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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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Already done

Eh hasn't this already been done (all be it under some law loophole)?

*cough* tvcatchup *cough*

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Stop

TV licence for a pc wtf

Unless the law has just changed, you need a tv licence only for equipment capable of receiving television signals. I don't have a tv because I don't want one. Yet I have been hounded by the licencing authorities for years. Received several threats of legal action and so on. I think this is a blatant con to extort money under false pretences.

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Re: This stinks!

"Right now, you only have to pay a TV licence if you have a TV or means of receiving a TV signal."

Wrong on both counts. You only need a TV license if you *use television receiving equipment to receive or record television broadcast services*. Operative words are 'use' and 'equipment'.

It is NOT illegal to simply own a TV set. It is NOT illegal to have the means to receive a TV signal. it IS illegal to USE any 'receiving equipment' to receive live TV signals without a valid TV License. Simply owning equipment is not illegal - it's the act of using it to receive live signals without a license that is illegal.

You would be amazed at how many people INSIST you need a TV license to simply own a TV - this is simply untrue. If you don't believe me call TV Licensing and ask before disagreeing. They will confirm everything I just wrote.

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Have this title

I refuse to pay to watch the channels that are supported by adverts.

I only watch channel 4/5 very occasionally, and the Top Gear on iPlayer.

SO Im not paying that much money for 1, just 1 program that I think is worth watching on the BBC.

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Already happened

http://www.tvcatchup.com/

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Anonymous Coward

Probably not that bad technically, or that expensive

Though I wish I could get a license here in the US, tv here is mostly crap. I feel it's going to be mainly used in this nature, like an AOL login: if your abroad and you login, you better not be logged in at home too, because the IP address is a dead giveaway you're not in the UK and more than likely aren't the owner of the license, but a quick call by the real owner to unlock the account so you can log in from abroad will be the only inconvenience, because now the other that was logged in before is now booted and flagged, problem solved. AOL has been doing this for years.

The main reason for this is to make sure only those who have a license get to watch as much as possible, but they will take travel into account somehow. Probably by just ignoring it as long as you never log in at home and abroad at the same time, but even after that if it's legitimate they'll stick you in a new list of people to ignore multiple logins unless it's over a certain number.

Other than the people needed to handle the rare lockout calls (as long as they don't use active directory server), it is not that expensive to maintain such a system since that is mostly what corporate helpdesk does most of the time. If the system is simple enough you could man the whole thing with automated updates for system wide issues, and a few people manning phones for people who cannot login.

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The unique way the BBC is funded.......

......extortion.

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F*ck em

Resist at every turn. I will NEVER pay for their crap! In this day and age why are people FORCED to prop up an 'entertainment' medium? WTF happened to freedom of choice?

When you get the letters either ignore them or send them back return to sender marked 'spam' or 'no longer occupied' signed 'Landlord'. Or if you are a shitty scared child buy a black and white licence. They can't prove you have colour! :P

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pah

who watches anything live anymore anyway? too many ads for even attempting that

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Coat

BBC licence username/password

Quite simply, people who pay a licence should get a username and password which gives them full access.

The frigging BBC should sell on-demand access passes for people worldwide as well, not only limit it to full licence payers. For example if I want to unlock 1 hour of live BBC streaming or on-demand streaming or downloading of BBC content, as a Dane, then let me frigging pay the frigging BBC for that access.

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wot a todger

I have BT at "7'MB" though iPlayer in the evening is like a politician justifying his girlfriend's maid's visa renewal. Lots of stutter but no action. Rubbish that statement. BT sucks. Live? Next week maybe.

Remember the shareholders^h^h^^h^h^h....what ever

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Pirate

I had a TV licence once....

..now I don't bother.

They have no idea who's got what.

It's just an urban myth.

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IT Angle

Best effort TV delivery!

Broadband access charges include the 'best effort' transmission or delivery costs of the channel. Best effort streaming (currently in our download allowance) means buffering and interupted viewing - not something you should charge for!

Who should pay for assuring the data flow? User needs to opt in as they are prioritising this flow over others? Some businesses will seek to impair these streams, to stop employees wasting time, other subscribers may wish a better service.

Pushing on the licence fee at all demands the Beeb does better than best effort streaming!

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Stephen Fry - the ultimate debate

Before waxing lyrical on all the debates on funding for the BBC, Stephen Fry summed up most of the points in a speech to the Beeb's honchos.

Transcript here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/thefuture/transcript_fry.shtml

Or subscribe to the Stephen Fry "Podgrams" to listen to him reading it verbatim. Brilliantly sums it up, and answers a fair amount of the comments above.

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Black Helicopters

License fee?

I sincerely hope there will NOT be a license fee for 'owning a PC capable of streaming live BBC TV' as the current TV license is enforced for 'equipment capable of receiving live TV'. That would be like asking every motorist to pay the M6 toll because he owns a car 'capable of being driven on the M6 toll road'. Surely the BBC can see that not everyone that owns an internet capable PC is out to avoid paying a license fee (can't they?).

On the other hand if BT could get my internet speed high enough to actually stream live video I might consider the fine a worthwhile investment!!!

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@ Dick Emery

They could easily prove you have a colour set if you push them hard enough - so try not to be to mean.

With a simple application to a court they could request access to your property. And lets be honest, the BBC wouldn't be refused that by the government.

The best way, certainly if you genuinely don't have a set, is let them come to your house. You may complain about your liberties etc. etc. but once they've been they stop bothering you. My partner just had to do a doorstep interview two years ago and they've not been bothered since.

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Love the beeb

Flash isn't great , but at least its not a M$ windows vista only format. I bet someone in there was pushing for that type of thing , as we all know the bbc will do anything for microsoft.

How many reg readers dont pay the TV licence? I dont know anyone who hasn't got a tv licence. El reg readers are not the majority of the population. BTW if they do scrap it, you can bet it will be replaced with a computer / internet licence with all the cash going to Sky / BT and MS.

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TVCatchup

Good idea, TV Catchup has been doing this for a while with several more channels, quite handy sometimes. To be honest though it's easier to have all of the channels on one page though so i'll probably stick to TVCatchup rather than use BBCs site :-D

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@ James Prior

You have a couple of points wrong :

- To get a warrant from a court they need to show a probably cause, which the courts have held is more than just the fact that you don't have a license, you have a TV, or you just won't let them in. They need to give the courts evidence to show why they believe you are USING the TV or PC to receive or record live TV. This is usually in the form of detector van evidence, or a statement to the effect "As their curtains weren't shut we could see from the street they were watching what appeared to be a live showing of Eastenders" or "We could hear through the letter box what sounded like a live showing of Corrie".

- "My partner just had to do a doorstep interview two years ago " - no, they didn't "have to". You do not have to open the door to them or talk to them in any way shape and form unless they have a court order.

- "You may complain about your liberties". Damn right. It really is a slippery slope. I have a license as I watch live TV, but if I didn't I would put up with them keep bothering me rather than let them into my house when they don't need to be. Our system of law and freedoms works (or rather did work) on the basis of "Innocent until proven guilty", rather than "Your guilty until you can prove yourself innocent". The way the law is changing around to this way of thinking, and how people like you are letting it, is one of the reasons I left the police force.

Several other people seem confused by who needs a TV license and who doesn't, mainly because the law changed relatively recently and the licesing authories don't shout about it. The ONLY people that need a TV license are those who RECEIVE, VIEW OR RECORD live TV programs at the time they are broadcast live on air using ANY kind of equipment through any kind of transmission (over the air, from satellite, over the internet, mobile phone etc.). Simply Owning a TV or PC or otherwise having the potential to view TV doesn't require a license. You only need it if you watch it.

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Anonymous Coward

bandwagon

Two things.

1. Gosh, you people do love your knee jerk reactions, don't you? You have extrapolated a whole debate from the inclusion of 3 words "License fee payers" in the quote. Other than that, there has been not a single official mention of collecting license fees, but el Reg readers have aready cranked up the paranoia machine. Playing along, it should be pointed out - the rules haven't changed. If you watch live UK terrestrial TV, you are required to pay for it, regardless of how you watch it. If you are a freetard, then the ONLY penalty is you have to watch it a bit later on iPlayer instead of live. Much better for the freetards than almost any other entertainment, where you face prosecution. Just. Watch. It. The. Next. Day.

2. To those of you saying things along the line of "other TV networks manage to support themselves, why should I pay?": Have you actually WATCHED any of them? I would rather pay for the 5 channels I get in the UK than watch the 100s of chanels available free elsewhere. But that is my choice. As it is yours if you choose not to watch them. Why would you waste your time and that of other people by pointing out how bad it is (in your opinion) and then moaning about having to pay for it? Don't watch it, don't pay for it. Was that too difficult for you?

Sheesh!

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Remember when?

You used to have to pay TV license for having a radio set? They abolished it when TV was making enough money and becoming the main financial source for the beeb. Doesn't it stand to reason that the same will happen with TVs and the Internet?

As the internet increases in popularity, the TV set will decrease, meaning that the BBC have less money, and therefore need a new income. I don't have a problem with giving some money to the BBC, it's not like they're using the money to shoot puppies or something.

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Anonymous Coward

PC Licensing By the Back Door

Perhaps I'm being cynical & a bit paranoid, but could this be a government ploy to introduce a computer registry (much like the vaunted mobile phone registry)? Once BBC1 & BBC2 are being streamed live it is likely there will be a lot of people watching them online without a license (thousands, not millions). Because of massive license fee evasion the government will then require anyone buying a computer to register it or give their name & address. Another nail in the civil liberties coffin?

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Mythconceptions

There are a number of misconceptions about the licence fee, many of the are being bandied about as facts here.

1. The licence only covers TV sets.

Shite. The licence already covers computers and laptops. From the TV 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. " That's it. If it can show live TV then you need a licence. No mention of BBC channels or how the signal is transmitted. Note the mention of DVD and video recorders. There was a myth many years ago that you could use a video recorder as a tuner to feed a monitor and you would be exempt from the licence fee. I knew a student who was fined for doing that very thing.

2. The TV Licensing people can't enter your home.

Crap. They can with a court order. However they seldom need to. The most common way they catch people by simply looking in through their front window.

"Knock, knock."

"Who's there?"

"TV detector man. You don't have a licence do you?"

"No, but we don't need one."

"But you've got a TV."

"We only use it for watching DVDs."

"Funny that we've just spent the last ten minutes watching you watch Jeremy Kyle from our van."

There used to be a story that you were safe from the TV detector van if you lived in a block of flats because the detector vans couldn't distinguish between a TV in one flat and the next. In reality you were safer because the detector boys would need a very long ladder to see you watching TV on the 13th floor.

3. Squillions of people don't pay the TV licence.

Cock. The TV licence is like the poll tax. It's unpopular and lot's of people claim they don't pay it, but figures show that the vast majority of people do actually pay up. I remember an anti poll tax demo where a council officer came out of the town hall and told the crowd that their main speaker was actually up to date with his poll tax payments. What a laugh that was. Although it was of course a clear breach of the DPA.

4. Only the BBC receive the money.

This is not strictly true. Although the fee does all go to the BBC (except for the money paid by the BBC to the collection and enforcement agencies) the BBC must use some of the fee to make programmes for S4C, S4C do not pay for these programmes so in effect some of the fee goes to S4C.

5. The detector vans don't do anything.

Sorry, but they do. They don't have to disclose how their detectors work, but this doesn't mean they don't work. In the old days it was pretty easy to pick up the presence of a CRT, but in these days of LCD TVs and the like things are harder. One thing I am pretty sure of is that they actually use sensitve directional listening devices to pick up the audio signal and compare it with currently transmitted channels. Not actually that high tech, but it's enough in most cases.

The MO of the detectors is usually simply to take a look through your windows for a TV during the working day. If they see one they will come along later usually at peak time and take another look to see if you are watching TV. If you are they've got you. However if they know you don't have a licence they will try other methods both technical and incredibly basic. One is to watch for people getting up and leaving the room, perhaps making a cuppa when popular programmes finish.

So how do you avoid detection? Keep your curtains closed at all times. Only listen to TV though headphones. Don't watch popular shows. Oh and live in rural and preferably affluent area. For maximum cost effectiveness they concentrate on areas with high concentrations of unlicensed premises. They are unlikey to spend time and money going after one unlicensed home miles from the nearest cluster when they can probably get several offenders in a day at £1000 quid a throw in a densely populated area.

It's likely that less affluent areas have higher concentrations of licence avoidance, and it does seem somewhat mean and nasty hitting these areas for a higher return.

I haven't got a problem with the BBC being publicly funded however the £3.2bn that licensing raises annually (something like 23 million licences) could be better raised. My socialist heart is offended by the flat licensing rate. OK so students and those over 74 get a concession. But why should you need to be 75 or over to get a concession, when other OAP concessions kick in at 65 or even 60? Surely it would be fairer to base the license fee on household income? "From each according to his means...."

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Can of worms

I get a threatening letter from the BBC licence nazis every time I buy a new television or set top box, despite the fact that we have had a free licence every year for the last seven years (tip, get your mother to move in with you when she turns 75).

Now we may all expect that sellers of any computer equipment related to internet access will have to report buyers to the licensing authority, as they do now with TVs, set-top boxes, VHS and DVD recorders and so on. So that's most mobile phones, bluetooth and wireless dongles, routers, switches, those plugs that provide home networking over the mains wiring, as well as any computer with as much as a USB port on it.

This move is nothing about serving the viewer and all about extending the reach of the collectors of this iniquitous tax. Poll tax anyone?

I write threatening letters back to these people. They are demanding money with menaces, a serious crime, also known as "blackmail". If their demands were legal, which is to say if they were warning that they would pursue legal remedies against my illegal action, then they would not be committing a crime, but I am not in breach of the law, and they know this from their own records (they make public claims to know whether every address in the UK has a licence or not). They are therefore knowingly threatening me with spurious legal action as a form of harassment. If you are plagued by such letters, write back threatening to report them to the police. If the letters continue, ACTUALLY report them to the police.

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