Only need a licence if you watch live
I got hassle from the TVLA in ~1992, 2003 & 2007. The last lot of mail was extremely offensive, beginning from the assumption that I was breaking the law. Only on page three was the possibility entertained that I didn't have one of the damn things, and then I was invited to "update their database", after which they would come and check! However, despite giving them neither my name nor my telephone number, eventually I got a phone call, from a guy who was extremely polite, and began with "I presume you don't have a TV?".
As I gather that they have got even more aggressive now, my line is that I do not intend to apply for a licence NOT to have a TV.
There was an OUT-LAW article in El Reg in early 2007 that I can no longer find a propos of watching football live on your computer at work (not that any El Reg reader would do such a thing). As the technologies cannot be kept apart indefinitely, I contacted Kim Walker of Pinsent Masons. The gist of his advice was that you only need a licence if you watch LIVE, not from an archive. He referred me to their web pages at
www.out-law.com/page-6993 7465 and 7504
I also contacted the BBC, basically to find out whether I was welcome to read their news website. (This has annoyingly more and more video on it, usually consisting of some ugly politician or journalist talking to a camera.) Going via the BBC website got no response, but then they launched the trial for the archive, so I subscribed to that essentially as a way of getting an answer to my question. I got a personal, but anonymous, reply that also said that I only needed a licence to watch TV LIVE, and in particular not to participate in the archive trial.
Obviously you should not take that as legal advice, but I can forward these reponses to anyone who needs them; contact via PaulTaylor.EU