Monday, July 9, 2007

Who's supposed to be watching who?

So far in life I've bought one TV set, a 23", 4:3 aspect ratio, manufacturer unknown, which rarely showed the correct colours and had from the day of purchase an annoying line right down the middle of it's highly convex screen. Prior to that, visual media was fed to me via a 14" portable which I'd dragged from abode to abode since receiving it as a parental gift aged 16.

Recently I had purchased for me a whopping 32" Samsung HD LCD which I'm sure uses more electricity than the rest of my household appliances combined and will make a fantastic radiator come winter.

Not long after its arrival I received a letter from the TV Licensing 'people' telling me they were aware of the fact a TV had been delivered to my home yet no licence existed for this address. The following is my response to them.

I recently received a letter saying that you had found that a TV had been delivered to my address having been bought on

Yes indeed my girlfriend bought a TV for me from there, I do however believe no license is required for the following reasons:

I have NO intention of watching broadcast television.
The TV has NOT been tuned into to any stations and shall remain as such.
I have a collection of around 1,000 DVDs which I could quite comfortably take the rest of my life to watch, plus I have a subscription to the service, so receive around 4 films a week that I actually WANT to watch.
I have seven games consoles from the past 3 decades and a collection of more videogames than I can be bothered counting.
I am not likely to be spending much more time in the UK.

I would ask that you look at the current TV listings and tell me if there is ANYTHING that is likely to appeal to my 'demographic'. I'm a 36 year old male, single (as in unmarried and live alone), with an I.Q. in the top 5% for my age group. My entertainment interests are centered around Sci-Fi, Korean horror and what is generally termed 'extreme' music or 'Power Electronics'. I am also capable of reading something other than OK, Zoo or Loaded, my favorite author being Philip K. Dick.

So I am NOT interested in the increasingly popular gossip culture, reality TV 'stars' or the bovine stupidity inducing monotony of continuous repeats of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please.  I didn't have a TV for almost a year and STILL somehow managed to see that episode with the haunted pub about six times!

So if you can point me in the direction of any TV show I'd find to be beyond sickeningly banal then I'd GLADLY pay for a license, provided of course that the cost of such is in comparison to buying said series on DVD about a week or so after it's been broadcast - a la Doctor Who… which while a touch infantile I do still have a soft spot for.

As a web designer I'm very familiar with the huge amount of on-demand entertainment resources online. I am an avid exponent of youtube and recently joined the Joost beta program, which thankfully has many shows that I've been wanting to see for years but have never been broadcast in the UK nor made available on DVD.

I don't wish to come across as elitist, suggesting that TV is for "The Proles" (Orwell, 1984, Big Brother - the book, not the alarming popular TV show (Channel 4 sticks a camera in a womans bedroom and it's called entertainment - I do it and get 6 months and a restraining order (joke)) but the fact is TV is aimed at the lowest common denominator and I am firmly outside of any form of classification that the BBC is willing to 'entertain'.

So, I'd quite gladly have one of your officers round to inspect my property and the equipment here, should I be incorrect in my assumption that having the TV for purposes OTHER than watching broadcast television still requires a license then I appologise for my misunderstanding but would wish to see documentation to clarify why this is the case. If it is so then I shall dispose of said television and return to my previous methods of watching films on my 6" portable DVD and letting my consoles continue to gather dust until such time as I take myself abroad.

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