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PBS Launches Video Portal

PBS officially took the wraps off its aptly named PBS Video Portal today, showcasing full-length programming from the venerable TV network. The beta site will host thousands of hours of PBS programming including Nova, Frontline, Antiques Roadshow, and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.


The site is in beta, and cruising through it this morning, it’s evident that there are still bugs that need to be worked out. Navigating through content was quite slow on my machine with video taking a long time to load. Embeds are, sadly, not enabled.

Interestingly, PBS is transporting the opening “major funding for” messages from the original TV show as a makeshift pre-roll, which means they can get quite lengthy. One particular “pre-roll” in front of a Nova episode, for instance, ran almost a minute and a half, which is an eon in web video time. You can sort of skip through it, but even this was a little kludgey. But since the “P” in PBS stands for “Public,” it’s advertising/monetization capabilities are probably somewhat limited.

Because it’s Earth Day, the PBS Video Portal launched spotlighting a number of green-themed shows like Planet Forward, Green Builders, and Nature. The site is also premiering the new show Time Team America, before it airs on TV in July. Original online content is on the way, according to a release.

4 Responses to “PBS Launches Video Portal”

  1. Thank you for the post and early review of our new video portal, many people have been working on this for months, and we’re very excited about all of the innovative things this new platform will provide.

    In regards to embedded video, this is something that we absolutely believe is of immense value and has been planned as part of the product all along.

    Due to some last minute technical and other issues, we were unable to launch with embedability. With that said, it is coming, and while not every show will allow us to let users share in that manner, many are excited about the possibility.

    -Jonathan Coffman, PBS Engage