In the U.K. you need to pay for watching live television (TV), no matter what method you use to watch TV. You might not even have a TV in your home, but watch live TV on you laptop, media streaming stick (Amazon/Chromecast/etc), phone etc. If you do this, you'll need to pay £145.50 a year, most likely for a "Colour TV License", unless you're really old-school.
When I moved into my house last year, I paid for a TV License and Sky TV so that I could watch TV just like I used to with my parents. Over the course of the last 12 months, however, I have found that I watch maybe 2-4 hours per month, so there's no way for me to justify the cost of the TV service (~£30 per month) and the TV license (~£12 per month) for something I barely use. I pay for Amazon Prime anyway, so I get a lot of pre-recorded media to watch, my housemate has Netflix and I also buy DVDs or movies and TV Shows from iTunes/Google Play.
When the TV License renewal email came in, I was more than happy to read all of the rules on how I can avoid paying the license and signed the declaration. I wonder how long it'll be before you need to pay for streaming pre-recorded media, outside of BBC iPlayer.
By doing the below, however, I have signed something which lets "agents of the TV Licensing Authority" to enter my premisis (with warning, I assume), to check I don't require a TV License. I'm not certain how they are able to check that though. If they do visual checks, they'll see I have a Sky satalite dish, which isn't in use, but other than that, how else can they tell?
Ah well. I've made my honest declaration. I'm happy with that.