Originally Posted by ravenheart
We have to buy a license every year. It used to genuinely be a license to own a TV. That was back when we only had four channels and there were no such things as games consoles or playback devices.
Now, you can own one without a license, but you can only use it for games consoles and DVD players (and other minority situations, like using it solely as a CCTV monitor, as a radio, or as output for a stereo system). Interestingly, you don't need the license if you only watch on-demand TV services. I guarantee they'll change that.
You need the license to watch live TV of any kind. It also covers TV cards in computers, and set-top boxes.
It's basically how we fund the BBC.
Same system here too, with our equivalent company, RTE. They tend to be even stricter over here too, if it can output a video signal of any kind, they view as potentially a television and charge the license.