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BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?

The Stage Manager 07 Mar 04 - 08:03 AM
Padre 07 Mar 04 - 08:08 AM
alanabit 07 Mar 04 - 08:36 AM
Donuel 07 Mar 04 - 09:05 AM
Bobert 07 Mar 04 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 07 Mar 04 - 09:32 AM
Kim C 07 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Mar 04 - 10:31 AM
alanabit 07 Mar 04 - 10:36 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 07 Mar 04 - 10:57 AM
GUEST 07 Mar 04 - 11:05 AM
The Stage Manager 07 Mar 04 - 11:22 AM
MudGuard 07 Mar 04 - 11:36 AM
Peace 07 Mar 04 - 11:51 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 07 Mar 04 - 12:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 04 - 12:17 PM
Peace 07 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM
lady penelope 07 Mar 04 - 12:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 04 - 12:54 PM
The Stage Manager 07 Mar 04 - 01:02 PM
The Stage Manager 07 Mar 04 - 01:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 04 - 01:22 PM
Peace 07 Mar 04 - 01:26 PM
Art Thieme 07 Mar 04 - 01:55 PM
gnomad 07 Mar 04 - 02:06 PM
The Stage Manager 07 Mar 04 - 02:17 PM
Little Hawk 07 Mar 04 - 05:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM
Little Hawk 07 Mar 04 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Mar 04 - 09:20 PM
Peace 07 Mar 04 - 09:43 PM
artbrooks 07 Mar 04 - 10:18 PM
Peace 07 Mar 04 - 11:18 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Mar 04 - 11:39 PM
freda underhill 08 Mar 04 - 09:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Mar 04 - 09:59 AM
Leadfingers 08 Mar 04 - 10:04 AM
Wolfgang 08 Mar 04 - 11:18 AM
Little Hawk 08 Mar 04 - 11:37 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 08 Mar 04 - 12:07 PM
GUEST 08 Mar 04 - 01:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 04 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 08 Mar 04 - 05:02 PM
Noreen 08 Mar 04 - 06:23 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 08 Mar 04 - 06:26 PM
Little Hawk 08 Mar 04 - 06:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 04 - 07:08 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Mar 04 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Jon 08 Mar 04 - 07:27 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 08 Mar 04 - 07:44 PM
Peace 08 Mar 04 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Mar 04 - 12:09 AM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 04 - 12:14 AM
Peace 09 Mar 04 - 12:19 AM
SueB 09 Mar 04 - 12:45 AM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 04 - 10:34 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Mar 04 - 11:01 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Mar 04 - 11:07 AM
GUEST 09 Mar 04 - 12:22 PM
SueB 09 Mar 04 - 12:42 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Mar 04 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,petr 09 Mar 04 - 03:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Mar 04 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Jon 09 Mar 04 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,heric 09 Mar 04 - 03:44 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Mar 04 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,heric 09 Mar 04 - 04:39 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Mar 04 - 04:55 PM
Peace 09 Mar 04 - 06:22 PM
brid widder 09 Mar 04 - 07:16 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Mar 04 - 07:21 PM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 04 - 07:24 PM
Peace 09 Mar 04 - 07:37 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Mar 04 - 07:40 PM
Peace 09 Mar 04 - 07:48 PM
SueB 10 Mar 04 - 04:27 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 Mar 04 - 09:21 AM
Peace 10 Mar 04 - 04:59 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 Mar 04 - 05:04 PM
Peace 10 Mar 04 - 08:07 PM
Folkiedave 11 Mar 04 - 01:17 PM
Little Hawk 11 Mar 04 - 04:48 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Mar 04 - 05:05 PM
Peace 11 Mar 04 - 06:42 PM
Peace 11 Mar 04 - 06:43 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Mar 04 - 06:53 PM
Peace 11 Mar 04 - 06:55 PM
Little Hawk 12 Mar 04 - 12:37 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Mar 04 - 01:07 PM
Grab 12 Mar 04 - 01:22 PM
Little Hawk 12 Mar 04 - 01:42 PM
Peace 12 Mar 04 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,frances 26 Apr 04 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Frances 26 Apr 04 - 04:22 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 04 - 04:35 PM

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Subject: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 08:03 AM

Our household does not have a TV. We haven't had one for about five years. As a result we are receiving increasingly frequent and threatening letters, the last hand delivered this morning, telling us we are in effect criminals for not having a licence.

Each time we return these missives saying there is no TV on the premises. They obviously refuse to believe us.

Any one else having this problem? Any suggestions as to what we should sing to the thick bastards when they come knocking on the door so they finally get the message?

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Padre
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 08:08 AM

By the spelling of 'offence,' I take it you are from the United Kingdom. You might try singing "Yankee Doodle" and see if that works.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 08:36 AM

Invite the bastards to come and offer them an appointment. In some ways I envy you living in a household without the wretched appliance. Unfortunately, there are many people around these days who can't believe that human life is sustainable without a television.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 09:05 AM

In the UK they have vans dedicated to investigating people who claim to have no TV by dectecting the RF put out by a TV.

For you Yanks, in England they have to pay a fee to get regular airwave broadcast TV. To have a TV without a license is akin to stealing cable in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 09:15 AM

Here's what ya do... Nex time you see a TV on the side of the road with the piccure tube shot out stop and pick it up... Stick the poor thing in a closet and when the TV Nazi's come by, jus' open the closet door and point to it... That oughtta shut them up..

257 channels and nuthin on...........

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 09:32 AM

Stage Manager,

When I lived on my own in a flat in Llandudno, I took the decision that I could not justify a license fee on my unemployment/sickness income and my own usage of tv (don't get me wrong I do enjoy tv but there is little I really "must" watch - I think at that time, I missed live sport more than anything).

I got frequent nasty letters from the licencing authorities who seem to be under the impression that one can not possibly survive without TV. The last one I recieved bothered be enough to phone them... I invited them round to inspect my premisis but was told something like "that would defeat the object" (the implication being that I would hide my tv for an arranged appointment).

I then questioned the threatening letters to which I got "well you don't have to open them". I said I had to be concerned where there appears to be a possibility of legal action against me. I also asked if it was OK for them to waste my time and worry me in this way. The reply to this was a blunt "Yes". My response to that was to make another phone call to them just saying "Hello, a member of your organisation has said it is OK to waste 5 minutes of my time so I'm phoning you to do the same...".

I'm not really sure how things would have turned out longer term as I moved out of the flat and to Norfolk a few moths later but I was on the verge of considering the possiblity of wasting more money by looking for legal aid and taking action over what I considered to be harassment had matters continued.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Kim C
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM

Tell them it was stolen and you never bothered to replace it. Our house was robbed ten years ago, they took our TV, and we didn't have one for two years. I didn't mind it much... but we like to rent movies, so we did eventually replace the TV.

I have a couple of friends who keep their TV covered up when they aren't using it to watch movies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 10:31 AM

Why not get the license when you buy the TV? Here in the U.S. you can't buy a car unless you have the proper license and registration. Then renewal would be done through the mail or you would have to give proof that the TV was sold, stolen or thrown out.

You Brits seem to enjoy taxing things. Take another suggestion from us "Yanks" and start dumping your TV's into the Thames.   It worked for us with tea!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 10:36 AM

You know Ron, I have never been to the USA (yet). However, bearing in mind what you just wrote, I wonder if it's the one place in the world where they are worse at making tea than the English!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 10:57 AM

What Ron said! Well... Part of it, anyway. Why don't they just include a licence fee in the purchase price of a new television set? It would probably cut the bureaucracy involved in collecting the revenue by about 90%. Uh, oh! That wouldn't work, would it? I forgot that the primary function of bureaucracy is to create more bureaucracy, not less.

Bruce (Television-free for 10 years)


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 11:05 AM

No Bruce. Consider the market for 2nd hand tvs. Consider that a tv can last for years, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 11:22 AM

Hey thanks everyone!

Anyone got the chords and lyrics to Jeremy Taylor's "Jobsworth" ?

"I don't care rain or snow
Whatever you want the answer's no

I think I feel an additional verse coming on....


Kim C, we do watch films occasionally, we rent a DVD from the library and watch them on the lap top.

Tell th' truth Ron there's a few things I'd like to dump before I got round to TVs.. However, not in the Thames. The river is only just beginning to recover from the rest of the crap that's been dumped into it over the years.

Bruce, I think it's a close call as to whether the first job of a bureaucracy is to create more bureaucracy, or to harass the shit out of anyone who doesn't want to join in their games, or fit into some damn stupid 'profile' they've dreamed up.

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: MudGuard
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 11:36 AM

Also consider the fact that TV licensing laws are different in the different countries forming the European Union, and that you are allowed to buy your TV set wherever you like.
So e.g. if you buy your TV set in Portugal, but live in England, the shop in Portugal would have to know about British TV licensing...


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 11:51 AM

OK, I'm lost. When did licenses happen? I live in Alberta. If you have a TV (I don't) you have a TV. I missed a few years of reality, so fill me in. Last I knew, you bought or stole one, plugged it in and watched it.

Maybe this is why I don't see too many programs. I opened the door on the TV and there was nothing inside. Just an empty space of about 1 1/2 cubic feet. I'd bought it second hand, and you'll find this hard to believe: someone had left what looked like pizza sauce inside it; it almost seemed baked on. Had a heckuva time getting it cleaned. Who the hell leaves pizza sauce in a television? Neat machine, otherwise. So, for this I need a license? The damn thing doesn't work! Stage Manager, tell the license people to come see me. I'll show them where to plug it in.

Oh, yeah. Anyone know how to get it to stop making that damned dinging sound? It happens when I set the timer to an hour so I can view Reality TV.When the hour's up, the friggin' thing keeps going "Ding! Ding! Ding!" I think I'll write to the manufacturer (some company called Danby) and complain. I'll let you know what happens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 12:02 PM

Consider that a tv can last for years, etc.

That's true, but a licensing fee could be based on the average expected lifetimes of television sets within certain price ranges. If your set lasts longer than the norm, you luck out. If it dies early, you screwed the pooch.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 12:17 PM

Alberta is not in the UK, brucie, the last I heard.

I think it's great to have some TV channels where the programmes never get broken up by the adverts that are poured out every few minutes on the commercial channels. Compared to what it costs to have commercial digital channels on cable or satellite, the cost is pretty low too - and of course, with them, you have to pay twice over, through the subscription and also through the adverts. "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" - and even if you boycotted every itemm or service you ever saw advertised, you'd still be paying by having your minds bombarded that way.

Provided you don't have a TV set tucked away somewhere, that you're using without paying your licence, Stage Manager, I can't see that there's any real hassle in getting the occasional suspicious letter among all the other junk mail. There's no need to even reply to them anyway. They'd have to have some kind of evidence that you were breaking the law before doing anything, and if you aren't, that evidence doesn't exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM

McG of H:

"Alberta is not in the UK, brucie, the last I heard."

SINCE WHEN? I have no TV!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: lady penelope
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 12:51 PM

Since broadcasting was introduced into the British Isles there has always been a licence fee. You must hold a licence to be able to use t.v. equipment , ownership is not the question.

Nor is it a question of whether you only use the equipment to watch videos or such and never watch what the BBC put out. Technically you need a licence to operate a radio receiver, but as that's included with the t.v. licence, most people don't even realise it.

I didn't mind so much when it was only a civil offence not to have a licence, but I do object that they made it a criminal offence a few years ago. You now face a very large fine or a custodial sentence. Bit much, I think.

If the licence people refuse to confirm whether or not you have t.v. equipment you can sue them for harrassment. It's exactly the same as the police threatening to arrest someone and refusing to place a charge that can be defended.

If you make a complaint directly to the BBC and the broadcastng watchdogs, do it in writing. Phone calls will be logged as 'enquiries'. It also means you have written evidence of your attempt to clarify the situation, which you can use for you harrassment case.

It took my brother a good couple of years to sort his lack of t.v. out with the licence people. But they do tend to take notice when you start talking court appearences. You do have to go through the motions of complaing etc. first though.

I hope this has helped.

TTFN Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 12:54 PM

But why worry? There's so much crap comes through the letter box and goes straight in the bin, what's just one more letter. There's nothing you need to do, and there's nothing they can do either. You've already informed them you don't have a TV, end of story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 01:02 PM

Hi McGrath,

You're applying your usual logic and common sense to this situation. But if you've not gone through this let me tell you are most definitely presumed guilty until proved innocent. Personal lifestyle choices do not come into it.

The hand delivered letter that arrived this morning indicated that they had had the detector outside the house but hadn't been able to detect a signal, ON THIS OCCASION. But I'd better get a licence as they were going to be back.....sometime.

It seems not to have to ocurred to them that we might actually be telling the truth when we repeatedly tell them that we don't have TV.

Hope they don't bang on the door tonight as I'll be denied the pleasure of saying I told you so! I'll be at Breezy's spotlight club singing folk songs.

Perhaps should I leave a note and tell them to bring their bloody van round to the 'Legion and see what they effing well detect there?

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 01:14 PM

Sorry to go on McG, but these letters are most definitly not junk mail. They are meant to frighten you. They threaten court action, Police records, jail, and hefty fines etc etc unless you buy a licence. They are extremely unpleasant. These people really do not believe people choose not to have a TV.


SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 01:22 PM

But they are totally empty threats. You've informed them of the truth, and that's the end of it. They can huff and puff, but it's all a bluff.

You could send the threatening letters on to your MP and ask him or her to do something to stop them harassing you - it's the kind of issue MPs like, because it doesn't involve politics and can get a bit of press attention. And lowly bureaucrats tend to get in a real panic when they receive a letter from an MP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 01:26 PM

THAT is very good advice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 01:55 PM

Where we live in the U.S.A. (Peru, Illinois) we can receive no TV through the air. To watch TV we must pay for and have cable television. I refuse to pay for the dung that passes for TV in these United States now. I'm not missing a thing except some sports and being able to see our man-made Armageddon as it happens some day.

We do have a TV just to watch videos and DVDs. Some day I may sign up for the relatively new twenty dollar a month deal where you rent DVDs over the Internet.---The films are mailed to you, you watch 'em all you want, and than mail 'em back when you are done. Then you tell 'em what to send next. No time limit or late fees.

Until the cable companies get the idea that what I want from them are ONLY the channels I want, PBS and movie channels, I'll live without a telly. Radio works just great for NPR, the Cubs and the Blackhawks. We let the TV cable go in 1997 and I don't miss it. Especially I don't miss the assinine happy-talk and in-your-face screaming banter that passes for news now.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: gnomad
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 02:06 PM

I too suffer from monthly letters of a threatening nature from these people, 5 years now and counting.

Sometimes the letters say they've been round to look, sometimes that they're going to..I just wish the scum would turn up some time when I'm in and get it over with.

After a year of replying conscientiously to each letter I concluded that the only reply they are programmed to take any notice of is one which gives them money.

These people have the same problem


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 02:17 PM

Lady P, gnomad,

Thanks for your posts and that last link is excellent. It's a relief to know one is not alone in being persecuted.

I'm going to spend some time looking through this. I'm definitely going to write to someone.

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 05:40 PM

Incredible story, Stage Manager! It seems that George Orwell's 1984 has well and truly arrived in the UK. I live in Canada, and have never owned a TV, but I'm almost the only person I know who doesn't have one. I fairly much stopped watching it by 1985, but was over at a friend's place watching DVD's of "The Sopranos" on the weekend, cos he wanted me to see it. Darned good show. Since we watched it on DVD I was spared seeing any damned commercials. That's the only way I will watch, if there are no commercials.

I am serious about the 1984 thing. You story is frightening. The fact is, TV is the greatest enforcer of conformity and unthinking consumerism that there is in modern society. It is the brainwasher, the true opiate of the masses. It is the thief that steals people's time and trivializes their relationships. It destroys family life. It encourages every form of unthinking and automatic behaviour. It is a mere servant to enormous marketing schemes.

Once you get a bureaucracy that actually threatens you for not having it, then things are approaching the final crisis as regards the survival of genuine human freedom and sanity.

The reason the Sy$tem is so upset that you don't have a TV is: you are out of the propaganda loop and you are potentially dangerous to the Sy$tem's survival, because believe me...if you don't have a TV you are a true radical. You're a free thinker. You're someone that the Sy$tem does not want around. And the other reason they're upset is that they want your money. Money is God in this Sy$tem. Don't forget that. They who do not willingly worship at the $ altar in the prescribed manner are subject to excommunication or worse.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM

Where's the threat, when it hasn't any substance? The point is, if someone hasn't got a TV they don't have to pay anything, obviously, and if some computer somewhere keeps on churning out letters that assume that they do have one, it doesn't make a blind bit of difference. It's spam. It shouldn't happen, but that's the kind of thing that happens in the private sector all the time. Sometimes the non-commercial sector picks up bad habits like that.

I hope when, sooner or later, you get a grovelling apology, Stage Manager, you let us know.

The idea that everyone owning a TV set should have to pay a licence fee, to pay for a bunch of TV and radio channels (and a first rate web presence, which of course you don't have to pay a licence to access), without any adverts, may not be a fashionable notion in the world today, but it works pretty well, and provides remarkably good value. And compared to the alternative, remarkably good quality, even dragged down as it has been these last few years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 09:07 PM

Ah yes, but how do we KNOW it doesn't have any substance, McGrath? Giant hamsters may arrive at any time and drag Stage Manager screaming off the stage to a hideous fate for not having a TV. With Tony Blair in power, don't think that it can't happen! He's capable of anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 09:20 PM

I quit watching in 1958, when Annette Funicello was wearing her first bra.

Here in the U.S., we can go to the post office and block mail from a sender we consider objectionable. Can you do that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 09:43 PM

GUEST, leeneia,

I was ten or eleven, and I remember that moment. It will live in my mind forever. She became perky.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: artbrooks
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 10:18 PM

I was 12 or 13...a figment of my early adolescent fantasies, she was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 11:18 PM

Yeah, life seems to have zoomed. Went straight from Howdy Doody to Annette. Don't get much better than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 11:39 PM

I always wonder about people who "brag" about not owning TV's or not having a set since the Eisenhower adminstration.   I'm glad you folks are happy, but you are starting to sound like those folks who push infomercials or preachers who stand on street corners offering salvation to the passing squirrels. I'm really glad your life is so much better without TV, but there is no need to come off as if your lifestyle is better than the rest of us.

Sure, TV is filled with crap. Just because McDonalds isn't a healthy diet doesn't mean I'm going to give up eating food in general. Television has a lot of great things to offer. Sure, there are people who are succeptible to commericals and if you are gullible, then perhaps it is for your own safety to not own a set. People with addictive personalities tend to gravitate to the bile that is offered, and if you are in that catagory, don't go near a TV.   Most of us can make informed decisions and we can also appreciate shows like the Sopranos or the hundreds of other offerings out there. We don't let ourselves sit in front of a set for hours on end. There will always be Luddites and I truly hope they are happy in their world.   Just don't think that your world is so much better than ours.

I have made a living in television production for the past 24 years. While I have witnessed the development of crap, I have also been privilaged to work with some of the most talented people that create their art through the medium. Television can enrich lives in many ways, but if you don't know how to use it, then I am the one who is sorry that you are missing out.

Sorry, I guess I should try the decaf.   My apologies for venting, and I am not directing my remarks at any one person. The comments posted here just hit a nerve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: freda underhill
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 09:48 AM

its funny, Annette was my hero. I never noticed any signs of her "growing up".


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 09:59 AM

we do watch films occasionally, we rent a DVD from the library and watch them on the lap top.

Be very wary of that one Stage Manager. Remember, as pointed out earlier, it is viewing and not receiving that is licencable. If you are watching DVDs on a screen you DO need a licence:-( On the plus side though detector vans use RF to 'see' what you are watching and they cannot, as far as I know, pick that up from a plasma or LCD screen. However, you have just admitted to watching! make sure they never see your name on here or they could use that against you - honestly!

Good luck and Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 10:04 AM

I have had the same problem with The TV Licencing pillocks. What got me was there was no where on the form to tick for 'I do NOT own a T V set'. I still get em, but I just ignore em. When they want to visit to check they will find that I have been telling the truth for the last eighteen years!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 11:18 AM

I get such letters too about three times a year. Completely empty threats on a quick way to the dustbin. But the reason they send these letters is far from anything like Little Hawk's phantasies about people being dangerous when not watching TV:

The majority of people not paying for a TV/radio actually should pay. When they send 100 letters out made to sound like if they did know something about you they get a dozen responses from people that from then on pay. That's the only reason for these letters.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 11:37 AM

Don't misinterpret my psychological points for literal ones, Wolfgang. :-) I mean that the Sy$tem instinctively doesn't like people who don't buy into its main marketing schemes. I don't mean that it's an offical, literal policy to persecute such people...but such people are radicals, in that they are nonconformists, and any system tends to be suspicious of nonconformists.

Ron - Hey, c'mon! Are people who use computers luddites? I don't think so. Computers are a more advanced and recent device than the television. I just watched the first 4 Sopranos episodes on the weekend at a friend's place. Great show! I am thinking of buying my first TV, just so I can watch a few DVD's at home now and then (it had not occured to me to watch them on a computer...I think I'd prefer to on a real television screen). The reason I detest commercial TV and don't watch it is this, Ron: the ads. Period. If it were not for the commercial interruptions, I would watch commercial TV. I will not have my train of thought screwed with every 5 minutes by 3 minutes of idiotic and invasive advertising. Why should I? If ads don't bother you, then I can understand why you enjoy television.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 12:07 PM

Little Hawk, no, the ads do not bother me. I can make my own decisions about the product or simply not pay attention. My train of thought works well enough that I can pick it up after the 2 or 3 minutes of commercials. The commercials are not invasive since we know they are coming. Television programs also produce their programs to accomodate the commercials. Most magazines and newspapers have ads as well.

I understand that the interuptions can be annoying. Commercials have been around since the early days of radio as a necessary evil. Advertising makes it possible to have FREE television and it makes it possible for cable networks to operate.   Interuptions to our train of thought really is a minimal problem. Plays have intermissions, books have chapters, and life itself has side tracks.   We adapt.

Nobody needs television. Nobody needs music either, or books, or plays, or sports. We have them because we find enjoyment and they can enrich our lives. Television has a lot to offer, if you are interested. If your not, so be it.

By the way, the Sopranos air on HBO without commercial interuption.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 01:22 PM

I am a radio person myself. Although I do have a telly I don't watch it much. My beef is with cable companies that won"t let you choose what stations you get , so you end up paying for forty or so that you don't watch. I wonder why we are so often forced to pay for things we don't use...sidewalk plowing when we have no sidewalks, cable channels we don't watch, credir cards fees when we don,t have credit cards...on and on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 02:07 PM

"If you are watching DVDs on a screen you DO need a licence" I don't think that is actually correct, Dave.

Here is what the official TV licensing site says: ""Using television receiving equipment to receive or record broadcast television programmes without the correct licence is a criminal offence."

There have indeed been cases where people with functioning TV sets and aerials have unsuccessfully tried to persuade courts that they just used them to play pre-recorded TV tapes. It's conceivable that they might actually have been telling the truth, though I believe that the detecting equipment can actually tell the difference, and that evidence on these lines, casting doubt on the claim of the defendant, would have been given to the court in these cases.

But a laptop that wasn't plumbed in to any kind of TV signal, but which could play DVDs would be a different matter, and I am pretty certain there could be no question of a licence being legally necessary in such a case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 05:02 PM

I have certainly interpreted this the same as McGrath. The joy of getting a new PC with a DVD drive was being able to watch some classic films. All I need now is a wide screen monitor.

I had a phone call from the licensing agency once. I just kept replying that there was no legal requirement for me to have a TV licence. The poor little sod in the callcentre didn't have this option on his script and eventually burst into tears. His supervisor took over the call and I had no more hassle for 18 months.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Noreen
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 06:23 PM

Yes, I've also felt harrassed by the red letters delivered to me for the same reason, with increasingly threatening tone. They say that if I don't have a TV, I should write to them and tell them so. Why should I have to go to the trouble? So I have ignored them while feeling peeved, and then lo and behold a chap came to the door a couple of days ago and asked me if I have a TV licence. I said 'No', and should have just stood there but wanted to see the amazed look on his face when I told him I don't have a TV. He asked to come in, so I showed him the absence of TV and he left.

Now might be a good time to get a TV..........


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 06:26 PM

So this licence fee is something that the government shoves down you Brits throats even though the majority of you are opposed to it, huh? Better watch out or that same government might involve your country in a war that the majority of you are opposed to. Errr... Hang on a minute. They already did that, didn't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 06:48 PM

Okay, Ron, I understand your position. Lots of people aren't bothered by advertising. I'm bothered by it a lot, and for that reason I don't listen (willingly) to commercial radio either. The fact that it's FREE is not a strong enough argument to convince me to donate my time and attention to it. I listen to recorded music, I watch movies, I get my entertainment if at all possible where it is not full of advertising.

As for newspaper ads, they are not invasive, because one doesn't have to read them. A 1-second glance, and they are dismissed. But TV ads and radio ads are not so easily dismissed, because they take up a sizable block of your time. There's advertising on the Internet too, but I can easily avoid it. That's the difference.

You know what a TV or radio ad is like? It's like a loud, obnoxious salesman suddenly materializing right in front of you in your own living room (or car) and yelling stuff in your face about things you don't want to hear about. What would you do if this kept happening? I think you would probably get violent. Most people would.

It's obviously a matter of individual taste whether or not such advertising is acceptable. To me it's not.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 07:08 PM

I'm very dubious about that poll that's supposed to show people being against the TV licence system.

I am certain that on any quetion of whether people would prefer to see the BBC greatly reduced in output and respurces the large majority would be dead against that.

If I lived somewhere where to watch TV I had to put up with adverts every few minutes, I'd join the ranks of the TV abstainers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 07:10 PM

I'm not in the UK, and thus maybe I have no right to an opinion. But that kind of a little quibble has never stopped me before, so here goes:

Seem to me that, although this charge is described is a fee for a license(ce), it is actually regarded by the government as a tax, a broadly based charge intended to be on everybody, laid on and enforced by the government. In theory there are exemptions from this tax for non-use of the facilities, but the tax man wants to step on that as hard as he possibly can.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 07:27 PM

McGrath, I've no idea how a poll may work out but even though I am someone who went through a period of my life without a tv on the grounds that I didn't feel I could justify the fee, I suspect the fee probably does more good than harm.

I'm not too worried about adverts in themselves but I do feel that having to fund that way does mean that ratings (read dumbing down into this) become more of a concern. Doubtless many will dissagree with me but in a sense, I see it as at least a slight form of quality control.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 07:44 PM

Thanks Little Hawk. I do respect your feelings about advertising. I'm not a big fan of commercials, but I can't let it stand in the way of my enjoyment of what I want to watch.   IF I let it bother me, I would feel as if the advertisers won another one. There are many things that bother me, but if I tried to avoid them all I would be living in the woods in a tar paper shack, so, I make it work for me.

I do think that you misrepresent the bulk of commercials.   Most people would be turned off if commercials really presented themselves the way you describe, and that would not be an effective commercial. The advertisers art is probably the most difficult. In 60 seconds or less they have to tell you a story that appeals to your senses. Screaming and being obnoxious is the least effective way to do that.   Many of the good ads are like great art.

Commercials do take up some time, but if I didn't have the time to spare in the first place, I wouldn't be watching TV!

I can't believe I am actually defending commercials!   What has the world come to????

Ron   :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 04 - 11:18 PM

I don't have a TV because when I do have a TV I don't watch it because when I do watch it it bores me so I don't. Neither proud nor ashamed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 12:09 AM

Somebody posting above made a comment about people "bragging" that they don't watch TV. I think that person is merely being defensive. I, for one, didn't brag. I just said I stopped watching.

Whenever people discuss TV and movies, they discuss the content, but they ignore the format. I first realized this when I read a book about migraines which said that the flickering in movies or TV can be a trigger. I knew that I never wanted to go to the movies, so the next time I was dragged to one, I paid attention to what my body was doing. I discovered that I held my breath for long periods of time. Also that scenes that bombarded me with brilliant, flashing lights made me very tense. (Close your eyes during a gunfight and you will see the crazy sequence of brilliant lights that flood your nervous system.) And that many effects I never paid attention to made me feel motion-sick.

One such scene was in "Local Hero." You wouldn't think that such a quiet, talky movie could do that, but picture this. Two people are standing on a beach talking. When the camera swings from one face to the other, the horizon swings in a huge, rapidly-moving circle behind them. Most people don't notice this. I do, and it bothers me.

Another time was in "A Room with a View," where Lucy was riding in a little carriage down a tree-lined lane. She talked and smiled, while behind her, bright sunlight winked on and off, on and off through the trees. Again, it made me feel kind of sick.   

Movie makers ought to pay attention to this sort of thing, but they don't. They would all be rich and happy if they would just listen to me, but they never do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 12:14 AM

Ron - Yeah, there are some very clever and artistic ads out there from time to time, admittedly. I saw one with a bunch of wolves driving a car, and they were afraid of a flock of sheep that came around the car. "Don't make eye contact!" advises one wolf to the others. That was pretty funny. I actually think the radio advertising is worse on the whole than the TV stuff.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 12:19 AM

Years ago, volkswagen had a commercial that said, "Buy one! It makes your house look bigger."


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: SueB
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 12:45 AM

Hi, my name is Suzanne and I watch TV.

(Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.)

My kids have shown me a neat trick - whenever a commercial comes on,
they hit the mute button. Sometimes they make up funny or bizarre things for the people in the commercials to be saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 10:34 AM

Resistance is NOT futile! (if I may echo Data) Your TV can easily be gutted and turned into a designer fish tank or a plantholder. Do it now!!!!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 11:01 AM

Luckily for the rest of us, the folks that have strong opinions against TV are in the minority. No one is forcing anyone to watch TV, just as the title of this thread implies.   As I said in my original post, I am not pointing fingers at anyone.   My issue is that people who rally against TV tend to generalize and make assumptions while ignoring the reasons people watch TV in the first place.   Everyone can make up their own mind, just don't imply that others are wrong if they don't follow your lead.

Leenia, what you desribe is a physical problem that prevent some people from watching TV. The "flicker" is actually the scan line of the TV monitor. If your eye can pick that up, that is a physical issue that could probably be addressed by a doctor. All the examples you gave are directors intent, and they aren't doing anything wrong. With any form of art, the medium is used to elicit feelings. Your issues with them indicate a sensitivity beyond what is normal.

There was an issue with a cartoon in Japan that caused convulsions for some people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 11:07 AM

It's a tax, Dave, in the same way that any sales tax is a tax - if you don't buy the goods, you don't pay the tax. In this case, no TV, no licence. The same as for cars.

But, unlike sales taxes (or Value Added Tax as it's called here), not a penny of the TV licence money goes to the government. It's not a question of them collecting the money and then handing some of it back.

The fact that the people collecting the tax send out leters to people who don't have licences just reflects the fact that, as Wolfgang has pointed out, a large number of people who don't have licences are in fact cheating on the system, so it's a way of ebncouraging them to pay up. I'm sure they should be more careful about this kind of thing, and the right way to make them is to complain in the right way when it happens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 12:22 PM

I regard watch commercials or having them beamed into my house as doing involuntary work...someone has sold my time to an advertiser. I resent that. It now happens in theatres as well. I would gladly pay a fee to avoid that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: SueB
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 12:42 PM

Little Hawk, I'm curious - I'm having trouble reconciling your appreciation for and knowledge of all things Shatner and StarTrek with your voluntary lack of participation in the TV experience. Do you have a direct link to the Pause-Master that bypasses ordinary TV airwaves?


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 01:09 PM

Appreciation of Shatner??????   Little Hawk, I have lost ALL respect for you!!!!!   Please, throw that TV out if you are going to waste it on Shatner and Star Drek!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 03:07 PM

Ive been muting commercials for years.
they are usually at ahigher volume than the rest of the program.
better yet I prefer to tape movies (foreign films from the Independent film channel) or showcase and just fastforward the commercials.

sure you have to have 50 channels to find one decent thing on, but I wouldnt dismiss tv entirely, there are informative documentaries, frontline, passionate eye,etc as well as science shows, like Nova which are well made. I wouldnt waste time on trash tv such as game shows or reality stuff, but then you could say the same about reading - theres trash to read as well. I limit the time to a couple nights a week, at 2-3 hrs at most.
There is something to be said for time well wasted, I dont always feel like doing something productive after a long day at work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 03:15 PM

Turning down the commercials doesn't stop them breaking up the programmes. Of course a lot of programme are made that way in the first place, but it can be a real pain with something that's made to be seen right through without a break, such as feature films, or BBC programmes, when they get shown on another channel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 03:34 PM

Adverts do of course have one big advantage though. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has wanted the toilet or cup of tea or a sandwich and have waited till the break in the program.

On that line, the tv card I put in my computer offers a useful feature I'd never seen before. I can go into something I think they call "time shift". What it means is that I can take a break when I want and simply resume watching from where I left off. It records the lets say 10-15 minute gap on the hard disk and continues to play from there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 03:44 PM

You cannot be immune to commercials.

I don't think I'm better than anyone else for having stopped watching television about four years ago. I can just recommend it as having greatly improved the quality of my life. I probably do have a slightly addictive channel surfing impulse. Netflix. Just launched in Canada. Has Sopranos and all those beloved series, as well. (Doesn't solve the sports problem, and its true, we'll miss the next holocaust on CNN, but hey, trade-offs. . . . )


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 04:23 PM

Heric, what you have done is great if you think it improved YOUR life and you recommend it as such.   However, since you are watching programs via Netflix, you technically haven't given up television. The majority of the "pay" networks such as HBO, Showtime, Encore, etc. do not have commercials. They were created as alternatives to enable films to be shown without interruption.

Network, or broadcast, TV creates shows BUILT for commercial insertion.

As for the notion about commercial being "louder" than the programs, there are a number of reasons for that. The individual spots are created by various ad agencies and sent to the networks and cable companies.   Because they are created in many different sources, the levels do vary.   The network is supposed to correct these issues to make all of their programs look and sound uniform, but it doesn't always happen.

Where the commercials DO sound louder is when a local spot is aired via your cable company. When I worked at CNBC we offered three minutes each hour to the local cable operator to air their own spots. Joe's Auto Repair pays to have a spot run on their cable system, and it is only seen where the cable system operates. The rest of the country never sees it. While the cable operator is supposed to match the levels of the network, often it is automated and will only be corrected if someone complains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 04:39 PM

I haven't persoanlly watched any TV shows on DVD except for Fawlty Towers, and that would be true, except that in addition to the commecials issue, even the pay channels control your viewing schedule, which is also a large component of the "opiation."   
I watch lots of (usually) old movies at my leisure, hitting the stop button at my lesure, and life is much better. I guess both of these options are available electronically now as well on a pay per view basis, but Netflix sure works for me so far.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 04:55 PM

With the advent of the digital age, Video on Demand is offered by many cable companies and it works great. You can watch these films at your leisure.   I've heard great things aboutNetflix.

We are all victims of "opiation". You can't go to a concert anytime you like, you have to put up with the sponsors. Museums have set hours. Even books are subject to the corporate whims.    We all make do with what is offered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 06:22 PM

WFDU - Ron Olesko:

Please don't be personally insulted, but in the absence of my dear friend and compatriot, I shall defent his love for Bill Shatner. Shatner is an icon. Yes, icon! Forsooth, you, who are a self-declared art lover and bastion of folk in Detroit (say hello to Elaine) fail to see the sublime brilliance of the man we call Bill. We call him BILL because he scoffs at convention. Anyone can call him by his REAL name. Oh, I am cut to the quick as will be LH when he reads the post in which his admiration for the greatest actor of not just time but all time is called to question.

There, LH, I told him. Send the money soon.

brucie


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: brid widder
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 07:16 PM

A patient of mine... an elderly lady, who is quite seriously ill, recieved a visit from someone from the licencing authority... she gave the gentleman the information he asked for but declined his request to enter her home, she lived alone, was feeling ill and he had woken her... I think she was a bit embarrassed that her house was becoming untidy...she didn't want an uninvited visitor.

Shortly after this visit she recieved one of these threatening letters... accusing her of using a colour set when she only had a licence for black & white, she has and has only ever had a black and white, rented set. This lady was intimidated, ashamed and terrified, the fact that the threats were 'empty' is irrelevant...what happened to innocent until proven guilty...I made a telephone call on her behalf and I believe she got an apology... but real damage was done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 07:21 PM

Brucie - no offense, but you people are nuts!!!!   

Just teasing, I am not a fan of Star Trek and I guess if you like bad acting and someone who doesn't take himself seriously, then Shatner is an icon. I love his commercials.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 07:24 PM

Sue - I can easily explain the Shatner mystery. Here's my history of TV-watching:

I grew up in a house where there was no TV until I was about 18 or 19 years old! It was also a nonsmoking family. These 2 items made us extraordinarily unusual in those times (the 50's and 60's). Virtually unique, in fact. As a result I read thousands and thousands of books, became much more literate than most of the other kids, and also acquired a rather unconventional view of things. That had its advantages (in making me more aware of society's oddities) and its disadvantages (I was out of sync with my own age group and their social values).

I did watch a little TV now and then at friends' houses...but only once in a while. I totally missed out on many popular shows that other people took for granted. They totally missed out on most of the books that I read. And I read a lot of pretty serious stuff...as well as science fiction, novels, adventure stories, history, etc.

Now, at age 21 (in '69) I started watching quite a bit of TV. Some of my favorite shows at the time were: Mary Tyler Moore, Mod Squad (dumb show, in retrospect), The Name of the Game, NHL Hockey, The Avengers, and Star Trek. I like Star Trek a lot, while appreciating its humorous side too.

I continued watching a fair bit of TV from '69 until about the early 90's, but I never actually owned a TV of my own...there was just usually one around anyway. That's about 25 years worth of TV watching. I think my favorite show of all time was Star Trek Next Generation, which had a superb cast and some very good scripts.

After the early 90's I just gave up on it. I was fed up with the advertising and felt I could better spend my time doing other things.

As for Shatner, I've always been kind of fond of the man and the characters he played, and I decided to see if I could get a longlasting running joke about him going on Mudcat. I did. There you have it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 07:37 PM

LH,

Is the cheque in the mail or not?


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 07:40 PM

We forgive you Little Hawk.

(Who is Sue??)

I could never "get" the fascination with Star Trek, or Star Wars for that matter. I have several friends who are still fanatics. I tried watching and was bored out my mind. I took my son to see one of the Star Wars movies and I fell asleep in the theater.   I love science fiction and I'm a rabid comic book collector (my other vice!) but I just couldn't stand the Star Trek or Star Wars.   I thought they were all over-acted, silly plot lines, and just unbelieveable.   That is just me. I realize that everyone else loves them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 07:48 PM

Ron O:

Thanks for responding. I will make note that you have used the name Shatner and the word icon in the same sentence. I will feel free to quote you thus: " . . . then Shatner is an icon." Ya gotta love it.

Shatner's greatest line of all time came in that stoopid police series he was on. In a scene where he had obviously forgot his line, he searched his memory and grasped onto the character of Dog in Hill Street Blues. Pointing a pistol at the criminal, and remembering it was a 'family' show he said, "You dirty (pause) BAG." The rest is history.

Nice talkin' with you, Ron. Thanks for getting me hooked up with some old friends a few years ago.

Bruce Murdoch


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: SueB
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 04:27 AM

Ah, it makes sense now, LH. And Bruce, I beg to differ - I believe Shatner's greatest line of all time was in the interview he gave not so long ago - someone posted a link to it, maybe it was LH. When he was asked about his acting technique he said something like "I just kept doing it until people stopped complaining." Ron, how can you not admire that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 09:21 AM

.... and you people complain that TV commercials are annoying, yet you can actually watch a Shatner performance?   You need to seek help immediately!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 04:59 PM

So, uh, Ron, whadya think of Star Trek commercials?


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 05:04 PM

The commercials are good... they are short!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 08:07 PM

Hey, Little Hawk, I need some help here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 01:17 PM

I have NEVER owned a TV and I am over 60 years of age now. I get these threatening letters most years and I even had one inspector call around to the house once.

It happened during a long hot summer and the weather was about to break any day, but hadn't yet. Thus the TV inspector was carrying a raincoat and perspiring profusely. I was sat by the back door and drinking from a jug of well-iced gin and tonic. I waved him into the house with a couldn't care less attitude and carried on drinking.

Not having a TV also has an advantage in that it gets me to the pub when there is a football match I want to watch.

Regards,

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 04:48 PM

Sorry, brucie! Got busy for awhile there. I was at Raptor's place. We have been drinking rye and coke and watching the Sopranos, which he has on DVD, gloriously free of commercials. Yay!!!

We are also erecting a 15-foot tall statue of William Shatner in Raptor's front yard, hoping to thereby increase the value of his property. It's going to be simply, utterly...majestic.

I deeply regret not having been here on a minute-to-minute basis to defend the Great Shatner from Ron Olesko's vile and spurious attacks!

(Hee! Hee!)

Ron, you will be curious to know that I am also a big fan of comics! But maybe not the same comics as you. My present favourite comic is Liberty Meadows. I'm also a big admirer of Will Eisner's "The Spirit", Walt Kelly's "Pogo", the Carl Barks "duck" comics, "Get Fuzzy", "Howard the Duck", "Calvin and Hobbes", "Groo the Wanderer", "Elfquest", "Bloom County", the old "Mr. Magoo" issues of the 60's, and various others. Superheros bore me to tears. I can't take 'em seriously. All that macho angst they go through is a joke to me. Only when it is wickedly satirized do I feel it's worth reading.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 05:05 PM

LH, you are erecting a statue of Shatner? I guess your neighbors won't mind their property taxes being devalued.   I imagine you will probably put a wash machine and a couch on the porch to go along with the new decor.

LH, I LOVE Liberty Meadows and I'm a HUGE Spirit fan. One of my fondest memories of the 1970's was when I had a letter published in the old Warren comic book of The Spirit.

Superheros can be boring, but most do not go through that "angst" anymore.   Most do not take themselves seriously. Read Hellboy. Classic stuff.   There was a recent issue of Spiderman that centered on a tailor who found himself repairing costumes for both heros and villians. After overhearing a criminal talk about a "hit" he was about to make, the tailor was torn about going to authorities because it would be bad for business. It may sound silly, but it was a great story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:42 PM

Hey, LH. It could be a kinda time capsule; a treasure for the future; a Rosetta Stone for those to follow. A Canticle for Liebowitz-type structure that shows what great men actually looked like in the age when folks had heat and gas and stuff. A suppository for the blow-up dolls. I am touched you are creating what will be the principle erection in Ontario. Right on muh man!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:43 PM

Sorry, that should read "A depository for the blow-up dolls."


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:53 PM

Brucie, since you are talking Shatner, suppository was the proper word. At least it was geographically correct.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:55 PM

LH, make the statue big enough to be seen from Detroit. Ron's gettin' mean now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 12:37 PM

You're right. We should make it bigger. I think we shall erect it on a sort of tower, like the base of an old-fashioned water tower. Raptor is fortunate to be perched on the highest piece of land in the whole area west of Barrie, Ontario. He has a magnificent view. If we expand Shatner up to 20 feet tall, and mount him on a 50 foot tower he probably WILL be visible from Detroit!

I get short of breath just thinking about it.

He'll be wearing his classic starship Admiral's red uniform from the movies, with one lapel casually unbuttoned, just to show he's a regular sort of guy. His arms will be akimbo, and he'll have a knowing smirk on his face, like the cat who just ate the canary. I think we can expect a regular piligrimage of people to the site in years to come.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 01:07 PM

There is a good reason his last name begins with SHAT .

How can you inflict such pain on Detroit?   I am glad I'm in NJ!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Grab
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 01:22 PM

Back to the original topic...

Be very wary of that one Stage Manager. Remember, as pointed out earlier, it is viewing and not receiving that is licencable. If you are watching DVDs on a screen you DO need a licence:-(

That's incorrect, Dave.

I remember the news some years back when some guy *did* successfully get off not having a license by arguing that he didn't watch terrestrial TV. The reason he got off was that he'd modified the TV so that there physically wasn't any way for it to receive aerial signals - he could only connect it to his Sky box. Presumably TVs used for closed-circuit TV and the like come into the same category - if you physically can't connect an aerial to it, you're OK - although I wouldn't like to guess.

Secondly, watching films is utterly not covered by TV licensing. You're watching a pre-recorded film, not a TV program. TV licensing has no authority over who does or doesn't watch DVDs/videos. TV licensing only covers TVs, which are just one way you can watch a DVD.

And thirdly, there is no way by which anyone can detect that you're watching a film on your PC (nor watching TV on your PC actually, nor even watching TV on an LCD screen). TV detectors work by looking for the characteristic frequency from the flyback transformer in the TV. This only works with CRT TVs, and only works with CRT TVs running at 50Hz. Your CRT PC monitor will typically be running at 70-80Hz. Furthermore, LCD monitors inherently have no flyback transformer, so there's absolutely no way to detect their use.

On this last point, theoretically a technique called "Van Eck phreaking" (search for "Tempest" on Google, or read Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson for a fictional example) would allow someone to reproduce the contents of your screen to see what you're watching (or what websites you're reading or whatever), but (a) this is only really practical with CRTs and not LCDs, (b) the equipment to do it is expensive, (c) it requires major skills to even think about trying this, and (d) the scanning equipment has to be in *very* close proximity to the monitor. Basically, it's unlikely even for top-secret government stuff; for TV detecting it just isn't going to happpen.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 01:42 PM

New Jersey, eh? Hmmm. We're gonna have to make it a 500 foot tower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 02:04 PM

Yeah!


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,frances
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 03:54 PM

I have been, and am, in exactly this situation. I got fed up with paying new money to watch old programmes, and got rid of my rented TV and Video.

It took about four years to convince the TV Licencing Beareau that I no longer had a TV; I was getting threateining letters etc. I told them they could come round and look, provided they picked a time conventient for me, unless they wanted to pay me for the time I'd lose by not being at work.

No one came round, but I stopped getting the letters.

The, a cuople of years ago, I contacted them to say that I didn't want to watch TV, but I missed playing my vidoes, and they said that as long as the TV and video weren't tuened into TV channels, I wouldn't have to pay a licence fee.

So that's what I did. They did come round to check that time, but when the bloke saw how many videos I had, he just nodded and said ti was understandable. I received a letter from them to say that they'd put it on my file that I didn't have a TV, and that they'd check in two year's time to see if that was still the case.

Frances

ps For those of you who've not tried doing ithout TV, give it a go! You'd be surprised how much your social life improves, and how many books you manage to find time for


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: GUEST,Frances
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 04:22 PM

Having now read the rest of the thread, I feel I should add something to my previous post!

I' NOT bragging about not having a TV, any more than I brag about not having a car, or not drinking, or not taking drugs. I hardly watched it when I had it, so giving it up wasn't that much of a strain.

I'm not trying to convert anyone by preaching; if it suits them, that's up to them, and nothing to do with me. However, I do find it a bit sad when the people at work talk about the soaps as if they were real people; the phrase "get a life!" sometimes crosses my mind, but never my lips. Their choice.


One of the things that annoyed me about the licence is that it's collected by and for the BBC. But even if you only ever watch the independent channels, you still have to pay the BBC for it.

I don't see why they can't have a scrambler thingy, and you have to get a decoder, maybe buy cards for so many hour's viewing; that way you only pay for what you get, and there's no way anyone can cheat on the licence fee. Of course, the BBC would still get the money for you watching ITV....

Frances


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Subject: RE: BS: Criminal Offence not to watch TV?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 04:35 PM

The Shatner Tower is approaching completion! While we await the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Simcoe County's greatest erection, let me share with you the poem that will grace the visitor's area entrance at the bottom:

William Shatner, King of the Last Frontier

Born on a mountaintop in Canadee
Grew up to be the Number One Trekkie
Kissed all the girls on Canopus 3
Killed him a Klingon when he was sixty-three
William...William Shatner....King of the Last Frontier!!!!

Went off to college down at old McGill
Majored in drama, and got his fill
Schooled in Shakespeare and Buffalo Bill
Streaked the local nunnery just for a thrill!
William....William Shatner...King of the Last Frontier!!!!

Well, somebody told him then that he could act
So he started to believe it was a natural fact
He hammed and stonefaced and fiddled and hacked
All the way to Hollywood and never looked back
William...William Shatner....King of the Last Frontier!!!!

Then he went off to Star Fleet to serve a spell
To boldly go where no Man ever dwelled,
He fit them Klingons, we heared tell,
An' knocked 'em clear from the Pleides to Hell!
William...William Shatner....King of the Last Frontier!!!!

No alien lifeform could outface Jim
Cos he was the Man and the Man was him
"James T. Kirk", y' got that, Slim?
Toughest star captain that ever had a whim
William....William Shatner...King of the Last Frontier!!!!

With Spock and McCoy and Scotty too
He had him a bold and a reckless crew
They didn't fear nothin' and their fame just grew
And so did his waist...but what's a man to do?
William...William Shatner....King of the Last Frontier!!!!

Now he's a legend that'll never die
As long as the brave find a place in the sky
Where a man's still a man and a pig still flies
Like a big fat fist in the middle of your eye!
William...William Shatner...King of the Last Frontier!!!!


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Mudcat time: 13 June 11:22 PM EDT

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