A post I did on Corrugated Soundbite's great blog:
I cancelled the telly tax sometime ago – I hardly watched TV as most of the stuff was abysmal, such as X-factor, Strictly Come Lap Dancing and other panem et circenses programs. As for the news, it was either sensationalised trivia, celebrity worship or in the case of the BBC, outright bias which had me reaching for the bendroflumethiazide.
If there are any programs I want to watch I either watch on demand or rent/buy the bluray DVDs. Being a geek, I have networked, using CAT6 cabling, the entire house and can stream media to any TV or PC in the house using NMTs.
Life is much better without TV, it’s more fulfilled and hours of your life are not simply wasted in silence watching angry soaps full of cliché repeating, angry chav-like actors. I like spending time reading debates on blogs, selecting online news from different countries for a wider perspective. Suddenly, news becomes more of a discussion than a one way stream of propaganda. It’s quite liberating.
Cancelling the licence is simple: one phone call, one cancelled direct debit, tear up the letters as they arrive and most importantly: one notice of “implied right of access denied for the following companies: Capita, TV Licensing and the BBC”.
The TV Licensing guy that eventually turned up at my place walked up my drive, read the notice, scratched his head, made a call on his mobile and went away, never to be seen again. And the letters suddenly stopped.
I know most people think you need a TV licence if you own a TV. That’s wrong, it’s any device used to receive live broadcast. You can use a laptop or a TV to view DVDs or other streamable material.
I know most people are worried that they may be caught. Put a notice up and ignore the TV Licence guys – they’re a private company and you can deny them right of access to your property. They are the ones infringing the law if they come up to your property.
They must obtain a warrant to enter your premises but they need to show the court proof that the occupier is watching live broadcast – this is an expensive route and if they have deceived the court in any way, they can be in big, big trouble both as an individual and a company. That is why warrants are extremely rare.
There are also no TV detector vans to catch you – they cross check their licence database with the address. The TV detector vans are empty hoaxes. No one to date has been prosecuted using a TV detector. Because they don’t exist, although the technology is feasible, it is cheaper for Capita to use the database and employ empty threats.
And there's absolutely no way they could stop me from watching live broadcasts using software on my PC using my network, should I choose to.
Like New Zealand, the licence fee will go eventually - it needs a critical mass of people to be aware of the above and then the cost of defending the licence fee becomes too great.
So, come on people, let's do it!