Top TV Tuner manufacturer AverMedia has got its public service hat on this morning, sending out a press mailshot to inform the public that its products might require a TV license.
In the mailshot, a fellow by the name of Chris Reed, who purports to speak for the TV Licensing authority, said that "People who use emerging technologies... to recieve television programme services are likely to already be covered by their existing TV licence."
He certainly didn't say that "If you're not, we'll come round and put the willies up you."
AverMedia also detail some of the more bizarre finer points regarding their laptop TV tuner cards. If, for example, one has a laptop on a train using a PCMCIA TV card, then that's ok - you're covered by your TV licence. However, if at any point you hijack the train's AC sockets to plug in your laptop whilst watching TV, that requires an additional license.
Where would it be registered to? Laptop User, Seat 29B, the 11:45 Birmingham to Brighton?
However, the further contradiction is that users can use a laptop plugged in at the mains if the place they're plugging it in already has a TV licence, such as a hotel.
Students using a laptop TV device in their halls of residence require an additional licence, because "It is assumed that the laptop will be powered by the mains." But what if you unplug the TV card to recharge the laptop? Couldn't you then prove otherwise?
AverMedia spokesman, Bentley Lo, said that "We hope this information clarifies the laws for all." Clear as mud, mate, but that probably isn't your fault.
AverMedia recently released a new series of Windows Media Center TV cards
, including the digital-only A16A, which this writer can vouch for as thoroughly decent bit of kit.
We'd welcome your own TV licensing experiences in the news discussion thread