Entertainment isn't all about action movies, rock music and the sports ball. Sometimes even gamers like to curl up with something a bit more mentally stimulating, which is where PBS comes in. A brand new streaming app for the Public Broadcast Service has arrived on US Xbox 360s, offering content that includes Frontline, Masterpiece and Austin City Limits.
It's no secret that video game consoles aren't just for, well, video games anymore. Along with being able to run the latest Call of Duty, these bad boys have evolved into multimedia giants, offering entertainment options ranging from the latest music videos and live sporting events, to concerts and about a dozen streaming apps including Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Crunchyroll.
The way things are going, television of the future looks to be of the a la carte variety. Rather than buying a package of channels when you only really want a handful of them, consumers will be able to pick and choose their channels (or conglomerates) of choice, granting access to only the content they want, and whenever they feel like watching it. It's a beautiful future, and now PBS is ready to be a part of it.
According to the press release, the PBS app will offer full-length television episodes, as well as clips, of its top shows to Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. The app is available starting today, so you can go download it as soon as you're finished reading this lovely article and take it for a spin.
Along with new shows and content from the PBS archive, the app will provide access to “new national and local content updated daily.” Shows include American Experience, Austin City Limits, Frontline, Masterpiece, Nova and Secrets of the Dead (just in time for Halloween!), as well as web series like PBS Digital Studios. Unless I'm horribly mistaken, both Downton Abbey and Sherlock are included under the Masterpiece banner, so fingers crossed that both of those fine shows are available, too.
As mentioned above, users will also be able to let the PBS app know where they are located, thus granting access to their local programming, too.
“This launch is an important next step in our strategy to make PBS content available through a variety of platforms, while maintaining the connection between the viewer and their local PBS station,” explained PBS Digital VP of Product Development, Jon Brendsel. “While PBS member stations will always be the first place to find high-quality PBS programming, the launch of our Xbox 360 offering recognizes that viewers are looking to engage with their local station in the time and manner they choose.”
Does it seem absolutely bonkers to anyone else that, out of the vast majority of content providers out there, PBS is one of the most forward-thinking of the lot? Hopefully this goes well for them and the rest of the entertainment world will find encouragement to follow suit.