@John W and AC2 & 3
No, you only need a licence if you *actually receive* broadcasts. You absolutely do NOT need a licence to operate equipment which is merely capable of doing so.
For example, you do not need a TV licence to operate a VCR, or the TV it is attached to as a player only - e.g. for rented videos - even if both are capable receiving TV broadcasts.
Similarly, if you use a device which is capable of receiving broadcasts, but in fact is only used for downloading information from the internet (excluding simultaneous broadcasts), you won't need a licence
See here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/licencefee/
"You need a TV licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, set-top box, video or DVD recorder, computer or mobile phone to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV."
Notice the prase is "to watch or record" not "which is capable of watching or recording"
...unless/until they change the law
@AC1 - I'm not sure about the on demand stuff you're talking about, but any on demand stuff which works by using 10 different channels, all running the same programme, offset from each other by say 15 min, would probably still be considered broadcast - but then, they're not true on demand stuff.