TV licence rules explained – when you need one and how to stream shows without needing a licence

Whether it’s keeping up with the latest in Strictly Come Dancing or finding out what’s going on in the jungle with I’m A Celebrity … Get me out of here, most of us love to tune in to channels on our TV, because they are a great source of entertainment.

However, in order to watch TV, you need a TV license. That means you pay for either a color license or a black and white license.

Read more: All the financial support you can get from the government this winter

If you don’t watch live TV or the BBC iPlayer you may not need a license from the television authorities, but we answer some frequently asked questions below to make sure you don’t get caught and face a £ 1,000 fine.

When do I need a TV license?

You need a TV license if you:

  • Watch or record TV channels like BBC One, ITV or Sky.

  • Watch or record TV on any TV service like Virgin Media, Sky or Freeview.

  • Watch live on any online service like ITV Hub or Amazon Prime Video.

  • Watch foreign TV channels like Russia Today or Al Jazeera.

  • Watch the BBC iPlayer service live, catch up, or download.

How much does a TV license cost?

The standard annual fee for a color TV license is currently £ 159. A black and white license costs £ 53.50 for the year.

However, if you receive the Pension Credit you may be eligible for a Free TV license paid by the BBC.

If you live in a nursing home you might get a TV license for £ 7.50 and if you are blind or have severe visual impairment you can get 50 percent of the cost of a TV license.

Do I need a TV license to watch live streaming utilities?

You need a TV license to watch live programs, be it on TV or through an online or mobile device.

This means that if you watch programs live on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, NOW TV or any other service that offers live programs, you need a TV license.

Do I need a TV license if I watch programs on the go?

You still need a TV license if you watch programs on the go.

However, as long as the device is not connected to the mains and / or an antenna and is running on internal batteries, your home TV license will cover your use.

When you connect your device to the mains, this property requires a TV license so that you can watch TV channels, the BBC iPlayer or live broadcasts.

Do I need a TV license to watch catch-up services like ITV Hub while it’s not live and it’s not BBC iPlayer?

Unless it’s live coverage, TV channel, and BBC iPlayer, you don’t need a TV license.

For example, if you watch a program that has already been broadcast on ITV Hub and is available as a catch-up show, you do not need a TV license.

Do I need a TV license if I am a student or live in a shared apartment?

You need a TV license to watch live TV, any TV channel, or the BBC iPlayer when you are in hallways, a house or a shared apartment.

If you are a student and your usual address is with your parents, your television license there is only valid if you are using a device’s internal batteries. If you connect it to the mains and / or to the antenna socket, you need your own TV license.

It is also important to know that if your accommodation, apartment or apartment is a joint rental agreement, you usually only need one TV license for the entire property. However, if you have separate toilets, for example, you may need one at a time. make contact Television licensing authorities for more informations.

If you each have a separate rental agreement, you will need a TV license each. This is true if you want to watch / record live TV, watch a TV channel or use the BBC iPlayer.

These can be changed by the TV regulatory agencies so check their website regularly for the latest information. If it is found that you are watching TV even though you do not have a television license, you could be fined £ 1,000. So it’s worth checking that you don’t get caught.


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