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Do I need to pay TV Licence FEEs for using as monitor in client waiting room?

Do I need to pay TV Licence FEEs for using as...

As my question states it clearly, do I need to pay TV licence for using a 32” TV in my client waiting area? The main purpose of this is to make my waiting room more professional and do some presentation in the monitor which will be mounted on wall.

I have seen so many of them in different offices but I am not sure if we need to pay for TV Licence. I have no intention to use this for TV purpose.

You answer, time and effort is much appreciated.




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24th Jun 2011 15:43


and you need one if you can access the tv on your computer and it is plugged into the mains - anyway how long do you lock them in for ?

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24th Jun 2011 15:52

But Most of them don't pay

I know many of them using TV as a Monitor for presentation. They don't pay Licence FEEs. I will use this solely for Presentaions and purpose is use as monitor.

I don't find this cost as a justified expense.


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24th Jun 2011 16:05


As long as the monitor (and its source) can not receive or record live programmes. BBC iplayer is OK.

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24th Jun 2011 16:19

Foreign Exchange Shop don’t pay TV Licence

I just went down to the foreign exchange shop to ask the girl in if they pay TV licence for 4 of their 32” LED TVs?

She replied “No, we don’t use TV. This is Live Exchange Rate Display unit”

Any more opinion guys?


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By Locutus
24th Jun 2011 16:29

My understanding is ...

You only need to pay for a TV licence if it receives live broadcast TV.  It doesn't matter from what TV station or by what transmission means (areial, dish, internet, etc.).

The important question is whether it is live.


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24th Jun 2011 17:19

I believe the phrase is 'capable'

of receiving live tv.

If so you need a licence.

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24th Jun 2011 17:26

Watching the box

To have a license requirement, you must receive broadcast live TV, not just have the potential to do so.  All you need do is be able to confirm that broadcast live TV pictures don't go through your monitor.  Anything else would mean that every computer monitor in the country would require a TV license because you can now watch a live TV stream.

What is legitimate to watch without license is any form of narrowcasting (those F/X screens, horse-racing channels) or the watching of something that is delayed.  Thus watching iplayer does not need a license.  But the whole thing is a minefield.  If you go to the BBC's Wimbledon website, you'll have a choice of watching the match that is on BBC 1 right now (which requires a license for your premises if you don't have one), what's on the BBC's Red Button channel 301 (license required) or coverage from other courts (which doesn't need a license).

A mess - and the likely source of the death of the license fee.

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24th Jun 2011 17:27

Yes, CCTV can need a licence

 If you have CCTV on a television that also needs a licence, even if never used as a normal TV.

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By honesty
24th Jun 2011 17:37

No, definitely not

As long as you don't use your equipment to watch live transmitted television the premises do not need a licence. This includes all transmitted tv whether it is the BBC or the Outer Mongolian hairdressers channel. The aparatus does not need modifying so that it is incapable of receiving.


We have not had licence at home since 1995. Our equipment is for DVDs only. Many letters and visits, but I don't let them in. I refer them to all the previous correspondence. When we first went VHS only I did write TVL to inform them, however, this prompted a needless exchange of letters.

If there still are any questions, I invite them to park their detector van outside.


You do not need a licence for the iPlayer either as long as you don't watch the live feeds on it. If you try to it warns you that you are moving into an area for which you must have a TV licence.





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By Locutus
24th Jun 2011 17:46

Yes, the word "capable" was often used by TV Licensing in the pa

Since the advent of iPlayer, just about any internet-connected computer is "capable" of receiving live TV.  iPlayer isn't just for pre-recorded TV.  I have on a few occassions used it to watch BBC programmes over the internet.  In fact it warns you that you need a TV licence before you start watching it.

I no longer see the "c-word" on TV Licensing's website, but am happy to be proved wrong.  I suspect they have quiety dropped it as technology has moved on.  I think you only actually break the law when you start watching live TV on whatever device you have, without a licence.  Mere possession of a "capable" device is not necessarily proof that you have broken the law by using it.

Happy to be proved wrong by others more knowledgeable.  By the way, I have a TV licence for the home but not for the office!

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By Locutus
24th Jun 2011 17:49

You are a quicker typist than I am, honesty!

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24th Jun 2011 18:48

I learn something new everyday

 I wish I had known a couple of years ago, I could saved a client some money on a TV Licence for CCTV.

Thanks for passing on that information. :)

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25th Jun 2011 08:21

From TV licensing website

Shops and offices - including bars, pubs, restaurants and takeaways

If anyone at your business premises watches or records TV programmes as they are shown on TV, using a device you’ve provided, you need to ensure your premises is covered by a TV Licence. This includes the use of devices such as a TV set, computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/VHS recorder.

Even if your employees, customers or visitors use their own laptop or mobile on your premises to watch live TV, they will need to be covered by a TV Licence. If their device has been plugged into the mains then your business may be liable for any unlicensed use. They will only be covered by their own TV Licence (provided they have one) if their device is being powered solely by its internal batteries. Please call us on 0300 790 6131 if you have any further questions.

A single TV Licence will usually cover your entire business premises, no matter how many TV receiving devices are used on the site. In some cases, however, certain areas may need a separate TV Licence. Please check below to ensure you’re correctly licensed.

It costs £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV Licence.

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29th Jun 2011 12:59


as it says on the TV licencing website:  "You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it's being broadcast."

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29th Jun 2011 13:22

actually your question is not clear

first of all you say using as a monitor then as a TV, its still a YES from me

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01st Jul 2011 11:46


ABSOLUTELY NOT, unless you watch or record televison broadcasts.

If you don't have an antenna connected, you can't watch or record TV broadcasts.

You DO NOT need a television broadcast receiving licence if you use CCTV cameras. CCTV stands for Closed Circuit TeleVision and, as the description implies, it is Closed Circuit so doesn't need a broadcast reception licence.

The only thing you may need is a Performing Rights licence if you show and videos, photos or play music that you  as a company don't own the copyright to.


Roger Neale
Perkeo Computer Systems Ltd

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01st Jul 2011 13:13

A bit off message but.....

A few years ago a friend of mine was babysitting for friends of his and watching their TV. There was a knock on the door from the TV licencing enforcers.

My friend was issued with a penalty for WATCHING the TV without a licence. His protestations that he was only the babysitter fell on deaf ears - the penalty was issued in his name.

I think he had to take it to Court and I don't recall if it was reversed.


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By Locutus
01st Jul 2011 15:25

@shoshana Wrong in law

This is another example of a petty "official" making up the law as they go along.

Without a Court Order / a Police Officer, the lacky that turns up at the door has no right to demand entry, demand the name(s) of people watching the TV or demand anything from anyone.  If they have evidence that a television is being watched illegally then it is up to them if they want to take the legal route.  In fact, I'm not aware that you have any obligation to communicate with them.

It's sounds utterly ridiculous that a babysitter was fined for watching TV at a house that was not theirs.  Hope that he/she went to Court to get it over turned.

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01st Jul 2011 22:27

No it isn't

The phrase is "installed"

Installing means connecting it to a tv ariel or a satellite dish.  You need a licence for that.  You also need a licence to watch live streams over the internet, but not on-demand streams.  If you only use it for powerpoint presentations, you do not need a licence.

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02nd Jul 2011 06:22

Installed is not relevant

In the past a tv licence used to be needed if you were able to watch live tv it would appear it is not relevant now and you actually have to watch live tv.

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By jndavs
04th Jul 2011 13:45

Yes - selecting some random points of law:
Communications Act 2003
363 Licence required for use of TV receiver
(1) A television receiver must not be installed or used unless the installation and use of the receiver is authorised by a licence under this Part.

The Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004
Meaning of “television set”11.—
(1) In Part 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967, “television set” means any apparatus which (either alone or in association with other apparatus) is capable of receiving (whether by means of wireless telegraphy or otherwise) any television programme service but is not computer apparatus.
(2) In this regulation, “computer apparatus” means apparatus which—
(a)is designed or adapted to be used (either alone or in association with other apparatus) for storing or processing data, but not for doing so in connection with the reception by means of wireless telegraphy of television programme services; and
(b)is not offered for sale or letting as apparatus for use (either alone or in association with other apparatus) primarily for or in connection with the reception (whether by means of wireless telegraphy or otherwise) of such services;and “processing” includes displaying.

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04th Jul 2011 13:57

Maybe more to it

I quoted the TV Licensing website above which said that the TV needed to be used for watching live programmes. The Communications Act allows different rules than in the Act so maybe "capable" is ignored.

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04th Jul 2011 14:06

well its still a clear cut yes from me

why not overcome all this nonsense by installing a monitor and dvd player

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04th Jul 2011 15:07

upto a point Peter

its a bit like HMRC saying you cant rely on their advice - and how can you prove that someone hasnt watched TV, and why do you want one rather than a monitor  - as i said just get a player and dvd

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04th Jul 2011 15:37

HMRC and proof

"its a bit like HMRC saying you cant rely on their advice"

If HMRC give you advice then if you have given all relevant information you can rely on their advice.

"and how can you prove that someone hasnt watched TV"

You don't have to prove it. The prosecution have to prove you did.


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