Frequently Asked Questions

What if a programme isn’t playing?

If a programme isn’t playing, try refreshing your browser, then try playing it again. If that doesn’t work close and re-open the browser, then try playing the programme again.

A programme is incomplete or isn’t matching the title and description. Is there another version?

You can search for another version of a programme by clicking the ‘search for repeats’ link under the programme description.

Can I embed programmes into a VLE?

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.

Is there a fee for 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

How can I check if my institution has an ERA licence?

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.

Are there terms and conditions for using BoB?

Yes, you can find our terms and conditions here.

I’m new to BoB… where do I start?

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

Does BoB work with all browsers?

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.

Can I upload video content to BoB?

This isn’t a feature we offer.

Can I request uploads of Learning on Screen off-air recordings to BoB?

Yes, contact us at to request off-air uploads.

Can I access BoB off campus?

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

Can I use BoB overseas?

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.

How do I search for broadcasts already in the archive?

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…

How do I search for playlists?

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.

What channels are available to record?

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.

What is My BoB?

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

How do I record a programme?

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.

How many recordings can I make a day?

You can make 20 recordings a day and unlimited clips.

How do I watch programmes I’ve recorded?

Once a programme’s been recorded, just go to My BoB and you’ll be able to watch it.

How do I update my personal details?

If you’re authenticating using a university username and need to change your password, you’ll need to contact your BoB admin. To update your personal details, just go to the account details section at the top of the screen.

Why do you ask for my email address?

It’s just so we know which institution you’re from and so we can keep you updated with important service information. If you had an account on the previous system then your clips and playlists will be attached to that, so make sure you re-register with the same email address.

Which device is BoB available on?

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+.

Can I use a BoB programme in my presentation?

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.

I don’t want to stream a programme. Is there a way I can access a physical copy?

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.

What should I do if a programme doesn’t play?

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)

If the programme still isn’t playing, please send an email to, including the programme’s URL link.

We’re current subscribers. Where can we find promo material to use internally?

BoB admins can request printed promo materials by sending an email to You can also download our digital sign.

Can I share my programmes?

Yes, but only with registered BoB users. Simply send them the programme page URL.

How do I use the programme guide?

The programme guide contains tiles for all the programmes available to watch or record. The nine most popular 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.

I found distressing and/or inappropriate content in BoB, what should I do?

Please be aware that some archive content accessed via BoB may contain harmful language, images, depictions, views and/ or mistreatment of people or cultures, liable to cause harm, distress and/ or offence. BoB is an educational resource (operating in a similar way to an academic library) providing archived material for teaching, learning and research purposes and all content is only accessible via academic authentication. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact and learn from it in order to create a more inclusive and safer future.

If you find an inappropriate image in the search results or appearing as a cover image, we may be able to change the image. These thumbnails and cover images are automatically generated but can usually be manually adjusted.

If you have concerns about a programme, thumbnail or cover image, please email or use the "Report problems with this programme" link, which can be found on each programme page.


More questions?

Get in touch with us at