RokuGuide Review: I like old films. Turner Classic Movies is one of my favorite cable channels. I have a boxed set of Bogie and Bacall on DVD. So Pub-D-Hub is, of course, one of my favorite Roku channels. The channel is best described on Pub-D-Hub's website: "Pub-D-Hub is home to classic movies, television shows, and cartoons that have entered the public domain."
But that doesn't do justice to the depth of content that is available. Pub-D-Hub content has 11 categories of content:
Educational - These short films are primarily the type that would have been shown in elementary schools in the 1950's with topics such as menstruation, "School Rules: How They Help Us", and how to get over shyness (starring Bewitched's Dick York as a shy high school boy). You will also find some surprising bits of American history buried in with the propaganda, such as the Kennedy-Nixon debate and a short 1942 film on the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Cautionary films - More educational films for 1950s school-age children. The ABC of Walking Wisely, Emotional Maturity, and Age of Turmoil (an afternoon and evening in the complicated lives of six teenagers) are typical titles.
Classic cartoons - Betty Boop, Felix the Cat, Little Audrey, Merry Melodies, Popeye, Superman, Tom and Jerry, and more. They don't make Saturday morning TV like this anymore! If you grew up watching this stuff, you'll love the nostalgia. If you're too young to have ever watched reruns of these shows, it's not too late to enjoy them now.
Classic comedy - The Three Stooges and Amos and Andy may be the most recognizable names many people will find here, but there are dozens of films available with equally hilarious stars.
Classic horror / sci-fi - Atomic age mutations, bats and beasts, buckets of blood, and dead men walking. There are some more recent movies available, including some as late at the 1970s. There's a lot of overlap with the offerings on the Drive-in Classics channel, but Drive-in Classics offers some movies not available here. If you're a true horror or sci-fi fan, Drive-In Classics will still be worth the small $3 annual subscription fee. I haven't compared the quality or download speed between these two. If you have done so, please leave a comment below or drop me a note on our contact page.
Classic television - Is TV Landkeeping you from cutting the cable? That excuse is gone now that Pub-D-Hub brings you Andy Griffith, the Beverly Hillbillies, and many other series that you find even on TV Land.
Classic thrillers - Alfred Hitchcock, Agatha Christie, Dick Tracy.
Classic westerns - Yes, you'll find John Wayne here, along with dozens of other masters of the classic western.
Silent films - Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin. Where else can you find this much movie history on your television?
For a complete listing of content, check out the Pub-D-Hub Movies page. Pub-D-Hub adds new content regularly, so check back often. This is a free channel, but donations are requested and can be made on the channel's website.
The content is generally of the quality you would expect from material that is 60 years old or more. Most content is grainy black-and-white, but some of the newer material is in color - it's far from HD, but certainly watchable. Don't expect restored video, remastered audio, or (thank God) Turner-style colorization. This is public domain material.
A lot of people complain about the Netflix channel because of delays in the latest movies becoming available for streaming, but that doesn't bother me. While others are waiting for a movie that was in the theaters a month ago, I'll be busy catching up on movies from 60 years ago on Pub-D-Hub.
--RokuGuide Reviewed on January 25, 2011
Developer's Channel Description: The Pub-D-Hub Channel brings the public domain to your living room offering you classic films, trailers, tv shows, cartoons, radio & more from the 1930s, 40s, 50, 60s and 70s.
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Movies & TV
None for Basic service (monthly updates)
$1.89 per year for Gold service