BoB’s getting a makeover!

Image is of the Box of Broadcasts homepage at https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand
Box of Broadcasts has a new look and improved functionality

A few posts ago here on the elearning blog at Kent (Videos in Moodle – how to avoid the ‘dead’ link) we were extolling the virtues of Box of Broadcasts (BoB) (a subscription TV and radio recording service aimed at UK higher and further education institutions) that the University of Kent subscribes to.

We loved the fact that BoB boasts an archive of over a million recordings of programmes from 60+ TV and radio channels; provides functionality to enable both staff and students to produce clips and compile and share BoB playlists; and best of all there’s no expiry date for recorded programmes meaning you spend less time checking broken links and disappointing potential viewers.

Well there is good news for established users and those eager to give it a try as the team at Learning on Screen, in response to member feedback, are giving good old BoB a bit of makeover and introducing a wealth of new features. While this is certainly excellent news, there might also be a bit of pain to endure while this transition occurs.

On 1 August the new BoB went live and those eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the URL has changed from http://bobnational.net to https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand so existing users will have to update those browser bookmarks! Along with this fresh new look the Learning on Screen team is introducing enhanced video quality and more powerful searching capabilities before unleashing a smorgasbord of improvements from September. We have outlined these below but if you prefer, you can view the promo video here.

Improvements to the service will include:

  • The platform working across desktop, iOS and Android devices
  • Better programme coverage and a permanent archive of content from nine channels: BBC1 London, BBC2, BBC4, ITV London, Channel 4, More4, Channel 5, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra
  • Better thumbnail previews on search results
  • Personalised email alerts when programmes are ready to view
  • Ability for users to label their own clips and preview them before saving

Now for the painful part. Throughout August Learning on Screen will be carrying out the upgrade and existing users will not be able to access their saved clips and playlists nor some archive content broadcast before 1 July 2015. There will be some programmes available in the archive before this date but not everything. However, don’t worry as all should be restored and accessible again in September in addition to the enhanced functionality.

In order to keep users updated there is now a new Twitter handle which can be found at @OnDemandBoB. All previous followers and tweets will stay attached to this new handle and as such you will not need to do anything.

We’re looking forward to meeting the new and improved BoB as we continue to look for ways to avoid the ‘dead’ link.

For more E-Learning news, or to subscribe to updates, please visit the E-Learning blog.

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