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Q&A: PBS Stations on Roku

July 7, 2012 - 16:50 -- RokuGuide

Q: I just bought a Roku and I'm waiting for my grandson to hook it up for me. Can I stream my local PBS stations (New York Channels 21 & 13) through the Roku to my TV or do I still have to watch the programs on my computer? -Nancy

A: Roku users looking for local content should start with the private channel Nowhere TV. Nowhere TV currently streams content from 153 television stations under the "Local" category. However, this content generally consists of individual news clips from the stations' news broadcasts, not full-length locally-produced shows. Nowhere TV's "PBS" category includes some material from local PBS stations. Currently offered are the video podcasts Spark, Quest, and Truly CA Shorts from KQED in Northern California, and a constant video stream from Wisconsin Public Television. Unfortunately for Nancy, her New York PBS channels are not available.

Nationally-broadcast PBS shows also have limited availability on Roku. You'll find the popular shows Tavis Smiley, Washington Week, PBS News Hour, and Nightly Business Report on Roku Newscaster, but only Washington Week offers video; the rest are audio only. Nowhere TV and the private channel iTunes Podcasts provide access to these and other PBS shows, but they are also audio only, short clips pulled from the full-length episodes or promotional videos for the shows.

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