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Channel access

in Phones & TV
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Chas11hChas11h Forumite
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If you have a Sky subscription and it expires then the channel is blocked. Why can't the BBC do the same when a TV licence expires?

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  • pphillipspphillips Forumite
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    A satellite dish is not the only way to access BBC channels as there is also aerial coverage, cable and Internet access.
  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    OP do you mean for the BBC to block ITV . Channel 4, CBS . Drama . and all the hundred or so other channels  .
    BBC cannot block internet access either .
  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    Chas11h said:
    If you have a Sky subscription and it expires then the channel is blocked. Why can't the BBC do the same when a TV licence expires?
    Because the licence system doesn't work like that. 

    Sky expired subscriptions do not block all channels.  Only the ones you were paying for (Entertainment/Signature and any premium channels) and the Sky+ functionality.  (for Sky+, presume same for Q but it's arbitrary anyway as you have to send the boxes back).  That's the way that system works.  The viewing card does all the work on the Sky platform (in a nutshell, but its more complicated than that).  There is no card for Freeview/iPlayer/Freesat/whatever so there's nothing to disable.
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    You need a TV licence to watch live TV: not just live BBC TV. Are you suggesting that the BBC somehow block all the commercial channels too?
    You can't selectively block reception from a transmitter to aerials pointed at it anyway.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    macman said:
    You need a TV licence to watch live TV: not just live BBC TV. Are you suggesting that the BBC somehow block all the commercial channels too?
    You can't selectively block reception from a transmitter to aerials pointed at it anyway.

    Jamming is always possible (and hijacking definitely is, as American TV has found out particularly in the 1980s) but that sort of thing is sort of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut (and for sake of one non-payer in a specific area is totally overkill anyway).  Moving the approach to a similar way of the Sky system is expensive and requires major changes to the BBC's output on all platforms - and lets face it it's almost certainly not going to be value for money as they'd still have to transmit all this stuff anyway, so nothing in this paragraph is going to happen.

    Realistically the way Freeview took off the way it did is because it was simple.  You just get a box with Freeview access (or later any TV that has Freeview built in which is now pretty much all of them), plug it in, tune it in and it works.  No faffing around with registration, authentication, logging in... no different to analogue TV, you just buy a TV, plug and tune it, job done.
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