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IPTV - a licence for watching TV online on a computer?

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With ever increasing broadband speeds (for some) and an even more tech savvy public who want to watch specific TV programmes when THEY want to, IPTV or Internet Protocol TV is pretty much inevitable.

The trouble is, here in the UK we have such things as the Television licence and the 2003 Communications act to regulate the broadcasters and skim some cash off the viewing public. Now with things as they are, you don't need a television licence to watch programmes broadcast over IPTV.  Programming at the moment is scarce, limited only to a few ISP's and cable companies who are willing to try out the new technology.  Apparently BT have announced they will be introducing a new IPTV service for broadband customers later this year called “catch-up” that allows viewers to watch programmes that they missed either free or for a small flexible subscription.  It will be interesting to see how that pans out, but I suspect that television shows broadcast over the internet in some form will become very popular over the next few years.  It will be more convenient, because you can watch what you want, when you want and as the Internet is a two-way medium, it means that there is great potential for interactive entertainment.  At present there are already hundreds of thousands of pirated TV shows and movies available for download.  It’s a potentially exciting future for television; however there is one little problem, and that is the ‘PC tax’

The PC tax could eventually replace the TV Licence according to The Department for Culture, Media and Sport.  According to one Tessa Jowel, the current traditional licence is sufficient to fund the BBC through until 2007, but beyond that “we may have to take account of the rapid advance in technology and media consumption”.  According to a recent green paper, there could be a compulsory levy on all households that own a PC either replacing or alongside the existing television licence.

Well so much for the brave new world of IPTV then.  Personally I can see any future PC tax being as popular as Thatcher’s poll tax and probably just as enforceable.  For example, how do you know who has a PC and who doesn’t?

IPTV, the future of television, but what about the PC tax that may replace the TV licence Not everybody buys from a store.  Many people build their own PC’s.  Is there likely to be some sort of census to find out who currently owns a PC or will the ISP’s provide that information. Also, just as not everyone (myself included) has a TV, not everyone in the country has an Internet connection and there will always be a percentage of people who use the Internet at home for purposes other than entertainment.

Basically the whole idea of a PC tax is seriously flawed and I predict that it won’t even get off the ground.  However, as with a great many things, ‘we’ - the public have to vote with our feet, voice our opinion and keep the politicians in line.  We’ve got to make them understand its not workable and we don’t want it.


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thinker

thinker

if the bbc want to distribute their programmes on the net then thay should be encrypted so that only those paying them would be able to see them, to tax broadband users for use of the net is not on as the bbc does not own the net or the servers connected to it, just another way to get money for nothing for the bbc
thinker
25th Aug 11 23:36

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DSG

DSG

Yipeee,another tax designed to milk the taxpayer out of yet more money.
Aren't we taxed enough? There's car tax,council tax,congestion charges,etc.
DSG
4th Feb 11 22:39

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Michael

Michael

John, in malta the tv licence was supposed to be romoved otherwise malta will be fined be EU. What happened, because in 2010 we are still being charged this licence?
Michael
27th Jul 10 18:19

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We are not in the 70s anymore!

We are not in the 70s anymore!

In a country that is already taxed to the hilt, with house prices still far too high, fuel and energy bills rocketing upwards, food prices and food quality in an ever widening disparity.. TRIVIAL rubbish like 'watching BBC' (applies to BBC radio also, does anyone listen to radio now if they have a choice? Come on people it's the age of choice not what these guys force feed you! get your CDs/MP3s on ffs) should be entirely optional. It's bordering on criminal (if not actually illegal in some countries) to be 'enforcing' this payment for a service we simply do not require or desire any more.

BBC GTF!
We are not in the 70s anymore!
26th Jan 10 09:10

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We are not in the 70s anymore!

We are not in the 70s anymore!

Old thread but coming up in google. Seriously this BBC 'licence to print money' is beyond a joke. I and many more people these days don't even WATCH TV (any channel!). That is what we did as kids or before there were more choices out there. Back when we only had crappy Atari's and 4 channels to chose from we all got a lot of use out of the BBC (admit it). These days however, we are all far too busy, and have far more exciting things to do with our time than sit down and once the utter trash they pump out on TV (all channels). If any good show does appear, I'll tend to buy it on DVD to watch it in my own time, so THERE is your license money. Make your product compete.

What makes it worse is the heavy handed tone the BBC have always taken, not with encouraging reasons why you should buy and *OPTIONAL* license but endless threats, even the 'detector van' adverts are made to instill fear and paranoia in people (check the wording and the soundtrack). Honestly It makes me so angry that I am forced to pay over £100 a year to some 'company' when I don't even USE them.. EVER! I have a TV in my house so I can hook it up to the DVD player and Console/BluRay. IT is a display device not an 'automatic must watch BBC' device. Seriously, make BBC like satellite sub channels and require a decoder card or something to watch it, then we'll see how many people bother, how many would waste money and hours of their lives if they had to pay for it. BBC knows this, knows that given a choice most people would rather get off their fat a***s and do something other than watch the seriously declining quality of shows like 'Eastenders' (used to be great, many many years ago).
We are not in the 70s anymore!
26th Jan 10 09:10

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John

John

In Malta we pay a licence too, similar to that of the UK, however the EU forced the local broadcasting authoity to remove it, otherwise they will be given massive fines. Infact it will cease on 31st Dec 08. Itgs strange the EU hasn't imposed the same thing on the UK
John
12th May 08 20:53

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Bob

Bob

Me too. I've had enough.

Actually, I think some paranoid individuals are worrying about nothing here. There's no way a PC tax could ever be introduced... it would be completely unenforcable to begin with. However, downloads and streaming are becoming very popular and the industry needs to move with the technology. I predict that one day TV licence will be a thing of the past.
Bob
18th Feb 08 15:15

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mbbphoto

mbbphoto

That is it. I have finally had enough, I'm leaving !
mbbphoto
18th Feb 08 11:45

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overfiftys

overfiftys

I've just spent the last six months with our TV unplugged, stored in the garage while the house was renovated. No-one will give me six months refund though (ho ho ho). Did I miss the TV? Not likely! The drivel that is shown now is unbelievable. I get far more fun out of my computer....actually I don't watch TV on it, because it hasnt got a TV card installed but I dont suppose that will stop anyone from trying to tax it.

Absolutely PC tax must be resisted at all costs.
overfiftys
25th Dec 07 17:00

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Glyn Brain

Glyn Brain

Abolish the Television Licence altogether, but keep the BBC as a news & education channel, and fund it directly from the Treasury. I have a broadband internet connection on my pc, no television, no TV licence and will fight a PC licence. It's time the TVL gravy train was shut down, not merely amended or modernised.
The TVL is definitely a case of "Once you start paying the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane". (no offence intended to the people of Denmark)
First, I suggest everyone fights a possible PC licence until it is dead and buried, then do the same with the TVL.
Like many others, I am sick of receiving a long succession of threatening letters.
Glyn Brain
9th Dec 07 17:43

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FR@SER

FR@SER

So as usual we'll pay to view and the rest of the world will be able to watch for free.

What would happen if you don't use the IPTV service but you have a wireless connection and someone's illegally using your wireless connection to watch IPTV
FR@SER
13th Apr 06 22:31

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Stratus

Stratus

If they did have a pc tax they'd have to link it to high-speed broad band. Or maybe they'd give people with an old computer and a 28K modem connection the same sort of reduction that blind people get for their TV licence. Its silly .. what will they tax next? air? It's like the Georgian window tax - it's just a money grab,
Stratus
4th Apr 06 23:03

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MLB

MLB

IPTV TAX - Jeez what will the greedy c**ts think of next, they already RIP US OFF with the overpriced TV Licence (which costs £25 per year in Malta!!!), maybe we should all move there, then the BBC would effectively be bankrupt!
MLB
10th Feb 06 02:52

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IPTV for me

IPTV for me

IP TV (IPTV) internet television, call it what you want. It's here all right and you can bet there will be PC or computer tax before long. TV on the web is definately the way forward, but watch out for big brother!! And I don't mean those nutters that lock themselves in a house!
IPTV for me
3rd Feb 06 00:40

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Jon

Jon

The PC Tax, IP TV? What planet are we actually on now? I think its going to be a while before everyone ditches their television in preference to watching TV with a computer
Jon
16th Nov 05 11:25

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