Frequently Asked Questions

Accessing BoB

  • Yes, there’s a flat fee for each institution to access BoB. To subscribe, institutions must hold an ERA licence and Learning on Screen membership. If you’d like to join Learning on Screen and take out a BoB subscription, please send us an email at ask@learningonscreen.ac.uk.

  • No. For licensing reasons, subscription is available on an institutional basis only.

  • You can find this out within your university or college, or you can contact the Educational Recording Agency directly and they’ll be able to tell you.

  • Yes, you can find our terms and conditions here.

  • BoB admins can request printed promo materials by sending an email to bob@learningonscreen.ac.uk. You can download materials from our Publicity page.

  • Yes, BoB operates under the terms and conditions of the ERA licence, so you can use it anywhere in the UK.

  • No, it’s not possible to access content in BoB when you’re overseas, under the terms and conditions of the ERA licence and as detailed in our terms and conditions. The service uses geolocation software to block access from outside the UK. Please note that any changes to the ERA licence will be reflected in our offer.

  • Unfortunately (since January 2021) we are no longer able to provide 'roaming' access to BoB for students who are outside of the UK. This is because post-Brexit the UK is no longer covered by the relevant EU portability legislation. The BBC News Channel (previously known as BBC News 24) remains available globally for all UK registered students until the end of June 2021.

  • BoB works across a large set of devices, including those running iOS 7.1+, Android 4.4+, Windows Phone 8.1+, and Windows Mobile 11+.

  • In order to use BoB you need to have a modern browser installed. We recommend:

      • Internet Explorer 11 - Windows 8 (and above)
      • Edge 12 (or later)
      • Mozilla Firefox 44 (or later)
      • Safari 8 (or later)
      • Google Chrome 49 (or later)

    Earlier versions of these browsers may work but are not supported

Using BoB

  • BoB is intuitive and easy to use, so you may find you can start straight away. However, if you need a bit of help finding your feet take a look at our video tutorials.

  • The programme guide contains tiles for all the programmes available to watch or record. The seven most popular tv channels are listed first, with all content automatically recorded after broadcast. Other channels will need to be requested by the user within 30 days of broadcast. If you need to plan ahead, recordings can be made seven days in advance too.

    To navigate forward and backward in time, use the left and right arrow; scrolling vertically will reveal more channels. The colour of the action text represents the status of that programme:

      • Blue: available to record
      • Amber: scheduled to record and in the transcoding queue (programmes can take up to 12 hours from the end of broadcast to become available for streaming)
      • Green: available to watch now

    To access a programme tile, click directly on the text and follow the on-screen instructions.

  • If a programme doesn’t play please check the following:

      • You’re signed in and have a functioning internet connection in a responsive browser
      • The date and time of broadcast must be in the past (bear in mind at busier periods, it can take up to 12 hours in the transcoding queue)
      • Try refreshing your browser, then try playing it again. If that doesn’t work, clear your browser cache and cookies, then try playing the programme again.
      • Or try again using an alternative supported browser.

    If the programme still isn’t playing, please follow the ‘report problems with this record’ link beneath the programme player.

  • You can search for another version of a programme by clicking the ‘search for repeats’ link under the programme description. Some channels routinely show films in two parts with a short news break in between. Use the ‘search for repeats’ link to find the other half.

  • To record a programme you must be signed in. Either select a programme from the guide and click ‘request programme’, or, use the search bar to look for programmes using keywords. Filter the results with the custom date range and again, click ‘request programme’ to record. Once recorded, you’ll find the programme in My BoB.

  • For any comments or feedback regarding the service, please send an email to bob@learningonscreen.ac.uk.

  • Users can run simple searches including ‘sign zone’ to find some of the signed content available from the BBC. Alternatively, users can make use of the TRILT advanced search filter “technical aspects” using the search term ‘signed’. There are direct links to BoB in each available TRILT record.

    Contact the BoB team for more help locating accessible programmes.

  • Yes, users can turn the subtitles on TV programmes in BoB by clicking on the ‘S’ in the programme player. We take the subtitles supplied by the broadcaster to create a searchable transcript. Click on ‘show transcript’ to have the full text displayed beneath the player.

  • This isn’t a feature we offer. However, you can request uploads of formerly broadcast programmes via our Off-Air Service from the following channels: BBC1 (London Region), BBC2, BBC3 (up to 2016), BBC4, ITV, Channel 4, FIVE and More 4. You can make a request through TRILT which will need to be authorised by your local representative.

  • Currently, we’re capturing over 75 channels from a mix of Freeview and Freesat television, with ten channels available in foreign languages. Here’s our full channel list. All channels are potentially subject to change.

  • BoB searches the title, metadata and transcripts as well as the broadcast data of upcoming programmes.

    To search for content, click on the ‘search’ button at the top of the page. You can search for individual programmes by entering your keywords and clicking the search icon. You can also use the tick box filters under ‘search options’ to adjust your search to precise specifications. You can also use ‘AND’, ‘OR’, and ‘NOT’ search language to find the content you need. For example, if you need to find a film or TV adaption of the novel Frankenstein, you can search for: ‘Frankenstein’ AND ‘adaption’. Give it a go for yourself…

  • BoB users can explore over 160,000 publicly available playlists made by other users. Just click the ‘playlist’ option in the search panel and input your keywords. You can search for playlists by title or by contents, and you can limit searching to your institution or widen it up to the entire community of BoB users.

  • There is a ‘create clip’ icon beneath the programme player. Click on this icon to bring up the editing handles in the programme player. Drag the handles to your preferred in and out points, then save the clip. You can give the clip the name and description of your choosing. You can also go back and edit the in and out points of your clip, which is available immediately.

  • You can make up to 5 recordings in a 6 hour period. This includes clip creation. That’s 20 recordings/clips a day.

  • My BoB is your personal workspace. Everything you record is automatically sent there and it’s where you will find your clips and playlists.

  • Once a programme has been recorded, you’ll receive an email with the link to your programme. Or just go to My BoB and you’ll be able to watch it from your ‘requested’ tab.

Teaching With BoB

  • Yes, you can embed programmes and clips from BoB into your VLEs. To embed a programme or clip, simply click the ‘share’ button under the player window, and copy and paste the link marked ‘embed’ into your VLE site.

  • Users need to sign into BoB to watch embedded content so you will be taken to the website to authenticate first. Once authenticated, you need to refresh the page with the embedded link, and the play button will appear. Please note you must authenticate in the same browser that the embedded content is displayed.

  • Yes, you can paste BoB programme links directly into your presentation. We’ve made a short video guide on the best way to do this here.

  • Yes, but only with registered BoB users. Use the share option beneath the programme player to reveal the simple link and WAYFless link. Use the WAYFless link for sharing within your institution. Or simply send them the programme page URL from the address bar of your web browser.

  • Yes, but only with registered BoB users. Use the share option beneath the programme player to reveal the simple link and WAYFless link. Use the WAYFless link for sharing within your institution. Or simply send them the clip page URL from the address bar of your web browser.

  • Yes, but only with registered BoB users. Simply send them the playlist page URL from the address bar of your web browser. Please note that other users will only be able to access your playlist if it is marked ‘public’.

My BoB Account

  • If you’re authenticating using a university username and need to change your password, you’ll need to contact your local BoB admin. To update your personal details in BoB, just go to the account details section at the top of the screen. You will need to click on the ‘update’ to activate the fields, and ‘save’ to register the new details. Your updated email address will only appear on your account once you have verified that email address.

  • We require your email address for optimum BoB functionality and to keep you updated with important service information. It enables email notifications of when a recording is available to view. It also allows users to curate their personal area, MyBoB, with the added bonus of being able to transfer that curated content to your new account if you move to a different subscribing institution, or if your existing authentication system is upgraded. Your clips and playlists will be attached to that email address, so make sure you re-register with the same email address.

  • To access a physical copy of a programme, check with your library as copies can be recorded locally under their standard ERA licence. If they can’t help, you can order copies of formerly broadcast programmes via our Off-Air Service.

More Information