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If you don’t have kids, you might not be a fan of PBS. But you don’t know what you’re missing. PBS carries high-quality local and national programming. The channel delivers year after year of award-winning children’s programming, news, drama, documentaries, and live music. Ken Burns, Austin City Limits, Sesame Street. There are a few ways you can watch PBS live and on-demand. What’s on PBS these days?
The most dedicated, and best children’s programming you can find on broadcast TV is through PBS and PBS Kids. Because the network is member funded, all live programming is free when accessed via over the air antenna. Your kids will recognize favorite shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Dinosaur Train, SUPER WHY!, and Wild Kratts. With more than 200 shows, PBS dominates the cooking genre.
The most cost-effective way to get PBS is using a quality HD antenna. If you live near a major urban television market, you can access PBS for free. Every documentary, kids show, drama, movie, and cooking show on your local PBS affiliate is available free with an antenna.
You won’t just receive the major broadcast channels; you’ll also discover better picture and sound quality when the signal isn’t compressed by your pay TV provider. Antennas also work during bad weather, keeping you connected to important updates in emergency weather situations, because the stronger OTA frequency is less likely to be interrupted than cable or satellite service. Antennas also provide access to channels like MeTV, Comet, Cozi, and Decades, which are broadcast over any unused bandwidth.
Over the next few years, consumers will benefit from the better picture, sound, and reception in over-the-air broadcasts. Expect new services like video on demand, mobile viewing, 4K Ultra Hi-Def, enhanced emergency alerts, a high frame rate, more colorful picture, and immersive audio – all delivered free with an over-the-air antenna.
See what channels you can receive at your house by entering your street address at NoCable. Your free report will show a list of stations, antenna recommendations, and directional tips.
Your kids can see your childhood favorites like The Electric Company, and current series like Curious George, Sesame Street, and Arthur. Access 1,000+ videos on the free app for iOS and Android devices or with streaming hardware like the Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku devices. The purest way to watch Mister Rogers online is to just go straight to the source. PBSKids.org has a permanent player which airs vintage episodes of the series on a rotating basis.
It’s streaming on PBS.org for a limited time.
Members and financial supporters of PBS can view all episodes using PBS Passport. PBS Passport allows donors and supporters access to an on-demand library of popular programs, including Downton Abbey, Austin City Limits, Antiques Roadshow, Nature, and NOVA. It’s not a subscription streaming service; it’s a benefit to supporters of local PBS stations. Although each station determines the qualifying donation level, most stations award Passport memberships to patrons who donate at least $60/year.
Up until last month, no major streaming provider had a deal with PBS. The only way to get a live, local feed was over-the-air. The local stations rely heavily on charitable donations for local programming, so signing up with a single streaming provider could complicate production. Thanks to some nimble negotiations, you can watch PBS on YouTube TV. So, if you want a solution that doesn’t require you to jump from app to app, YouTube TV is your best bet.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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