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.

If you only see show clips and are not able to view full programs, you have probably not linked your Roku device to a PBS accounts. See this article for more information, including instructions for activating the PBS channel on your Roku.

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):

  • American Experience
  • American Masters
  • America Revealed
  • Antiques Roadshow
  • ART:21
  • Austin City Limits
  • The Bletchley Circle
  • Broadway or Bust
  • Call the Midwife
  • Constitution USA with Peter Sagal
  • Craft in America
  • The Dust Bowl
  • The French Chef
  • FutureStates
  • Global Voices
  • Great Performances
  • History Detectives
  • In Performance at The White House
  • Independent Lens
  • Inside Nature's Giants
  • Intelligence Squared Debates
  • Life on Fire
  • Live From Lincoln Center
  • Makers: Women Who Make America
  • Market Warriors
  • Martha Stewart's Cooking School
  • Masterpiece
  • MediaShift
  • The Mind of a Chef
  • MotorWeek
  • Moyers & Company
  • Nature
  • Need to Know
  • NOVA
  • NOVA scienceNOW
  • Off Book
  • PBS Arts
  • PBS KIDS Previews
  • PBS NewsHour
  • PBS Online Film Festival
  • Pioneers of Television
  • POV
  • Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly
  • Saving the Ocean
  • Secret Life of Scientists
  • Secrets of the Dead
  • Sound Tracks
  • Tavis Smiley
  • TED Talks Education
  • This Old House
  • To The Contrary
  • Washington Week
  • Why Poverty?
  • The Woodwrights Shop

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?

-- Information is current as of May 8, 2013

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.

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