Box of Broadcasts, or BoB for short, is an on demand TV and radio service for education run by an organisation called Learning on Screen. The system allows staff and students at subscribing institutions to record programmes from over 60 free-to-air channels, both TV and radio, and search an archive of over 2 million broadcasts. Content can be accessed online both on and off campus within the UK.
If you’ve seen, or heard, something on TV or radio that you think would be useful to your learning or teaching, there’s a good chance you can get hold of it via BoB. It has been described as being like BBC iPlayer for education however once a BoB user has requested a recording, that content is available indefinitely and to all other BoB users. This means the archive of available material is constantly growing.
QMUL is a BoB subscriber which means that all of our staff and students have access to this amazing resource.
This guide covers:
What can I do with BoB?
Some of the key features of the system are:
- Easily search for content – including programme titles and transcriptions
- View content on a variety of different devices
- Request recordings – you can request programmes up to 7 days in advance of their broadcast and you can also request programmes from a 30 day recording “buffer” making it easy to get hold of programmes you may have missed. Note that if another BoB user has requested the same programme, it will be made available to all BoB users. You may find that what you want is already available even if you didn’t make the request.
- Make clips from recordings – are you only interested in that bit in the middle of the programme? Create a clip.
- Create playlists which can be kept private to you or shared with other BoB users. You could create a BoB playlist for your module.
- Embed content into other systems such as QMplus or QMplus Hub
What channels does it cover?
There are currently over 60 free-to-air channels available via BoB from the standard BBC TV and radio channels, the various ITV and Channel 4 channels through to foreign language channels.
It is also possible to access BBC Shakespeare Archive content dating back to the 1950s.
The best way to see all the supported channels is to log in on http://www.learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/ and click on the Guide at the top of your BoB home page.
Things to note
While BoB is a fantastic resource, there are a few points users should be aware of:
- BoB is only accessible to authorised users at institutions who have purchased a subscription. You will always have to login to use the service, even just to view content. Remember that sharing your QMUL account details is a breach of IT Services terms and conditions.
- While you can use BoB off-campus, it isn’t accessible outside of the UK.
- You must be online to use the service. There is no way to download content for offline viewing, as you can with services such as the BBC iPlayer. Making local copies of the content is not allowed. If there is content that you really need a local copy of, you should contact your faculty librarian who may be able to help.
- There is no limit to how much content you can view but you can only request a maximum of 5 recordings a day
How can I have a go?
The best way to get to know BoB is to log in and have a look around. You can access BoB using your standard QMUL username and password by going to:
If you have issues with logging in, please see our Accessing Box of Broadcasts guide.
Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.