Watch the BBC's "Oppenheimer" miniseries starring a young Sam Waterston

Originally published at: Watch the BBC's "Oppenheimer" miniseries starring a young Sam Waterston | Boing Boing

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which every BBC-watching household in the U.K. pays

Sigh. Variety ought to get its facts right. It’s every TV-owning household. (Unless you can prove it is not capable of receiving any signal - and even that is moot). You don’t have to ever watch the BBC to have to pay the licence fee (of which I thoroughly approve, BTW).


And isn’t the fee significantly lower if you only have a black and white set? Or did that go by the wayside with along with the TV detector vans?

Yes - it’s about a third of the cost.

I watched this when it originally aired on PBS’ Masterpiece Theater in 1982(?). I watched ep1-5 this past Saturday night. I’ll catch the last 2 episodes at some point this week.

ISTR that late in the days of the CRT, there was a niche market for B+W televisions for people that wanted to save on the fee.


Probably still is - but getting more and more niche by the minute.

2014 there were fewer than 12,000 black and white licenses left apparently.

Must be a few still but given the dropping of the analogue signal since then….


Yeah - I wondered about that but only found references that were maybe 3-5 years out of date and could not be arsed to do even more research as to when that signal was turned off and whether any B&W users managed to still receive somehow… But the fact they still sell B&W licences, suggests there is a way.

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There’s always a way!

Probably works out more expensive than the normal license though…

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A digibox to receive Freeview along with a converter to output to an old school aerial connection might work; they were pretty much giving away kit like that a few years back when they dropped the analogue signal.


IIRC the BBC pays repeat fees to actors for streaming views, which is one of the reasons why they haven’t shovelled everything onto iPlayer.


And you get a further reduction if you’re registered as blind.

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Indeed that will work. But IIRC (and I’m not bothered enough to do more googling) the licence is for a receiver capable of receiving colour pictures, which a Freeview digibox is. It’s a conundrum (or would be if I had a B&W set and cared). :wink:

@FGD135 and of course, here in the UK, the BBC made me use a VPN and pretend to be in the US before it would show this. Tch!

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Not receiving signal is sufficient, and if the inspector comes around you can tell them to come back with a warrant.

I’ve not paid the fee for years when I’ve not had Freeview or iPlayer running. There’s a couple of iPlayer bits I want these days, so I pay to stream iPlayer.

Been there, done that. When I moved back to the UK from Australia I brought with an Australia telly, not realising that the digital systems were different and it wouldn’t work. When I got the inevitable scary letter from the BBC I sent them this:

I also mentioned being miffed that I’d been accused of not responding to previous comms when in fact I had, and got an apology for that.

Of course the BBC has since decided that you have to pay the fee to use using its iPlayer online service and I’ve long since acquired a proper telly and paid the licence, but it was quite fun at the time to have an absolutely cast-iron excuse for not getting one.


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