK?! Are they afraid you might hurt yourself or others? Is the English concept of a "license" different from what us dumb 'merkins think of?

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Ugh!

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 12, 2010 21:33      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ugh, MightyClub:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10932063

So let me get this straight. You have to have a license to watch the telly in the UK?! Are they afraid you might hurt yourself or others? Is the English concept of a "license" different from what us dumb 'merkins think of?

No...the license is a fee for ad-free programming. (e.g. Doctor Who)

The fun part is the rumor that there are 'detection vans' that can tell whether a household is watching TV and hasn't paid the license fee. The real story is that in most cases, it's just a matter of checking the receipts at stores or simply assuming that everyone has a TV and that non-payers are scofflaws. [Razz]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted August 12, 2010 22:40      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't own a television and therefor don't pay the fees in my country, but since I have cable internet, I am required to pay the cable connection for cable tv.

They also claim to have detection vans here, but I want to know how they tell the difference between the DVD's I watch on my laptop and beamer and a TV.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2010 04:02      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Ugh, MightyClub, big difference in cultures. We Merkins think that if there is a wave that our antenna can pick up then we should be able to see or hear the signal. The broadcasters pay for the service by making us watch commercials.

____ Ashitaka the detection vans are looking for a signal generated in the first IF stage of the television tuner, depending on design that circuit shuts off while using other inputs.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2010 10:01      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The detector vans are real too, but they also use handheld detectors (catching out students in shared flats or halls of residence is a favourite). The vans used to be used a lot more in the days before it was mandatory to provide a name and address of where a new TV would be used when you bought it but they do still use them.

In theory the license fee system is meant to be so that the BBC can stay commercial free, be unbiased and provide quality programming.

In reality it's one of the more commercial TV companies in the UK, making huge profits from overseas sales of its series and merchandise and while there aren't any ads on BBC channels there's a ton of product placement and bias towards 'favoured' products or companies (they *hate* Apple for instance, which isn't a surprise since most of the IT media types at the BBC are ex Microsoft).

While there are the odd gems of programming, most of the BBC output is shit reality TV, home improvements programs (helping lead to the boom & bust in the UK housing market) and game shows. ie exactly what's on the commercial channels. The cool new stuff that's exactly what the license fee is meant to fund gets shunted to the minor BBC channels and usually gets canned based on low viewing figures.

The license fee was a huge cause of single mothers in UK jails too. They often can't afford to pay the license fee and get hit with the 1000 fine and criminal conviction. Usually this results in a prison sentence if they spent the money on something else, like food. After 1995 there was a lot of pressure put on the government to reduce the numbers but people still go to prison for dodging their TV license. (they do some bloody scary adverts to remind everyone to pay their license fee too!)

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The Universe is entirely made up of elements.
The most important of which is the element of surprise.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2010 15:41      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ugh, MightyClub:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10932063

So let me get this straight. You have to have a license to watch the telly in the UK?! Are they afraid you might hurt yourself or others?

The test is really difficult, lots of trivia questions about popular culture.

Probably easy enough for the typical brit, but when I arrived back in the UK after a long absence, I had no idea who half of the 'celebrities' were. It took 3 weeks of intense study of 'Hello!' magazine before I felt confident to sit the test, and I only just passed.

Thank FSM I did it before 'Big Brother' and the like hit the airwaves, I hear the test is a lot more difficult now.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2010 11:29      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In one of the McCoy Doctor Whos, the military was looking for Daleks while pretending to be a detection van. [Smile]
Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2010 12:49      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ I have heard that if you have enough coins you don't even have to take the test. Its like having a box of fresh donuts with you when stopped by the police.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted August 15, 2010 15:02      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Don't listen to Zwilnik.

The BBC does broadcast a lot of commercial stuff, but as they do not try to make a profit they subsidise an awful lot of content too. A huge amount is things I don't pay attention to, but I know would make the UK (Nay, the world) a worse place if it weren't so.

Desert island discs, John Peel (RIP), Python, The office, and as far as I'm concerned "The News", would not exist if the BBC were gone, and I'm happy to pay twice if it will stop it being abolished.

EDIT: And if you've seen any series with David Attenborough, you should realise that other networks do not do it in the same way.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 15, 2010 16:06      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
I know would make the UK (Nay, the world) a worse place if it weren't so.

...I'm happy to pay twice if it will stop it being abolished.

Well said that man. [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 15, 2010 21:45      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On the note of 'would pay for the Beeb,' I should like to ask: Why can't /we/ pay for some iPlayer access? Instead of just being IP banned, could not a reasonable fee exist for us Merkins who like their content?

BBC America is an utter joke, assuming you even get it. I'll admit it: I like "Spooks". (Don't mock!) I'm pretty sure seasons that I've seen through Netflix are sometimes being present as "new" on BBCA. People who are long dead are still on the air here. WTF? They got their act together more with Who, being only a fortnight behind, but that's miserable for int'l water cooler talk. :/

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 16, 2010 06:37      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While we're talking about the beeb, here's a fascinating mini-documentary on the special effects department.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted August 16, 2010 13:35      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
On the note of 'would pay for the Beeb,' I should like to ask: Why can't /we/ pay for some iPlayer access? Instead of just being IP banned, could not a reasonable fee exist for us Merkins who like their content?

a lot of it's available on iTunes, although usually only the ones the BBC deems commercial. If your ISP is one of the ones that has 'fair use' policies (apparently most of them now), it may work out cheaper to buy from iTunes than use iPlayer, as iPlayer hasn't got enough brute force on its compression and typically ends up with the same programme being twice the download size as on iTunes.

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The Universe is entirely made up of elements.
The most important of which is the element of surprise.

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted August 16, 2010 20:58      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I guess it was pretty silly to ask such a question right before leaving civilization for a week, but thanks for setting me straight! So basically this license is similar to me paying for the "premium" cable/satellite package. Except here the commercial-free channels are scrambled, so you have to do (or, um, obtain) some hackery to watch them without paying.

Also, two thumbs up for dman's suggestion that non-Brits might be interested in paying for access to the real BBC.

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Ugh!

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Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2010 01:39      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's a bit like paying for cable/satellite TV except that it's absolutely mandatory if you have anything capable of receiving a TV signal even if you're also paying for cable/satellite. Basically it's a TV tax that goes to pay for the BBC.
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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2010 07:07      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The current UK government hates the BBC, and would love to abolish the license fee entirely. If they did it would destroy one of the very few UK cultural institutions of which I am unequivocally proud. There is an awful lot of commercial rubbish on the main two BBC TV channels, but they are still better than any of the commercial channels, and BBC4 is great. Who else would show the Swedish "Wallander"? Last and most importantly the licence fee also pays for Radio 3 and Radio 4, the best radio stations of their type in the world by a country mile. It's also worth noting that apart from the advertising supported commercial terrestrial channels, which have big money problems because Google is gradually sucking up all their revenue, just about everything else belongs to News Corp. So if we kissed bye bye to the licence fee, I would bet that soon Murdoch would control everything here, a prospect only pleasing to neo-fascists.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2010 09:47      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm. Seems like they should just levy the tax at the point of sale on products that can receive a television signal and be done with it. Then all the money they save by eliminating the need for detection vans could fund several new home improvement and/or game shows [evil]

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Ugh!

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted August 17, 2010 15:50      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Well many of know what we did with the TEA that the crown put a TAX on.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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