Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

If you've just arrived here from a search engine, then you might find our Quick Guide helpful.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. Undercover Detector Vans On Patrol.

Despicable an organisation as TV Licensing is you've just got to love the effrontery of their advertising campaigns.

No other organisation in the world would have the arrogance - an apparent legal immunity - to publish such fabricated nonsense.

Another laughable tit bit of TVL propaganda appeared the other day, with the announcement that they'll be patrolling the streets of Britain with new undercover detector vans.

Quite how you can make empty vans appear less empty is beyond me, but I'm sure TVL have discovered some sort of secret new detector van paint. No doubt it's a paint so secret that even the people filling the tins - who work in isolation from the outside world - don't know what colour it actually is.

A spokesman for TV Licensing said: "The new vans look just like any other van in the street. There used to be an urban myth that the aerials on our vans were dummies and didn't actually work - but the latest ones certainly do."

Indeed they work so well that the Information Commissioner recently agreed that if the BBC revealed accurate information about their detector van fleet it would "change the public's perception of their effectiveness."

Or, in plain English, the public would very quickly become aware of how ineffective (if existent) the equipment actually was.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"A spokesman for TV Licensing said: "The new vans look just like any other van in the street. There used to be an urban myth that the aerials on our vans were dummies and didn't actually work - but the latest ones certainly do.""

Well, that confirms it: the vans from the past were dummies, or the spokesman would have phrased that differently. His use of "but" shows that the conditions have changed, and as he is trying to say the detector vans work now, we can only conclude that in the past they did not.

And considering they lied about TV detection in the past, they are probably lying now too.

With CRT based TVs I should think that theoretically the X-Rays generated by the electron beam striking the screen would have been detectable. These days though, many TVs are flat panels, and work differently to CRTs. They do not give off a signal that would be unique to the device: flat panel TVs are the same tech as flat panel computer monitors (much more similar than CRT TVs and CRT computer monitors ever were), and even the light in flat panel TVs is just a fluorescent lamp - not massively different from CFL energy saving bulbs, or long fluorescent tubes.

The bits and pieces in modern TVs may kick out electromagnet radiation that is detectable, but there are so many similar pieces of tech these days that discerning what comes from a TV and what doesn't would be economically non-viable. Hence their reliance on their database and threatening letters. The patterns of signals from a CRT TV may have been discernible from a CRT computer monitor, due to things like screen refresh rates and number of lines on the display, but was this tech ever available to groups less than military signals intelligence, NSA, MI5, GCHQ, etc.? Probably not, due to the lack of confirmed people caught without a licence by a detector van in the past.

What I find most offensive about the TV licensing is that the TV licensing company is the only company that is allowed to advertise on the BBC. One reason I find paying the TV license acceptable is because it allows some channels and radio stations have no commercial advertising, but the licensing adverts exception make my justification moot.


A bunch of for-profit private companies that are allowed to advertise on the BBC. The adverts should be on the commercial channels: you need to have a TV licence to watch those too.