PBS App Now Available on Xbox 360
Shows like Masterpiece and Nova make the move to game console
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 14:10
PBS has gone on-demand on the Xbox 360, according to a press release form the station. Users can now download the station’s free app on the Xbox 360 dashboard in order to stream episodes of shows like Nova, the Masterpiece anthology series, and Austin City Limits.
“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,” PBS Digital Vice President of Product Development Jon Brendsel said. “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.”
The service joins the likes of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime Instant Video as yet another streaming video option available on game consoles. This is probably a smart move on the part of PBS, as game consoles have quickly become the biggest factor in living room video streaming.
Last year, Netflix revealed that its subscribers viewed content through the PlayStation 3 more than any other living room device. That includes dedicated video machines like Apple TV and Roku, as well as rival consoles like the Wii, and the aforementioned Xbox 360. Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings even pointed out that the PS3 in particular has topped even the PC “at times” as the number one most used device for subscribers.
Despite this, PBS currently has no plans to release the video application for PlayStation 3, or other streaming devices.
While the app is free, it will require users to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription (like most video streaming services on Xbox 360). The download also requires specific information about your cable account to log in. This is in order to prove that the user has access to PBS through traditional means, much like the HBO Go streaming service. Thankfully, almost every cable package includes PBS.
The broadcasting station has stated that this streaming service is in no way meant to replace PBS as a network and cable channel. Instead, this is meant to be an extension of the organization’s brand.
It’s interesting to see PBS’s rise in quality entertainment and cultural importance in recent years. Syndication of shows like Steven Moffat’s Sherlock, and Downton Abbey has made the station more culturally relevant than it has been in years. Hopefully, this step into the digital realm means we can expect even more and better content from the group in the future.