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(BBC)   Over 13,000 UK households have a telly primed and ready for Doctor Who.... series one, season one   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 45
    More: Strange, Doctor Who, licence fee, Licensing authority, TV Licensing  
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3356 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Jan 2013 at 5:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-10 12:27:00 AM
I've just finished streaming that on Amazon Prime. High def.

Kinda crazy how much fun it was. I can see how it caught on.
 
2013-01-10 12:27:25 AM
wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com

We're always in trouble! Isn't this extraordinary - it follows us everywhere!
 
2013-01-10 03:57:43 AM
I don't think so.

FTFA:  "A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50."

There are 13,000 B&W licenses, not 13,000 B&W sets in use.  Some of those people will be people who just never upgraded their license when they got color TV 40 years ago, due either to ignorance or deception, but I bet the vast majority of those B&W licenses (sorry, licences--this is UK after all) are people who just don't want to pay the extra nearly £100 a year for something they're confident the licensing authority won't actually notice.

Back in the day in UK, the licensing authority actually used to drive around in trucks that could detect the magnetic field off CRTs.  Back then, they may have actually been able to dell the difference between a color set and a B&W one, but with the rise of CRT-based computer monitors and later new monitor technology that doesn't give off a huge magnetic signature, they had to abandon the practice.
 
2013-01-10 04:11:22 AM
It's all about Susan... Susan this, Susan that...  and she's not even a good character. All she does is scream, cry, and run away, yet the showrunner insists on making her the center of the episodes. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET BACK TO SHOWS ABOUT THE DOCTOR?!?
 
2013-01-10 04:53:54 AM
Upon scanning the headline, I was like:

pawsru.org


but after perusing the article, I'm now like:

www.thetimes.co.uk
 
2013-01-10 05:31:44 AM

Radak: I don't think so.

FTFA:  "A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50."

There are 13,000 B&W licenses, not 13,000 B&W sets in use.  Some of those people will be people who just never upgraded their license when they got color TV 40 years ago, due either to ignorance or deception, but I bet the vast majority of those B&W licenses (sorry, licences--this is UK after all) are people who just don't want to pay the extra nearly £100 a year for something they're confident the licensing authority won't actually notice.

Back in the day in UK, the licensing authority actually used to drive around in trucks that could detect the magnetic field off CRTs.  Back then, they may have actually been able to dell the difference between a color set and a B&W one, but with the rise of CRT-based computer monitors and later new monitor technology that doesn't give off a huge magnetic signature, they had to abandon the practice.


Ok. Is this license the government equivalent of cable over there, or is there simply a fee to have a television and use it?
 
2013-01-10 05:39:37 AM

Jaws_Victim: Radak: I don't think so.

FTFA:  "A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50."

There are 13,000 B&W licenses, not 13,000 B&W sets in use.  Some of those people will be people who just never upgraded their license when they got color TV 40 years ago, due either to ignorance or deception, but I bet the vast majority of those B&W licenses (sorry, licences--this is UK after all) are people who just don't want to pay the extra nearly £100 a year for something they're confident the licensing authority won't actually notice.

Back in the day in UK, the licensing authority actually used to drive around in trucks that could detect the magnetic field off CRTs.  Back then, they may have actually been able to dell the difference between a color set and a B&W one, but with the rise of CRT-based computer monitors and later new monitor technology that doesn't give off a huge magnetic signature, they had to abandon the practice.

Ok. Is this license the government equivalent of cable over there, or is there simply a fee to have a television and use it?


It's basically a tax to help fund public broadcasting.

For example, the BBC is commercial-free because their operating budget is paid by the government through collection of the television tax.

If you watch programming as it is broadcast, you have to pay for the license.

However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.
 
2013-01-10 05:43:58 AM

Radak: Back in the day in UK, the licensing authority actually used to drive around in trucks that could detect the magnetic field off CRTs. Back then, they may have actually been able to dell the difference between a color set and a B&W one, but with the rise of CRT-based computer monitors and later new monitor technology that doesn't give off a huge magnetic signature, they had to abandon the practice.


Just to nitpick, it detects the antennas, not anything generated by CRTs. Any and every antenna is both a receiver and transmitter, and they picked up the radio signals scattered off the antennas.

CRTs do generate detectable emissions (c.f. van Eck phreaking) but they're baseband, and you have to supply your own synchronization signals (not terribly difficult since there's only a few common resolutions and you can key off the hblank and vblank periods of the CRT signal). Van Eck phreaking has never been demonstrated working at more than half-soccer-field range to my knowledge. Neat thing though - since a CRT is basically a very broadband arbitrary signal amplifier, you can turn it into a working short range AM radio station (google 'tempest for eliza').
 
2013-01-10 05:52:40 AM

erik-k: Any and every antenna is both a receiver and transmitter, and they picked up the radio signals scattered off the antennas.


So what you're saying is there's no way to detect the chroma capabilities of the receiver, even if you accept the fuzzy detection of "a receiver" as evidence of a television (which people trying to avoid the fee should not in the first place, as the difference between "antenna" and "bits of wire" is nothing more than orientation).
 
2013-01-10 06:08:16 AM

unlikely: I've just finished streaming that on Amazon Prime. High def.

Kinda crazy how much fun it was. I can see how it caught on.


Yeah, the show was a lot more fun when they didn't feel obligated to make the Doctor even remotely sympathetic, or even particularly the protagonist in the first place.

profplump: erik-k: Any and every antenna is both a receiver and transmitter, and they picked up the radio signals scattered off the antennas.

So what you're saying is there's no way to detect the chroma capabilities of the receiver, even if you accept the fuzzy detection of "a receiver" as evidence of a television (which people trying to avoid the fee should not in the first place, as the difference between "antenna" and "bits of wire" is nothing more than orientation).


The difference between an antenna and bits of wire is a sharply tuned absorption character, as opposed to random absorption and scattering. Otherwise your antenna wouldn't be able to pick up radio waves, or possibly your wall sockets would be playing every radio station in range.

You can actually tell the difference by doing a frequency sweep with an imager, if you really care enough to do so. Whether you can tell color or not off the absorption characteristics of the antenna is sort of a matter of how the three color signals are carried, if they're just three regularly spaced image signals the distinction would actually be pretty obvious.

erik-k: Van Eck phreaking has never been demonstrated working at more than half-soccer-field range to my knowledge.


What he was describing was essentially the precursor to wardriving, you'd only need, what, 50 to 100 feet or so of range, on average? Not like they'd be terribly worried about a few false negatives from the people with houses deeper than a soccer field, those people probably have no qualms about paying the license.
 
2013-01-10 06:13:35 AM

profplump: erik-k: Any and every antenna is both a receiver and transmitter, and they picked up the radio signals scattered off the antennas.

So what you're saying is there's no way to detect the chroma capabilities of the receiver, even if you accept the fuzzy detection of "a receiver" as evidence of a television (which people trying to avoid the fee should not in the first place, as the difference between "antenna" and "bits of wire" is nothing more than orientation).


No way I can think of that you'd distinguish the type of receiver.

And there is a larger difference between a receiver and a random piece of wire - the receiver has a controlled characteristic impedance, and it's connected to a resonant circuit which shares the same characteristic impedance, which means an antenna will efficiently absorb incoming radio. This also means it efficiently emits it - the best an antenna can do is absorb half the incoming EM radiation while reradiating the other half. In other words, an antenna has an enormous "radar cross section" at the frequency it's tuned to, whereas a piece of wire (like all the non-impedance-matched power wiring in our homes) doesn't.
 
2013-01-10 06:21:03 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Jaws_Victim: Radak: I don't think so.

FTFA:  "A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50."

There are 13,000 B&W licenses, not 13,000 B&W sets in use.  Some of those people will be people who just never upgraded their license when they got color TV 40 years ago, due either to ignorance or deception, but I bet the vast majority of those B&W licenses (sorry, licences--this is UK after all) are people who just don't want to pay the extra nearly £100 a year for something they're confident the licensing authority won't actually notice.

Back in the day in UK, the licensing authority actually used to drive around in trucks that could detect the magnetic field off CRTs.  Back then, they may have actually been able to dell the difference between a color set and a B&W one, but with the rise of CRT-based computer monitors and later new monitor technology that doesn't give off a huge magnetic signature, they had to abandon the practice.

Ok. Is this license the government equivalent of cable over there, or is there simply a fee to have a television and use it?

It's basically a tax to help fund public broadcasting.

For example, the BBC is commercial-free because their operating budget is paid by the government through collection of the television tax.

If you watch programming as it is broadcast, you have to pay for the license.

However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.


Gotcha. I guess that makes sense. Tv is free in the us but you pay for public broadcasting through taxes. The uk is just way more transparent and you only pay if you use it. Seems pretty expensive though.
 
2013-01-10 06:35:23 AM
ehm... none of the tvs support the format used at the time of the original airing
 
2013-01-10 06:43:07 AM

Jaws_Victim: Gotcha. I guess that makes sense. Tv is free in the us but you pay for public broadcasting through taxes. The uk is just way more transparent and you only pay if you use it. Seems pretty expensive though.


It's not so bad: the BBC provides some pretty high-quality programming for a not-unreasonable fee.

Here in Switzerland, it's CHF 462 ($500.76 USD) while in the UK it's £145.50 ($233.45 USD).

I wish the US had something comparable to the BBC, in that its a editorially-independent, publicly-funded broadcasting service.
 
2013-01-10 06:47:00 AM

heypete: I wish the US had something comparable to the BBC, in that its a editorially-independent, publicly-funded broadcasting service.


PBS. Not precisely the same deal, but pretty close. BBC produces more content because it's proven a bit more popular and thus has more funding to subsidize or outright fund shows wholesale, but the underlying system is basically the same.
 
2013-01-10 07:00:15 AM

Jaws_Victim: Seems pretty expensive though.


The programming the tax pays for more than justifies it. The science programming from the BBC alone is just awesome. And their history programming is equal to it.
 
2013-01-10 07:15:16 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Jaws_Victim: Radak: I don't think so.

FTFA:  "A black-and-white TV licence costs £49 a year, a colour licence costs £145.50."

There are 13,000 B&W licenses, not 13,000 B&W sets in use.  Some of those people will be people who just never upgraded their license when they got color TV 40 years ago, due either to ignorance or deception, but I bet the vast majority of those B&W licenses (sorry, licences--this is UK after all) are people who just don't want to pay the extra nearly £100 a year for something they're confident the licensing authority won't actually notice.

Back in the day in UK, the licensing authority actually used to drive around in trucks that could detect the magnetic field off CRTs.  Back then, they may have actually been able to dell the difference between a color set and a B&W one, but with the rise of CRT-based computer monitors and later new monitor technology that doesn't give off a huge magnetic signature, they had to abandon the practice.

Ok. Is this license the government equivalent of cable over there, or is there simply a fee to have a television and use it?

It's basically a tax to help fund public broadcasting.

For example, the BBC is commercial-free because their operating budget is paid by the government through collection of the television tax.

If you watch programming as it is broadcast, you have to pay for the license.

However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.


How do you know what to buy?
 
2013-01-10 07:20:11 AM

FirstNationalBastard: However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.


Not true...

THE ONLY point at which you no longer have to pay for a licence, is if the devices in question does not contain ANY kind of tuner.

(this excludes computers accessing BBC iPlayer in which case you should still buy a tv licence)

Also the TV detector van thing was largely a myth to scare you into buying a licence...all they ever really did was cross reference the database of households with TV licence against the database of TV's sold by retailers, and then go and knock on the doors of people without licences.
 
2013-01-10 07:20:47 AM
it should also be noted that you require a licence to listen to any sort of radio as well.
 
2013-01-10 07:26:47 AM

WhyteRaven74: Jaws_Victim: Seems pretty expensive though.

The programming the tax pays for more than justifies it. The science programming from the BBC alone is just awesome. And their history programming is equal to it.


Does this particular tax also cover the radio service from the bbc? Because I listen to that everyday at 2am and agree it is fantastic.
 
2013-01-10 07:26:56 AM

moel: THE ONLY point at which you no longer have to pay for a licence, is if the devices in question does not contain ANY kind of tuner.


I don't know why people seem to think this. The TV Licensing website says quite clearly:

The law states that you need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record television programmes, on any device, as they're being shown on TV. This includes TVs, computers, mobile phones, games consoles, digital boxes and Blu-ray/DVD/VHS recorders.

You don't need a licence if you don't use any of these devices to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV - for example, if you use your TV only to watch DVDs or play video games, or you only watch 'catch up' services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD.

The radio licence was abolished in 1971.
 
2013-01-10 08:02:30 AM

moel: FirstNationalBastard: However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.

Not true...

THE ONLY point at which you no longer have to pay for a licence, is if the devices in question does not contain ANY kind of tuner.


Does this include NTSC tuners?

I mean I'm all for reasonable enforcement, but if I were to move to England and take my TV with me, I'd be f%$#ing pissed if they wanted to charge me a TV license fee when the damn thing can't view anything the country broadcasts.
 
2013-01-10 08:34:29 AM
This news was so much better until I read the story.

I was hoping they were rebroadcasting the entire run, perhaps after successfully recovering all of the video from every show. I was further hoping they'd realize their prices for the dvd sets are atrocious and release them for $20 a season.
 
2013-01-10 08:49:37 AM

erik-k: No way I can think of that you'd distinguish the type of receiver.

You can't tell if it is a B/W or colour receiver but the CRT gun voltages are much higher on the colour tubes and that shows up.  You don't use a superheterodyne to detect the tuner, you look for the CRT sweep pattern... at least until computer monitorers were common.

moel: Also the TV detector van thing was largely a myth to scare you into buying a licence...all they ever really did was cross reference the database of households with TV licence against the database of TV's sold by retailers, and then go and knock on the doors of people without licences.

They had the gear.  It was shown in at least one van used on a b/w Dr who show as Jon Pertwee was dealing with UNIT.  That same gear was also used latter in the Tom Baker days in fixed sets such as "Power of Kroll".
 
2013-01-10 08:52:48 AM

Yotto: This news was so much better until I read the story.

I was hoping they were rebroadcasting the entire run, perhaps after successfully recovering all of the video from every show. I was further hoping they'd realize their prices for the dvd sets are atrocious and release them for $20 a season.


Seriously?

With all the reconstruction and restoration the classic serials from the 60s and 70s take, you expect them to be 20 bucks per season?

Not to mention that a season of Classic Who from Hartnell's era was usually 50 episodes or so, since they didn't really have weeks off for the first couple years?
 
2013-01-10 09:25:05 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Yotto: This news was so much better until I read the story.

I was hoping they were rebroadcasting the entire run, perhaps after successfully recovering all of the video from every show. I was further hoping they'd realize their prices for the dvd sets are atrocious and release them for $20 a season.

Seriously?

With all the reconstruction and restoration the classic serials from the 60s and 70s take, you expect them to be 20 bucks per season?

Not to mention that a season of Classic Who from Hartnell's era was usually 50 episodes or so, since they didn't really have weeks off for the first couple years?


To be fair, with as many episodes that are missing, a full season might actually be $20 worth.
 
2013-01-10 09:40:13 AM
William Hartnell was the best doctor imo.
 
2013-01-10 09:55:50 AM

UNC_Samurai: FirstNationalBastard: Yotto: This news was so much better until I read the story.

I was hoping they were rebroadcasting the entire run, perhaps after successfully recovering all of the video from every show. I was further hoping they'd realize their prices for the dvd sets are atrocious and release them for $20 a season.

Seriously?

With all the reconstruction and restoration the classic serials from the 60s and 70s take, you expect them to be 20 bucks per season?

Not to mention that a season of Classic Who from Hartnell's era was usually 50 episodes or so, since they didn't really have weeks off for the first couple years?

To be fair, with as many episodes that are missing, a full season might actually be $20 worth.


Actually, there are only 7 episodes missing of the 42 season 1 episodes.

The complete 7 episode Marco Polo serial is gone. All the other episodes exist (with some animated help in the serial Reign of Terror). And season 2 is missing only 2 of 39 episodes, with the two missing episodes probably to be animated soon.

Seasons 3-6 got hit pretty hard, though.
 
2013-01-10 10:10:24 AM
Oh God, I just realized what a horrible trend that could come from this. Hipsters buying black and white TVs because it's like so retro. Or buying 5000 dollar TVs and setting the color settings to black and white.

/Gahh!
 
2013-01-10 11:24:11 AM
I have heard that the TV detecting vans were just empty vans that they drive around to scare people into paying up.
 
2013-01-10 11:34:08 AM

ActionJoe: Oh God, I just realized what a horrible trend that could come from this. Hipsters buying black and white TVs because it's like so retro. Or buying 5000 dollar TVs and setting the color settings to black and white.

/Gahh!


I fail to see how it would affect you either way.
 
2013-01-10 12:11:17 PM
A little off topic, but anyone over a certain age will probably agree that cheap B&W TV's had a far better picture than cheap color sets. Especially if you were in a "fringe" reception area. I happily rocked a B&W until cable became prevalent.
 
2013-01-10 12:57:08 PM

yukichigai: moel: FirstNationalBastard: However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.

Not true...

THE ONLY point at which you no longer have to pay for a licence, is if the devices in question does not contain ANY kind of tuner.

Does this include NTSC tuners?

I mean I'm all for reasonable enforcement, but if I were to move to England and take my TV with me, I'd be f%$#ing pissed if they wanted to charge me a TV license fee when the damn thing can't view anything the country broadcasts.


If you have no ability to view live television then you wouldn't need a tv licence. As long as you can prove you can't receive the signal you will be fine.
 
2013-01-10 01:00:46 PM
its nice to talk about the antenna but
they look for the local oscillator
that is the little signal broadcaster
in the set it is only one frequency but
if you modulate it it becomes a radio
 
2013-01-10 01:58:17 PM
This thread is severely lacking on Jenna-Louise Coleman photos...
 
2013-01-10 02:29:22 PM
Even ignoring the license vs. actually having a B&W set issue...

I know my dad had a b&w TV for the garage for decades even though the TV in the house was always in color. And indeed the second TV in the house was also in color. (Yeah the main reason for the second TV was for a C-64 monitor.)

/Damn they should have aired 1963 Doctor Who episodes. Some of them are actually worth watching.
 
2013-01-10 02:29:39 PM
Right Viv, eat the telly!
 
2013-01-10 02:30:39 PM

Norfolking Chance: yukichigai: moel: FirstNationalBastard: However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.

Not true...

THE ONLY point at which you no longer have to pay for a licence, is if the devices in question does not contain ANY kind of tuner.

Does this include NTSC tuners?

I mean I'm all for reasonable enforcement, but if I were to move to England and take my TV with me, I'd be f%$#ing pissed if they wanted to charge me a TV license fee when the damn thing can't view anything the country broadcasts.

If you have no ability to view live television then you wouldn't need a tv licence. As long as you can prove you can't receive the signal you will be fine.


You don't even need to prove it. They have to prove you need a licence. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

And the BBC is fantastic value for £145 a year. I pay £650 a year for Sky, yet watch far more BBC stuff. No adverts, lots of great show and people like Top Gear can say a car is rubbish without having to worry about upsetting advertisers.
 
2013-01-10 02:34:00 PM

moel: FirstNationalBastard: However, if your TV isn't connected to cable or an antenna, and used only for a video game system, or a DVD player, or any non-live form of viewing, you don't have to pay for a license.

Not true...

THE ONLY point at which you no longer have to pay for a licence, is if the devices in question does not contain ANY kind of tuner.

(this excludes computers accessing BBC iPlayer in which case you should still buy a tv licence)

Also the TV detector van thing was largely a myth to scare you into buying a licence...all they ever really did was cross reference the database of households with TV licence against the database of TV's sold by retailers, and then go and knock on the doors of people without licences.


Wrong. You only need a licence if you actually receive (watch or record) live broadcasts.

This also applies to iPlayer. You can legally watch catch up stuff without a licence.
 
2013-01-10 03:30:21 PM
B&W tv's and monarchs. Yep, let's be like the Brits.
 
2013-01-10 03:38:10 PM
www.cardinalfang.net
 
2013-01-10 09:49:56 PM

AiryAnne: B&W tv's and monarchs

Great TV with no adverts.. Yep, let's be like the Brits.

FTFY.
 
2013-01-11 05:31:04 PM

Flint Ironstag: AiryAnne: B&W tv's and monarchs Great TV with no adverts.. Yep, let's be like the Brits.

FTFY.


Yeah. Actual, proper journalism, great TV series where they only make as many episodes as the creative teams feel they have good material for, and commercial-free F1 with people who what the hell they're talking about...well, we're pretty sure Brundle knows what he's talking about.
 
2013-01-11 07:11:45 PM

UNC_Samurai: Flint Ironstag: AiryAnne: B&W tv's and monarchs Great TV with no adverts.. Yep, let's be like the Brits.

FTFY.

Yeah. Actual, proper journalism, great TV series where they only make as many episodes as the creative teams feel they have good material for, and commercial-free F1 with people who what the hell they're talking about...well, we're pretty sure Brundle knows what he's talking about.


Thanks to the government freezing the licence fee (the Conservative government hate the BBC, but its far too popular for them to openly hurt it, similar to what Romney found out when he said he'd cut PBS funding) the BBC had to do a deal with Sky TV (a Murdock company) to share F1 coverage since it was so expensive.
The BBC can only now show six races live and the rest delayed and highlights only, while Sky gets them all live and in full. But thanks to people being used to BBC coverage Sky have decided to show the entire race with no ad breaks at all, adverts are only in the pre and post race coverage, so we still get the race ad free and with no breaks. Which is nice.
 
2013-01-13 07:45:40 AM

drewogatory: A little off topic, but anyone over a certain age will probably agree that cheap B&W TV's had a far better picture than cheap color sets. Especially if you were in a "fringe" reception area. I happily rocked a B&W until cable became prevalent.


That's true of the NTSC system that was used in the US but not so much for the PAL system that was used in the UK.
 
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