British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Advanced Searches

This video gives users of the BUFVC’s TRILT database and Off-Air Recording Service guidance in getting the most out of TRILT’s advanced search mode. Further information about other aspects of TRILT can be found in this collection’s accompanying videos.




TRILT’s Advanced search mode provides a greater choice of parameters to work with, allowing you to optimise the results your search will yield.  You can opt to use the Advanced search page as your default by selecting it in your Preferences section.

Search fields

Of primary advantage are the additional search fields, each of which can be tailored to focus on particular attributes. These include:

  • Programme descriptions
  • Series titles
  • Specified keywords
  • Production Staff
  • Performers
  • and Technical Aspects

Combining fields, and defining the relationship between then using the ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘not’ drop-downs, will give your searches greater focus. In this example, the main search is for productions of MacBeth, with Ian McKellen added as a performer. The results, therefore, will reflect this preference.

Date ranges

You can also use the date range fields to further narrow your search. This is especially useful if you know the date, even the time your programme was broadcast, but not the title or channel. It can also be used to bring up a list of all programmes broadcast on a particular date over one or more channels. Simply set your range, leaving the search fields blank, then run your search…


Other useful refinements include restricting searches to specified genres, such as children’s, dramatic or documentary programming, and limiting results to particular channels. By default, searches cover all available channels, but you can set the channels you wish to search by click the Select Channels button. Here, channels are broken down into groups:

  • BBC
  • Satellite & Cable
  • Freeview & FreeSat
  • ITV/Channel 4 and Channel 5
  • Radio
  • and Inactive

Inactive channels are channels that are no longer broadcasting, or continue to broadcast, but under an alternative name. These can be important when conducting legacy searches. For example, if you’re looking for a programme broadcast on ITV in 2002, your search should be for broadcasts on Carlton Central, or LWT if broadcast on a weekend. Full details about channel histories can be found under the ‘channels’ subheading on the left-hand side.

  • You can also use the programme filter, which will limit results to:
  • programmes recorded by the BUFVC
  • enhanced records
  • programmes available to users of BoB National
  • Open Univesity content
  •  and more…

For more information, and tips on other aspects of TRILT and the Off-Air Back-Up Recording Service, please see our companion videos and FAQ sheet.