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back to article Main BBC channels to be broadcast live via web

Viewers in the UK will be offered broadcasts of BBC One and Two live online from 27 November, the BBC said today. The long-trailed move will see Auntie's top-rated channels join its yoof channel BBC Three, highbrow channel BBC Four, the BBC News channel and children's channels live online. As with iPlayer, video will be offered …

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Travelling abroad?

Any idea if there's plans afoot to allow those of us that work overseas for some periods, yet still pay our licence fee, to access the channels we have paid for?

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Anonymous Coward

"While catching up with shows on iPlayer does not require a TV licence"

WTF? So, for the privilege of having a TV, I have to pay a TV license so "quality" shows I don't watch can be produced, only for people who don't pay a tv license to be able to watch the majority of them free anyway? Fucking BBC/government

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jon
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live TV streams...

...about friggin' time! :) Even the lowest of low processors can encode in realtime these days, strap that to some real multicast equipment and you're sorted!

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Sodding Flash.

That is all.

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Cafe WiFi needing license?

I would think that cafes offering wifi will not need licenses as there is already an exclusion on the tv license for battery powered portable sets (which I am sure would include laptops and phones)

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Anonymous Coward

Cue Huge Numbers Of Fines For Illegal Viewing

The ease with which the BBC will now be able to identify those illegally using their services should enable them to recoup their development costs for the service.

So can't see why license fee payers like anon above should worry.

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Great...

It's taken four years for them to stop sending me letters because I choose not to own a TV.

How do they plan on monitoring my non-viewing of this?

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Flame

Interesting

Headaches for law enforcement? Ever hear of logs and IP addresses? This is going to make enforcement very very easy compared to the current system of 'if you don't have a license then you are a liar because we simply do not believe you don't watch TV'.

Imagine it - the Beeb will have a list of IP addresses used to access the service. A script could scan the IPs, (perhaps in real time but where is the £1000 fine potential in that), cross reference it with names and addresses (which it could be argued can be obtained under RIPA as there is a potential 'crime' being committed) which is checked against the TV License database. No license, instant fine. No fake detector vans necessary.

The people going to be hit hard by this if the Beeb does it's usual trick of not attempting in the slightest to restrict this to license payers will be small and medium business premises without TV licenses (why would you need a TV license in your office where you expect your workers to work?) - often such premises have IP ranges that are tied to domain names and so registered to the business owner and therefore trivial to cross reference with the license database.

But what if they did lock it down to license payers only, and license payers received a yearly username and password for the service? Bizarrely a company without a TV license would still be prosecuted if the computers are connected to the mains supply. A laptop powered by it's own battery would be covered under the viewer's home TV license. I am unsure about the legality of a system connected to a UPS as it's technically running on a battery. One for the courts.

I predict that the TV License database schema will be updated to include known IP and email addresses shortly after this goes live, along with billions of spam emails sent out to all UK email addresses not on the license holder list on a daily basis reminding them that they need a TV license. Add to this a requirement to log your name, address, ISP and email when buying a computer from now on. (I'm only half kidding about that last one - TVL tried to obtain the name and address of anyone buying a 'Broadband Capable' PC - I'm unsure if that was successful).

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IT Angle

I hope that...

this is provably opt-in rather than something you're assumed to be using just because you have a broadband connection.

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Linux

@Andy

At least it's not Silverlight, so us Mac and Linux types can partake without having to complain like buggery to the BBC Trust again.

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Alert

This stinks!

Right now, you only have to pay a TV licence if you have a TV or means of receiving a TV signal. What this now means is that if you have an internet connection you will have to pay a 'TV' licence even if you don't have a TV. It's a very underhanded way of sustaining a licence to tax the British public in an age where more and more entertainment content is being accessed via the internet and people are not relying on scheduled broadcasting for their entertainment.

The BBC tried to do this by levying a 'Digital'tax back in 2004/5 was rejected, let's hope common sense prevails

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Flame

BBC DIE DIE DIE!

I should not be FORCED to pay a premium (tv licence) to watch none premium tv. I HATE the tv licence, I've with Branson!

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Anonymous Coward

@ jon

Sadly the UK's ADSL system (the BT part of it anyway) doesn't support multicast to the end-user. No I'm not kidding.

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Happy

BBC & the Worldwide TV Licence

A Worldwide licence fee for people outside the uk is all but in the bag, along with the ability to buy a complete series of existing shows, the latter maybe available as a licence fee top-up, to give you access outside the broadcast range i.e a form of ongoing subscription.

Broadband should be the main form of transmission to the home, in the future being able to lock out non licence fee payers via the ISP. The 'freebies' non licence fee holders being able to watch a non-live subset of clips/full programmes with educational rather than entertainment value.

Fibre upgrades to homes could be partly funded through the licence fee - a guaranteed bandwidth, having the ability to receive two live channels to each household. Under ultilized bandwidth could be sold back to ISP's for additional capacity. The existing TV/Digital broadcasting spectrum could also be sold to help fund the move to fibre.

The additional viewing figure feedback information would be very useful in setting Jonathan Ross's Salary.

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Obvious.

This was where they've been heading for a long time. They have been trying to justify sticking the TV tax on computers since Tessa Jowell brought the issue up in parliament. El Reg even reported it to us, so why is anyone surprised?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/03/pc_tax/

One step closer.

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What happens when......

....the man from the ministry comes calling because I've let my TV licence lapse. Do I let him in and say "yes my plasma screen is on the wall in the living room but I don't watch live TV on it, it's hooked up to my PC and I just use it to watch Iplayer/4onDemand etc etc"

Would he believe me? could I prove it?.....I think not

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Anonymous Coward

Licence Fee?

I thought the TV licence rules were being changed so that any property with broadband access had to pay the licence fee. Or was that just a nasty rumour?

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Anonymous Coward

international access.

"Any idea if there's plans afoot to allow those of us that work overseas for some periods, yet still pay our licence fee, to access the channels we have paid for?"

Nope. Because you haven't paid to access them overseas, and if you want the BBC to buy the rights to do so off third parties be prepared to see you licence fee quadrouple. Good luck letting that proposal past parliament.

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From the TV licencing web page

What is a TV Licence needed for?

To use any TV equipment such as a TV set, digital box, video or DVD recorder, computer or mobile phone to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on television.

But a computer with out a TV card does not need a licence so why do I need a licence to get a video feed from the Net. I have a feeling that the Law may need changing for this.

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Ash
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@Jess Baughan

You're offering facts to support an arguement. You must not have debated a point with the Government before.

You win the debate by showing them how to make the most money.

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Silver badge

Could be worse

You might need a license to connect to the internet.

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TV Licence

The exclusion is only if you have a 'main' tv licence eg if you have a set at home, then you can also have a battery powered set in say your caravan without needing a separate licence.

maybe cafes will block that particular web site so they won't need to buy a licence

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You pay, I'll leech - sorted!

Please keep paying the license fee, suckers - so I don't have to.

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Black Helicopters

what, really?

People who don't own a TV and don't have a licence are presumed guilty of illegal TV-watching if even one of their computers just happens to have a tuner on the graphics card - we really have to be careful what we own. So what now - will installing Flash be grounds for persecution?!

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Unhappy

The backdoor is found!

This is how they'll get every student who is using their PC to watch telly (either downloaded or streamed) to finally pay their TV licence. Well done, that BBC. I was wondering how long it would last :(

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Bronze badge

Enforcement

Does anybody know if there is legislation in place which allows the BBC, or their nominated enforcement company, to check perform large scale checks address checks with ISPs?

Of course it is currently possible for a copyright holder to force disclosure of the name and address of an ISP customer for a given IP address at a point in time provided that there is reasonable evidence of copyright violation.

This is wholly different - there will be millions of IP addresses which access this, and the great majority (it is to be assumed) will be license payers. Just because you are watching TV online is no evidence that you are doing so without a license. Performing large scale checks against TV license records would require massive processing and, unless allowed for in legislation, would no doubt break the Data Protection Act.

I suspect a rather more likely option is that viewers will be required to enter some unique details about their TV license or themselves (possibly via a logon of some sort). If excessive numbers of sessions are detected with a given identifier then that could provide sufficient evidence of wrong-doing for investigations to get going.

Personally I can't imagine that there will not be some system like this - I'm sure it won't be like iPlayer with open replay allowed to any UK IP address without any credentials being provided.

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SCRAP BBC NOW

The sooner that this shit-hauling, monopolising, paranoid organisation is assigned to rubbish dump the better.

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Good idea?

I thought to myself "Great I will be able to watch stuff on the computer while my wife watches her dreary soaps", then remembered that TV has become rather dumbed down and boring these days, last time I looked it was celebs doing something "Exciting" like dancing and DIY shows. Oh dear, I sound like I could be commenting on the BBC "Have your say" right now, sorry.

This live TV is a kind of duplication of the iPlayer catch-up-thingy, apart from the fact you can watch the live TV earlier than the current iPlayer stuff, umm. Dont use iPlayer much either.

Dunno, bring it on, maybe I wont use it much apart from to watch the Tellitubbies at work (Do they still show that during the day?)

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Alert

TV License

I recall readind that license is required for any equipment capable of recieving live broadcasts. so does a PC now need a TV licence?? whether you choose to watch live or not.

This is going to be a headache...

not least for businessess with computers....

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Flame

the BBC are doing what?

Bloody hell. I have enough problems with the arseholes at TV licensing whinging about me not having a license to have a TV, I dont need these bitches whinging that I now need a license to use the internet.

I DONT OWN A STINKING TV. I DONT WATCH THE BBC, and still these arses send me threatening letters at least once a month. Now they can send me letters saying we know you have an internet connection. Give us money or else we'll take you to court.

fantastic.

executives at the bbc should burn for this.

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They are already brodcast over the web.

Just use Zattoo.

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Exemption for battery-operated TVs...

Isn't there an exemption to the TV license for battery operated TV's?

Laptop / UPS anyone? :-)

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Jobs Horns

Definition of....

"Live" ??. Maybe somehow could send transmission via something that makes it NOT live then ?.

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Coat

Just making sure..

..that your paying your licence fee, and that there is no legal loop hole for you keeping your money in your own pocket.

"What you have no tv? no radio either! .. ah you have a laptop connected to the internet, please bend over and drop your pants your not going to like this one bit."

*\. Grabbing my coat as I'm still wondering why we are still paying this tax, TV companies seem to be able to take care of themselfs everywhere else on the planet.

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"Business TV License"?

What's a business TV license? You make it sound like some super-expensive subscription, like Sky's Pub package. There is no special business license, just the plain old TV license to cover one premises, be it a bedsit or a bed factory. Is the average internet cafe going to be bankrupted by an extra annual bill for £139.50 (assuming they had no telly on the premises already)?

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@simon

I agree - I am likely to be overseas for a while soon, but I will still be paying my exhorbitant license fee. I should be able to access this from anywhere - it's the *world wide* web isn't it?

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Go

@ Jess Baughan

This hasn’t been the case for years now! (not needing a license on a battery operated device)

Taken from the licensing website

You need a TV Licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, digital box, DVD or video recorder, PC, laptop or mobile phone to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV.

this is purely another way for people who dont have a tv to buy a liscense, not sure how they are able to prove you have watched a live stream on your computer mind!

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Nik
Alien

Licence = Login?

It doesn't seem to me that it would be too difficult for the TV licence to include some form of verifiable login details. As the internet removes the physical location of a viewer as a serious constraint, the BBC could sell licences to anyone, regardless of which country they happen to be in at the time.

Bring it on.

[Aliens, because they'd need TV licences too]

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Coat

Oh Boy....

...I can see where this is heading....

Every owner of a PC in the UK will be required to buy a TV licence, regardless of whether you intend to use it to watch BBC TV live or not. You think that sounds silly? Well I once tried explaining to an American that every household and business that owns a TV set in this country is compelled to buy a licence for it, or risk possible jail time, whether you actually watch any BBC channels or not. She thought I was winding her up....

Yes officer, my TV licence is in my coat pocket....

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Bronze badge

License

The TV license is a stupid anachronism that costs a ridiculous amount of money to administer. The BBC is a public service, and therefore should be paid for out of the public purse. Directly, through a lump sum from our taxes, not through the current ridiculous scheme.

Same could be said for many other things too, mainly involving our transport infrastructure, or lack of it.

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Anonymous Coward

@Cafe WiFi needing license?

"as there is already an exclusion on the tv license for battery powered portable sets" unless you plug the power adaptor in to recharge it. Then it's counted as being portable.

H

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Re: Travelling abroad?

I have a 3 Mobile broadband dongle that was purchased in Ireland. Even though I am now in the UK and have a UK TV licence, the BBC still thinks I am in Ireland and won't let me view most of its stuff.

It would seem logical, therefore, if you had mobile broadband purchased in the UK you should be able to view their content anywhere in the world, as the BBC will think you are in the UK regardless.

They seem a little behind the technology if you ask me.

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Boffin

Flash isn't a video format

FLV is just a container for audio and video streams. What we the viewing public (or at least the video-encoding nerds, anyway) want to know is whether the content inside be encoded using VP6 or H.264; the former has the unique feature of offering shocking quality at any bitrate but the latter is only supported in recent versions of Flash (v9.something)

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Bronze badge

Simple solution

Require TV Licence details to access the stream.

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Stop

QFE

Bloody hell. I have enough problems with the arseholes at TV licensing whinging about me not having a license to have a TV, I dont need these bitches whinging that I now need a license to use the internet.

I DONT OWN A STINKING TV. I DONT WATCH THE BBC, and still these arses send me threatening letters at least once a month. Now they can send me letters saying we know you have an internet connection. Give us money or else we'll take you to court.

fantastic.

executives at the bbc should burn for this.

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Unhappy

@John Imrie

You answered your own question, read the information again

What is a TV Licence needed for?

To use any TV equipment such as a TV set, digital box, video or DVD recorder, COMPUTER or mobile phone to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on television.

From that quote it would appear that a computer with or without a TV card DOES need a licence. So it would appear that if you use ANY computer (laptop / desktop / PDA) to watch a live broadcast on the web from the BBC that you DO need a licence

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@Ninja

That's pretty much what I did, we have a TV but it is only used for Games Consoles and DVDs. We have a computer but don't use it to stream TV. We even use iPlayer but that does not require a TV license.

After around 2 years of telling the Licensing company that we don't need a license someone came round to our house, I was expecting him to ask to come in (which I would of refused to as even though we have nothing to hide it doesn't give them a right to enter) but he simply asked us a few reasonable questions including whether we needed a license.

After this we have heard nothing from Licensing and have happily gone on not watching live TV.

Obviously it might be that the person who visited us was less forceful in nature than normal, but you've got absolutely nothing to fear if you aren't breaking the law, even if you refuse them entry.

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Jon
Boffin

Batteries

> A laptop powered by it's own battery would be covered under the viewer's home TV license.

Yes. The TV license actually says "powered by internal batteries", so this:

> I am unsure about the legality of a system connected to a UPS as it's technically running on a battery.

using an external UPS is not going to be allowed.

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Anonymous Coward

TVCatchup

You can already watch various channels online using the "we're not illegal, honest guv" tvcatchup site.

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Anonymous Coward

BBC1 & BBC2 online from 27.11.08 (Lancashire Day)

I presume it will be only network BBC1 and BBC2 but that will be useful at times when BBC Scotland is putting some of their own stuff.

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