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.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Detecting the Undetectable

During one of my regular TV Licensing related trawls of cyberspace I came across the Life With TV Licensing blog. It's a good blog, written more eloquently than I could ever hope to achieve, and I encourage you to pay it a visit.

It charts the ongoing battle between Andy Mitchell, a retired engineer and genuine non-TV user, and TV Licensing. Andy dispensed with TV a few years back so has no need for a licence. TV Licensing honed in on his unlicensed status and commenced battle with their thinly veiled threats and half truths.

After several months of TV Licensing hate mail landing on his doormat Andy decided to withdraw their implied right of access to his property. They wrote back with their standard "we reserve the right to use other detection techniques" retort. This is where things began to get interesting.

A few months later Andy received another letter from TV Licensing saying they had used alternative detection methods and had "reasonable grounds to believe that television receiving equipment is being used, unlicensed, on your premises."

I think that aptly demonstrates what pathetic and opportunistic vultures TV Licensing actually are. They clearly fabricated their "reasonable grounds" in a further attempt to coerce Andy into paying for something he didn't legally need. How else could they have "reasonable grounds" to assume a genuine non-TV user was committing an offence?

I recently read another TV Licensing letter where their representative, bold as brass, point blank denied any of their employees had been convicted of assaulting members of the public in the course of their duties. A quick Google on Ron Sinclair reveals the indisputable truth of the matter.

TV Licensing: The database is crap, but our imagination and propensity to tell lies knows no bounds.


Anonymous said...

If TV detector vans could detect TV being used , then how ?
I am interested in the ?science? of TV detection.

Jan said...

In the 'old days' analogue TVs would radiate a number of signals as part of their operation. A radio does too - read "Spycatcher".

There was the local oscillator and frame/line synchronising oscillators. These signals can radiate for some tens of metres and have characteristics that easily identify what channel the TV is tuned to. If they match up to any live transmission (which can be independently received in the detection van) - you're nicked!

Many of the vans were just scary looking dummies anyway - but I know there were at least two working ones. Anyone with a background in RF engineering would realise that all the scary-looking antennas they displayed were just nonsense.

Modern TVs don't operate in the same way, so if detection is accomplished at all, it now done in one of two ways: monitoring of the light from the screen (done by careful analysis of any light visible though the window - curtains drawn or not) and compared to the picture changes of channels monitored from the van, or by detecting sound by bouncing lasers from the windows. It's no secret that the latter method is used by security forces, but even in 21st century UK, I suspect the implications for privacy prevent that method being used for something so trivial as TV detection!