RokuGuide Quick Look: The PBS Roku channel brings full-length episodes of national and local PBS programs to your Roku-connected TV. Included are specials, including the two-part Dust Bowl, as well as favorites such as This Old House and Antiques Roadshow.
You won't find a full library of all past seasons of long-running series. Antiques Roadshow, for example, dates to 1997, but the oldest of the 51 episodes on Roku is dated 2006. The most-recent, though, was aired just the day before the channel launch, so there doesn't appear to be a long delay in posting the shows. Other programs offer a much smaller selection; only three episodes of Julia Child's classic The French Chef are available.
At the time of channel launch, there were 56 "Featured Programs" in addition to locally-produced shows (if your local PBS affiliated offers such shows); "Originals", which are short videos that appear to have been produced as webisodes, rather than as full-length TV shows; and "Staff Picks", which are individual videos from a variety of PBS shows. An "Expiring Soon" category lists videos that will, presumably, soon be removed from the Roku channel.
If you're looking for a specific series or special, here is the complete list of Featured Programs available as of May 8, 2013 (scroll down below the list for a link to add this channel to your Roku):
To access the shows, you will need to enter an e-mail address and select a local PBS affiliate station from a list provided. This is all done on your Roku device - there is no need to create an account on a website or to link your Roku on a web page.
The reason for requiring an e-mail address is stated on the Roku channel as being to "allow your local PBS station to contact you with programming information and updates from your community." It was also reported earlier this year that "PBS will share the email addresses with stations through its Prosper online-fundraising initiative." But occasional fundraising e-mails are still better than sitting through a week-long pledge drive, right?
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-- Information is current as of May 8, 2013
NOTE: According to PBS, this channel is available only on Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT, Roku HD (model #2500R), and the Roku Streaming Stick.
Developer's Channel Description: PBS has partnered with Roku to give you free and easy access to PBS original and featured programs: thousands of videos from multiple genres including history, news, science, technology and the arts. Select your favorite PBS station for a unique localized experience.
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Movies & TV