Do I need a tv license to use a firestick?

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Written By Dinu Sri

Dr H. T. D. S. Madusanka is an electronic expert with 10 years of experience, involved in the research and development of SMART HOME systems.

You do not need a TV license to use firestick unless you watch live TVs; if you watch live TVs or use BBC iPlayer on your firestick- only then you’ll need it. TV license- is not required for pre-recorded programs. 

Do I need a TV license to use a firestick?

As we know, Amazon firestick is a media streaming device that streams videos, plays music, runs apps, etc. on your TV. It turns your regular TV into a smart one. You can watch streaming services like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, etc. using your firestick. You can also watch live TVs on your device. 

These platforms show pre-recorded shows and programs. You do not need any TV license on your firestick to watch them. However, if you want to watch live TV programs, live sports, or news, you must need a TV license. You will need it for installing and watching BBC iPlayer too. 

TV license cost is increasing day by day. Now it costs almost twice that of streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix. So, many of you are thinking about alternatives. I’m sure you have many questions in your mind that needs to be answered. I’ll address some of them here. 

samsung smart tv
samsung smart tv

When Do I need a TV License? 

The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. You need a TV license when you watch satellite TV channels on your television. If you see an online live TV channel, you will need it too. You will also require a license to install and watch BBC iPlayer. 

Do I need a TV License to Own a TV?  

You do not need a TV license to purchase or own a TV set. But if you want to watch TV channels or online Live TV channels, you need a TV license. You will need it to record any live programs too. If you wish to install and watch BBC iPlayer on your TV, you need a TV license. 

However, if you use any streaming services- that do not show live programs, you won’t need a license. 

What TV Services Can I watch Without a License? 

Without a TV license, you can watch streaming services that stream shows and programs that are- pre-recorded. Some of the popular streaming services that do not require a TV license are: 

  • Amazon Prime 
  • Hulu 
  • Netflix 
  • Blurays/ DVDs
  • Any news service that does not shows live programs. 

Do you need a TV licence for Amazon Prime?

Televisions are becoming outdated already because many people are switching to streaming services. Instead of television channels, now they prefer to watch a streaming service. Nowadays, there’s nothing you won’t find on streaming platforms. 

Amazon Prime is a streaming service that shows pre-recorded programs, shows, and movies. According to the law, you do not need a license to watch them because these are taped shows and programs. 

However, Amazon Prime has recently bought a license to show live sports. They also stream Discovery Channel and, it is a TV channel. You will need a TV license to watch these. So, if you want to watch or record live sports or Discovery channel on Amazon prime, you will need a TV license. 

What Devices a TV License Covers?  

When you decide to get a TV license, after all, you will want to know what devices you can use with your license to watch live TVs. Your TV license will cover any device that can receive a television signal. Such as: 

  • Television: You can watch satellite channels using your television with your license. You can also watch BBC programs on BBC iPlayer. But you cannot watch any online Live TV. 
  • Desktop Computer: Your license will cover your desktop computer if you watch anything live on it. 
  • Laptop: You can watch on-demand programs or catchup programs on your laptops. However, you do not have permission to watch anything live. 
  • Tablets: Your TV license will cover any tablets you have and use for watching live television. 
  • Mobile Phone: Even with your TV license, you cannot watch any live program from your mobile phone while it airs. You can watch catchup or on-demand programs. 
  • Gaming Consoles: Your license will also cover your gaming console if you want to watch or record live TV programs on it. 

We can see that a TV license covers pretty much every device you might have at your home. 

How do I Avoid Paying for a TV License? 

The only way to avoid paying for a TV license is to give up watching live TV channels. Do not watch any satellite channels or aerials on your television and, you are good to go. You won’t have to pay for a TV license. 

Satellite TV channels are becoming less popular day by day. People nowadays are giving up watching live television. They are tilting towards the alternatives. Because there are good alternatives are available now. So, if you are not interested in BBC programs, you do not need a TV license altogether.

Streaming services are getting popular every day. There is more than enough content that you can watch on these platforms. Streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, etc. are already getting popular. And the good thing about s streaming platform is that you can control what you watch. 

TV license is getting costlier day by day. It costs twice as streaming services like Amazon Prime or Netflix cost. So, by switching to these services, you can avoid paying for a TV license. Thus you can save some cash too. Plus, you can switch between streaming platforms anytime you want.  

Final Word

You can use a firestick to watch all your favorite shows on your television without paying a dime for TV licensing. After reading my article, I hope all your confusions regarding the TV license and firestick are clear now. 

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