TV Licenses

  y_not 16:14 29 Aug 2003

A few weeks ago I bought a USB TV card from Dixon's.

The idea (which works reasonable well) was to view TV through the laptop whilst on holiday (in a caravan) and I take the laptop for downloading digital photos to whilst away.

I returned from holiday recently to find a letter from the licensing authority advising that Dixon's had advised that I had purchased "TV Receiving equipment" in July 2003 and that I must purchase a license for this equipment.

The story is complicated by the fact that my legally married wife chose NOT to change her name when we married and since the license is in her name....

It surprises me somewhat that with data protection etc. I was not made aware that the information regarding the purchase was to be forwarded to the licensing authority at the time of purchase.

Yes I do pay for a TV license, no I don't think I should (based on the BBC's programme listings), no I don't agree with license dodgers but is it right that I should have details of transactions sent to "big brother" without at least being told that they would be?

  Barrie_G 17:46 29 Aug 2003

It's the law and they have to send your details onto the beeb and Dixons have no choice in the matter.

Same thing applys if you by a tv, video, tv arial or anything else that is capable of recieving a tv signal.

  The Idle one 18:31 29 Aug 2003

I agree that dixons have to tell ssl (licensing people) but regarding use in a holiday caravan it is covered by your MAIN residence licence no matter who's name it is registered in.
The only requirement for a separate licence is if it is a fixed property.

  y_not 18:37 29 Aug 2003

I don't really have an issue with this - I (being a bit thick) didn't realise that a TV card was classed as "TV Receiving equipment" when I bought it and I think I would have appreciated being advised at the point of purchase that the transaction details were going elsewhere.

Still.....maybe I can sit and wait for the detector van to visit my street....I look forward to showing the TV license...and my marriage certificate.

  Eagie 19:20 29 Aug 2003

Is your wife's licence for the property you are using the TV card in? If it is then you don't have a problem - as The Idle One says it is the property that is licensed not the person. If, however, she has moved into your house and not had the licence changed then you are in trouble if the TV detector van pays a visit.

  y_not 20:31 29 Aug 2003

Many thanks for the reply.

My wife has lived here for more years than I can count ... long enough to have our granddaughter to stay every Friday.

I'm comfortable that I'm not breaking the law - it was just the issue of being informed of the sharing of the transaction details with a third party without either consent or informing me

  R4 21:45 29 Aug 2003

I do not think a TV card by itself could be classed as "TV Receiving equipment" as it is useless for watching programs without a PC in the same manner a Video recorder is useless without a Monitor/TV.

You do not get a licence request if you purchase a Video recorder.

I would think that licencing authority did not properly check to see if there was a valid licence for the property.

  chrishillcoat 22:01 29 Aug 2003

It's odd that Dixons didn't tell you - when I worked for Argos we had to take details including dates of birth! I can't remember the reason any more, sadly.


I am afraid that "Big brother" is in more places than you would think, for example, now that the Post office is now almost completely computerised think of all the details THEY collect; Driver licence details, passport, Vehicle Excise licence, utility bills, banking details, welfare benifits and child support, pensions, I am sure there are many more, enough for big brother to know EXACTLY what you are up to should they wish.

I agree it seems a bit much and I had exactly the same problems as you when I brought a TV card many months ago - the Fiance has a licence but they wrote to me so many times I think the postage alone was more than the fee!!! ;-))

  jospar 23:33 29 Aug 2003

You try convincing them that you don't have anything in the house that recieves a t.v signal!

Letter after letter, threats after threats!

My personal view is that they have nothing in the back of there vans. My theory on How they dectect. Well its simple. Every household in the land has a address, weather it be Buck Place, or that damp, mouldy cold flat that I used to live in my poverty days. So all they need to do is to compare the two list, and match the t.v lience thats been collected to a address, and the ones that are left over haven't got one, so they take a trundle down to your house and ask you.

If they sat outside my flat, they would have had a long wait to catch a signal being recieved, I think it was something like 2 years or so.

Come to think of it, my lience still has my maiden name on it, can't remember changing it when I got married, I sling the lience in with all my other paperwork when it arrives (pay by dd).

If I remember rightly, isn't the telly that silver thing in the corner of the lounge surrounded by speakers, which I remember when I brought it I had to take it out of the box in the car park to get it into my car, and my car is noway small.


T.V card in my computer no chance, no way.

Strictly speaking a licence is required for ALL receving equipment, which includes TV tuner cards. They do indeed cross reference addresses and make calls on addresses without licences, but they are also armed with handheld detectors, which are considerably cheaper than vans these days..... Extract from the TV licensing site which confirms you are covered>>>

"Mobile homes and caravans
If you or any other person uses a TV in your static caravan or mobile home and another is being used in your main home at the same time, you'll need a separate TV Licence.

However, if a TV isn't being used in your static caravan or mobile home at the same time as in your home, you don't need a separate TV Licence. In which case you'll just need to complete a declaration form (see below).

The TV Licence for your main address will, however, automatically cover any TV used in a touring caravan, vehicle or boat, or any televisions operated by their own internal batteries."

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