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By RogerS
#1336313
AndyT wrote:
RogerS wrote:
AndyT wrote:....
What mechanism could be used to identify and bill everyone who wants the BBC channels using the existing transmitter and tuner delivery?

Preferably one which doesn't need a whole lot of new electronics and extra energy to run it.


They will rent you a smart box for an annual rental fee of £157.50.


But is there a solution which doesn't need a whole lot of new electronics and extra energy to run it? And what's in the smart box - remember, we can't assume there's a broadband connection or even a phone line for it to talk to a central service.


I think you missed my too-subtle point :wink:
User avatar
By AndyT
#1336315
No, I can see you set the rental fee to equal the licence fee - and that's part of another interesting aspect we could discuss, but for now I'd like to focus on how much extra stuff and hassle would be needed for a subscription service to be implemented. That's a question I haven't seen discussed elsewhere and I worry that a sensible sounding headline can drag in a whole mess of failure when some poor soul gets told to implement it.

So far we seem to be heading down the path of millions of extra little electronic gizmos which would be a waste of resources. Of course it's made harder because we're trying to design a universally available service. The likes of Sky and Netflix don't need to pursue someone with a TV and an aerial but no broadband - they are not going to make a profitable customer.
By John Brown
#1336316
AndyT wrote:Quick practical question.

The suggestion that the BBC should "move to subscription based charging" is often made and it seems to be gaining support. If the govt decided that was the policy, how would it work?

Remember that all the BBC's output is available, unmetered, with no subscriber ID, via a transmission tower and an aerial. ( Along with the rest of the Freeview channels.)

Subscription services such as Sky, Netflix or Amazon Prime all need a broadband service.

Roughly speaking, the most basic broadband service costs more than a TV licence. It's not available in some parts of the country or in caravans or boats. So compelling people to buy a fresh service for more than they pay now might not go down very well.

What mechanism could be used to identify and bill everyone who wants the BBC channels using the existing transmitter and tuner delivery?

Preferably one which doesn't need a whole lot of new electronics and extra energy to run it.

That's the crux of the problem. A lot of set top boxes or Digital Terrestrial TV sets don't have a slot for a card, and as you mention, there used to be a massive grey industry devoted to "cracking" the encryption anyway.
It's a conundrum, and I will be interested to see what happens in the next few years.
By Rorschach
#1336317
AndyT wrote:Remember that all the BBC's output is available, unmetered, with no subscriber ID, via a transmission tower and an aerial. ( Along with the rest of the Freeview channels.)

What mechanism could be used to identify and bill everyone who wants the BBC channels using the existing transmitter and tuner delivery?

Preferably one which doesn't need a whole lot of new electronics and extra energy to run it.


Well the current system doesn't actually know if the people watching the service are paying for it. As you say it broadcasts for free and the license payment is based on trust and fear for the most part.

As to how would you implement it, I don't know exactly, this is why advert based models are probably the better solution for general broadcast with an ad free service available for a cost.
User avatar
By RogerS
#1336318
Rorschach wrote:....
As to how would you implement it, I don't know exactly, this is why advert based models are probably the better solution for general broadcast with an ad free service available for a cost.


A broadcast ad-free service will have exactly the same technical issues as a subscription model.
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By AndyT
#1336319
Rorschach wrote:Well the current system doesn't actually know if the people watching the service are paying for it. As you say it broadcasts for free and the license payment is based on trust and fear for the most part.

Quite so, but so far the licence fee system raises enough money to fund the service, so that issue has not been a barrier.

Rorschach wrote:As to how would you implement it, I don't know exactly, this is why advert based models are probably the better solution for general broadcast with an ad free service available for a cost.

I can see that ad free service could easily be offered to those streaming their TV but for anyone using transmitter+aerial we're back to the little boxes again.

As John Brown confirmed, encryption + cards is old technology and wouldn't look like progress.

I'd rather be told that our leaders have a better plan that we've not thought of , but it looks to me as if any shift to subscription is likely to be littered with costs that bring no benefits.
By Rorschach
#1336349
RogerS wrote:
Rorschach wrote:....
As to how would you implement it, I don't know exactly, this is why advert based models are probably the better solution for general broadcast with an ad free service available for a cost.


A broadcast ad-free service will have exactly the same technical issues as a subscription model.


The ad free service would only be available with other services such as sky, cable, internet etc, not available on the current freeview type service.
By Rorschach
#1336353
AndyT wrote:
Rorschach wrote:As to how would you implement it, I don't know exactly, this is why advert based models are probably the better solution for general broadcast with an ad free service available for a cost.

I can see that ad free service could easily be offered to those streaming their TV but for anyone using transmitter+aerial we're back to the little boxes again.


Yep, the ad free service would only be available with other services such as sky, cable, internet etc, not available on the current freeview type service using an aerial. Compromises must be made. The aerial type service is really only catering to an ageing (and dying) population.
User avatar
By AndyT
#1336355
I'd be happier with "Compromises must be made, if they bring greater benefits" but I expect you are right and I shall be disappointed but not surprised.

There are of course loads of other complications that would flow from any change to the current system, since the licence fee also pays for world, national and local radio, iPlayer and Sounds, S4C and some other stuff - https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if- ... -for-top13

So those services would need to stop, be funded from other sources, or remain as an annoying levy on anyone paying a monthly fee for a decryption card. I'm glad I don't have to decide all this as it seems likely that whatever change is made there will be a lot of opposition from anyone who feels that it's all still unfair, or unfair in a new way.
By Rorschach
#1336360
Whatever happens it will be unfair and pain in the rear I am sure, but it is an overdue change by several years now.

Ultimately it has been unfair to lots of people for a long time as once you started getting more than a handful of channels you were being forced to pay to legally watch channels that you were already paying additionally for (either subscription or by watching ads). They should have done something back then and it probably wouldn't have developed into such a heated argument. Of course the antics of Capita have not helped matters either, 10 minutes on youtube watching them will be sure to sour your view of the BBC even further.
User avatar
By RogerS
#1336362
Rorschach wrote:....Of course the antics of Capita have not helped matters either, 10 minutes on youtube watching them will be sure to sour your view of the BBC even further.


Do you have a link ?
By Rorschach
#1336365
RogerS wrote:
Rorschach wrote:....Of course the antics of Capita have not helped matters either, 10 minutes on youtube watching them will be sure to sour your view of the BBC even further.


Do you have a link ?


Just search on youtube for TV license goons or similar, plenty on there.
By Terry - Somerset
#1336421
I'm not sure if I am somehow missing the point, but other media organisations seem entirely capable of managing subscription services.

If the issue is about running a subscription service via an aerial and then decoded, then we are in danger of having policy dominated by the very small number of homes which do not have broadband (currently <10%) or those with a very slow connection.

Given roll out of 5G and the intention to increase speeds in rural communities, the problem should disappear in a few years anyway.
User avatar
By RogerS
#1336423
Terry - Somerset wrote:I'm not sure if I am somehow missing the point, but other media organisations seem entirely capable of managing subscription services.

If the issue is about running a subscription service via an aerial and then decoded, then we are in danger of having policy dominated by the very small number of homes which do not have broadband (currently <10%) or those with a very slow connection.

Given roll out of 5G and the intention to increase speeds in rural communities, the problem should disappear in a few years anyway.


Sorry Terry but you're wrong on so many counts.

According to the ONS, March 2019 over 5 million people have never used the internet. Hardly a 'small' number. This amounted to 10 per cent of the UK population in 2018, when the survey was conducted.

The vast majority of this offline minority are older people, with 79 per cent of the total aged 65 or over. So if you wait 20 years ..... :shock:

But a lot are also disabled, making up 23.3 per cent of those who never go online..... which I find concerning...maybe financial reasons ?

So those people are hardly 'dominating'.

As for 5G...what a waste of time. It's only there to support the IoT which is a disaster waiting to happen. We DON'T need to turn our bloody kettle on from our settee. Get off your fat backsides !
User avatar
By sammy.se
#1336435
Subscription services were available long before the internet.

Conflating internet with subscription service makes no sense.

Or.. the beeb can just start running adverts (like they do outside of the UK) and be 'free'

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