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Box of Broadcasts

How to create an account and get started with Box of Broadcasts

What is Box of Broadcasts?

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is an off-air recording and media archive service covering 75 free-to-air channels from Freeview and Freesat. This includes ten foreign language channels. This TV scheduling service allows you to 'record' TV and radio programmes that are scheduled to be broadcast over the next seven days as well as retrieving programmes from the last seven days from a selected list of recorded channels. BoB also contains access to programmes held in the extensive BUFVC archive.

After a programme is recorded you can stream a Flash video on the web page, which works in a similar way to most TV station iPlayers. You can store the programmes you are interested in watching on playlists that you create in your account. BoB also gives you the opportunity to create clips from the programmes for use in presentations or for sharing with other members of the University for academic purposes.

BoB stores recorded TV and Radio programmes in an archive indefinitely for all users to enjoy. The archive currently offers over 2 million TV and radio programmes covering all genres. That number rises as more broadcasts are archived.

To be able to save playlists and clips on your MyBob account it is recommended that you add your email address as a backup of any changes to the institutional authentication process.

How to I connect to BoB?

Go to FindIt@Bham and search for Box of Broadcasts and use the instructions below to navigate your way around, make playlists and create clips for your presentations.

Recommended Browsers

In order to use BoB effectively, the following browsers are recommended for BoB: 

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

Getting Started

Go to Findit@Bham and search for Box of Broadcasts . You will be prompted for your ADF (University username and password).

Alternatively you can go to and type University of Birmingham in the 'Where are you from?' box.

Then type in your University username and password. The first time that you do this an authentication email should be sent to your university email address. You will need to respond to this before you can make full use of the resource.

Please note that Box of Broadcasts can only be used in the United Kingdom. The terms and conditions of the ERA licence do not allow for use overseas. Geolocation software is used to block access outside the UK.


To see television and radio listings for the month and seven days ahead you can use the Guide tab.

  • Navigate by scrolling or swiping the channel, date and time columns and lines. 

The Guide contains titles for all the programmes available to watch or request. The nine most popular channels are listed first, with all content automatically recorded after broadcast. Programmes from other channels will need to be requested within 30 days of broadcast. If you want to plan ahead, recordings can be made seven days in advance too.

Programmes are divided into three categories:

  • Programmes that are ready to watch immediately

  • Programmes that have not yet aired and/or are available to request 

  • Programmes that have been scheduled for recording either automatically or as a result of a request from yourself or another account holder. Programmes normally take at least 12 hours to appear on the system after they have aired. Requests may take longer dependent on channel.

  • You can make ten recordings a day and make unlimited clips.
  • To watch the programme just click on the title and click on the 'play' button.

Why do you need to request some programmes?

BoB only automatically records programmes from the 9 most popular channels. Other listed channels allow users 30 days to request a programme. Users also have the option to schedule recordings up to seven days in advance.

What channels are available?

The channel selection is subject to change, however a full current list can be found here

To search the BoB archive containing already recorded programmes and listings of those yet to air:

  • Select Search from the toolbar at the top of the screen.
  • Think carefully about your keywords. BoB will search the programme title, transcripts and broadcast data for yet to air programmes
  • You can use boolean operators to do a more precise search e.g.
    • Trump AND Ukraine


  • Open the Search Options drop-down menu

  • From this screen you have a number of options to select from the following headings:
    • SEARCH
    • DATE
    • FILTER - this will bring back results for other versions of the same programme. This could include extended or revised repeats as well as signed broadcasts
  • Click on Search

Creating Playlists

Once you have selected the programme you wish to watch, you can add it to one of your playlists. This will allow you to save the programme to watch later.

There are two ways to create a playlist:

1. Go to MyBob on the toolbar at the top of the screen

  • Select the New Playlist button
  • Type the Playlist's name. You can also add a description if you wish.
  • You can choose to make your Playlist public or not by selecting or deselecting the Publicly available box
  • When you are finished Click on the Create Playlist button

2. When you have found the programme you wish to keep

  • Click on the + Add to Playlist button
  • Click on the New Playlist button
  • Type the Playlist's name. You can also add a description if you wish.
  • You can choose to make your Playlist public or not by selecting or deselecting the Publicly available box
  • When you are finished Click on the Create Playlist button

Searching for Playlists

Your tutor may have put a playlist on BoB for your course or module. To find it:

  • Type your keywords (it could be the course or module title) into the Playlist search box
  • Select the Public Playlists radio button 
  • Make the appropriate selections from the listed sections:
    • FROM - set to My institution only
  • ​Click on Search



You can make clips of programmes to share with other members of the University BoB community and also use them in any presentations to illustrate a point you are making.

When you have found your programme:

  • Note the start and end times of the section of the programme you want to use for your clip

  • Select the Make Clip button

  • Drag the bar from the left-handisde of the programme screen to the start of your clip
  • Drag the bar from the right-handside of the programme to the end of your clip
  • Click on the Save Clip button
  • Type a name for your clip and give a description if you wish
  • Click on the Save button

You can now save your clip to a playlist, edit, embed or share it:


Embedding your clip into a Powerpoint presentation

When you cite content from your selected programme in your work you must make sure that it is correctly referenced.

Box of Brodcasts provides a citation box beneath each programme and also each clip that you make. 

You can cut and paste this into your work, making sure that you apply the correct style to it, Harvard, Vancouver, APA, OSCOLA etc. For further help on this check out our iCite Guide

On the dashboard of the screen you will see an option for MyBoB.

This is where the following are stored:

  • Your Requested programmes. Once you are able to watch them you can move them to a relevant playlist.
  • Your Playlists
  • Your Clips. You can also store these in your playlists alongside the original full programme  
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