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TV licences: A thing of the past or a UK household necessity?


TV licences: A thing of the past or a UK household necessity?

TV licences: A thing of the past or a UK household necessity?

Nick Baker, TV and streaming expert at Uswitch, looks at the issue…

Despite the annual TV licence cost freezing at £159, the wide variety of entertainment that streaming services have to offer means many Brits will be reconsidering paying their bill this year.

To help understand the necessity of the TV licence in full, Nick Baker, TV and streaming expert at Uswitch tells ATV Today:

A TV licence is a legal requirement if you want to use BBC iPlayer, or watch live television, such as sporting events, on any channel, streaming service or device. This means that if you fail to pay the fee, you are breaking the law and could face going to court and receiving a fine of up to £1,000.

Purchasing a TV licence costs £159 a year. However, with the current cost of living crisis squeezing many households’ budgets, many will be considering whether they need to renew their TV licence. You do not need a TV licence to stream on-demand shows across services such as Netflix, Prime and Disney+, nor do you need a licence to stream catch-up content across platforms, including ITV X and All 4.

With millions of Brits investing in on-demand streaming services that have thousands of shows and films available, it’s easy to find plenty to watch without paying a TV licence fee to watch live TV and BBC iPlayer. Also, with the increase in smart TV devices, it’s easier than ever to stream content on television for the whole family to watch.

However, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime require speeds of 1.5Mbps and above for SD streaming and 2.8Mbps for HD streaming. If you plan on streaming TV shows this year, it’s important that you have the correct connection speeds to avoid buffering. With household bills across the country increasing, it’s worth comparing broadband deals to ensure you’re getting the right speed for you at the best price.

Despite there being many options to avoid paying for a TV licence, some households rely on live television or simply enjoy the content BBC iPlayer offers. Remember, if you decide that a TV licence fits your household’s viewing habits, it is important to renew your licence online or by calling TV Licensing.

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