A guide to Box of Broadcasts

What is Box of Broadcasts?

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is the largest shared online off-air television and radio recording service for education and research in the world. It allows all students, researchers and staff at Imperial to choose and record television and radio programmes from over 60 Freeview channels.

The recorded programmes are kept indefinitely (no expiry date) and added to a growing media archive (currently at over 1 million programmes) including transcripts, with all content shared by users across all subscribing institutions. 

As well as the material you have recorded, you can play back and make clips from all the material recorded on BoB by other UK university staff and students. Lecturers can make programmes and clips available to students by creating playlists, using Blackboard or circulating direct links. They can also be played in lectures.

How do I access BoB?

To access BoB:

  • Go to http://bobnational.net/
  • Click on the Login button
  • Start to type Imperial College London in the search box and select
  • Login with your College username and password

The following browsers are recommended for use with BoB:

  • Internet Explorer 11 (or later)
  • Edge 12 (or later)
  • Mozilla Firefox 44 (or later)
  • Safari 8 (or later)
  • Google Chrome 48 (or later)

How do I record programmes?

Click on Programme Guide to see the programmes available. You can retrieve programmes that have been broadcast over the past 7 days or those that will be on air in the next week.

Screenshot of programme guide Click on the calendar in the top right of the Programme Guide to choose the day your programme was/will be broadcast.

Hold and drag your mouse left to right to view different broadcast times.

Hold and drag your mouse up and down to see different channels.

The colour of the programme tile represents its status:

  • Grey: available to record
  • Red: scheduled to record, but not yet broadcasted
  • 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

When you have found the programme that you would like to be recorded, click on it. You’ll then have a box pop up at the bottom of the screen with extra details. Click on ‘request programme.’ You can make up to five recording requests a day.

Screenshot showing Request programme button

How do I use the archive?

Screeshot showing MyBob ‘MyBoB’ is your individual workspace. Everything that you record is automatically sent to this area. You can also add other existing programmes to playlists in ‘MyBoB.’

From here, you can create clips of your programmes, create playlists of those clips, and add comments and descriptions to the playlists. These playlists can be made public.

How do I create a playlist?

To create a playlist, search for a programme in the main ‘search’ box, choose your selected programme or clip in the list of retrieved results and click on ‘Add to playlist’.

BoB searches the title, metadata and transcripts as well as EPG data (for future programmes) and BBC archive data to give a fully comprehensive set of results. Using the filters you can narrow a broad search to your specifications.

Screenshot showing Add to playlist link You can either select an existing playlist, or name and create a new playlist. If you intend to share your playlists, name your playlists using distinctive words or combinations. You could name your playlists using your surname, course code or topic e.g. ImperialJonesGlobalHealth.

You can then let students know the name of a playlist and they can search for this using the search screen and selecting ‘Playlists’.

Screen image showing Search screen

You can manage your playlists (including deleting playlists and making playlists private) through MyBob.

Screenshot showing my playlistsHow do I make a clip of a progamme?

To create a clip, go to the programme player page. Below the player is a button “create clip”. When you click on this, you will notice the time bar along the bottom of the player has changed.

Screenshot showing Create clip button

If you were already playing the programme, a small blue line will appear from the point you were watching. You can adjust the start and finish points of the blue line by dragging it to your desired location. When you have finished selecting the part you would like to clip, simply click “add clip to MyBoB” at the bottom of the page.

How can I share my programmes and clips?

All clips and programmes have a direct URL link. These can be used to share the programmes e.g. in Blackboard.

To find the direct link, click on any programme or clip and click on ‘Embed’ at the bottom of the screen.

Screen image showing Embed button

You will then be given a choice of options for the type of link to create.

  • Universal URL - allows users from subscribing institutions to log in and access content from wherever they are in the UK
  • WAYFless - URL means that when the user is not logged in, they are taken straight to the login page Imperial College London (skipping a stage of the log in process)

Screen image showing Embed options

Clips only play on desktops and laptops and NOT mobile devices.

For further information please ASK the Library or visit the Bob website.