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Do I Need A TV Licence To Watch BBC iplayer, 4oD, Play Games Consoles Or Watch DVD's?

Updated on September 15, 2012

There is a massive misconception that everyone who owns a TV must have a TV licence by law but that's not necessarily true!

The trick to it, is understanding the small print a little bit. The TV Licensing website states that 'you must have a TV licence to watch or record anything that is being shown live at the time'.

This means that you can watch BBC iplayer or 4oD without a licence as they are pre-recorded. You can also fully use your TV screen as a monitor for DVD's or Games consoles without needing a licence.


Don't Pay For It If You Don't Use It

I gave up on watching TV years ago, I grew fed up of it being constantly full of repeats, adverts and general bad viewing. I sat there one day and realised that I am wasting my life away watching other people live theirs.

When that dawned on me I quickly realised how much I begrudged paying so much for it and simply didn't want to give away my hard earned money any more.

I did however, still occasionally enjoy a good film and the games console and so the kids did too, so that's when I looked into it some more. Back then it was by far more difficult to let them know you didn't need a licence and a letter stating the law was the only way around it. Now it's a lot easier. Phew... for you guys!

Staff Don't Always Realise Themselves.

You can contact them by phone but be warned, many of the staff don't always know themselves so be prepared to have plenty of patience (and possibly phone credit).

It's a good idea to have a read through the 'How to tell us you don't watch TV' section of their website before you phone them so that you can refresh their memories of it. If that fails then putting it in writing should do the trick.

You can also go on to their website and simply fill out an 'online declaration form'.

So what does 'live at the time of showing' really mean?

That basically means you can't tune into Eastenders, Carnation Street or such programmes to watch or record it at the same time as everybody else because it's being shown 'at the time' and viewings like the news are often presented live as they happen, but you can however if you decide you really want to catch up on some programmes, watch them on BBC iplayer or 4oD at a later time or date.

If you choose to get rid of your TV Licence, remember to take into consideration whether or not you watch 'Live' TV on anything else such as your Mobile Phone or Computer, as you would still need a licence.


What Happens When You Buy A New TV?

Just about all shops that sell TV's are now obliged to take your name and address. The shops then forward your details on to the TV Licensing company.

Even if you have previously already informed them that you don't need a TV Licence, you will still probably receive a letter stating that they are aware you have purchased a new TV and you must buy a licence.

If that is the case, you will have to contact them again stating why you don't need a licence. Yes it's a complete pain, but it'll save you a small fortune in the long run.

How Much Could You Be Saving?

In just five years of not having for a TV licence you would have found many other ways to enjoy living your life and saved up to £727.50 in doing so.

In truth, that much money probably won't actually go very far, but better it be in your pocket for you to spend on the things you do like, than to be handing it over to someone else for something you don't want or need.


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    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hello Kasmir,

      Thanks for having a read. I personally think a licence is far too expensive for what TV has to offer. I've found so many more hobbies, things I enjoy doing and spend loads more time bonding with my family since giving up the TV.

      Thanks for the

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Victoria, This is all great information and useful information to help everyone in the UK to decide if they will need a license for their TV, well done !

      Vote up and more !!!