Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

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© Ryan Lackey, 2006. Issued under a Creative Commons licence (

Loughborough University subscribes to Box of Broadcasts (BoB), a user-friendly online service for recording, storing, organizing and viewing British television and radio programmes for educational purposes.  BoB is run by the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC).  You can sign up for the service as a member of the University: once you are a registered user, you can record, store and view broadcasts from dozens of free-to-air TV and radio channels; you can also view broadcasts that other users have recorded.

BoB itself is not a licence: it is an online service which allows you to make the most of the ERA Plus Licence that the University subscribes to.  You can use BoB to:

  • record TV and radio broadcasts (you can schedule recordings up to 7 days in advance and you can still make them up to 30 days after transmission);
  • choose from over 60 different TV and radio channels (including some in foreign languages);
  • create clips and playlists;
  • play back your own recordings (either for private study or in lectures, classes, seminars etc.);
  • search for and play back recordings made by other users (over a million of these have now been archived);
  • access transcripts of recordings;
  • get automatically-generated citations of broadcasts.

There are some limitations to the service:

  • you cannot download recordings from BoB;
  • you cannot use BoB outside the United Kingdom;
  • BoB may require you to delete some of your recordings if it starts to run out of storage space .

BoB has some important features that make it very useful for teaching:

  • all clips on BoB have simple, permanent URLs (e.g., which makes it easy for you to link to them from Learn pages, Reading Lists and lecture slides.
  • you can also use BoB to stream a Flash video to a webpage – in a similar way to BBC iPlayer.
  • you can build playlists for particular modules etc.  Again, these have simple, permanent URLs (e.g. which can be included in teaching materials.

When you use BoB to record and play back broadcasts for educational purposes, you are covered by the University’s ERA Plus Licence.  BoB takes away a lot of the hassle associated with making recordings onto DVDs yourself under Licence – the details of what you record are reported automatically, so you need not worry about record-keeping.

To see how Loughborough academics are using BoB, see the E-Learning Blog.

More information on BoB can be found on the Centre for Academic Practice’s webpages.

BoB Terms and Conditions are available here:

Last updated by C.Greasley 22/08/18

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