FAQ

Answers to some common questions.

The video I am trying to watch doesn't expire until much later, why am I getting a message that it's unavailable?
You may be seeing this message because your station does not offer the local station membership benefit Passport, which allows members extended access to a library of public television (Learn more about PBS Passport). There are two different expiration dates for some videos on PBS.org:  the date that the free streaming rights for a video have expired; the date that the extended streaming rights for Passport members expires.  Other times, the streaming rights for a video have expired completely, for all viewers. As you may know PBS is not a producer, but rather a distributor of programming. Our distribution rights are fairly limited and are sometimes confined to only broadcasting. However, when PBS is allowed streaming rights they are subjected to time limitations, usually of two weeks. It's likely that in some cases, PBS no longer holds rights to stream the show are you trying to watch.   If your local station does not currently offer PBS Passport, feel free to contact them and ask if they have plans to in the future. Learn more about PBS Passport   You can also see if the video you are looking for is available for a small charge through iTunes or on DVD at http://shoppbs.org. Related topics: I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to change the station to which I am currently localized. How do I do that? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Tue, 18 Oct, 2016 at 9:57 AM
I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why?
There are a few different reasons why you may have received this message.  1. The free streaming rights for the video you are trying to watch may have expired.  As you may know PBS is not a producer, but rather a distributor of programming. Our distribution rights are fairly limited and are sometimes confined to only broadcasting. However, when PBS is allowed streaming rights they are subjected to time limitations, usually of two weeks. If a video has expired, PBS no longer holds rights to stream this program online. In these cases, an expiration date will be listed beneath the video title. Please keep in mind that many videos, such as each episode of Downton Abbey, are available for free streaming the day after they are broadcast on television and for up to two weeks after. So when an episode airs on television on Sunday evening, it is available online Monday and for the next two weeks.  2. It's possible that your station does not offer the local station membership benefit Passport, which allows members extended access to a library of public television.  If your local station does not currently offer PBS Passport, feel free to contact them and ask if they have plans to in the future. If the video has a small blue compass rose icon () next to its title, then it is available exclusively for PBS stations which offer the Passport benefit. Learn more about PBS Passport 3. Our distribution rights are fairly limited and are generally confined to dissemination within the United States.   While over-the-air broadcasts reach beyond U.S. borders, online video is subject to geo-filtering, which restricts the areas that can view PBS content. PBS is legally obligated to ensure each program does not exceed its granted rights, which unfortunately eliminates international streaming ability for PBS programs outside the US. We regret not being able to offer all our content online to our supporters. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.   You can also see if the video you are looking for is available for a small charge through iTunes or on DVD at http://shoppbs.org. Related topics: I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to change the station to which I am currently localized. How do I do that? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Thu, 4 May, 2017 at 9:42 AM
I want to change the station to which I'm currently localized. How do I do that?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What does "localized" mean? Localized simply means choosing the station that is typically in or near the area where you live. It is the station whose TV schedule you wish to view and if you donate to PBS, it is the station to which you want to donate. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When you are on PBS.org, hover your mouse over or click the icon for the station that you are currently localized to and when the dropdown appears, click Change Your Local Station.   A list of local stations appears. These stations are determined by the station to which you are currently localized. You can click one of the stations displayed or select another station by clicking More Stations.  You have two ways to search for stations:  Search by Zip code by typing the zip code of the area where the station you want to localize to resides and clicking Search by ZIP Code.  Search by state by clicking the Select State dropdown menu, click the state you want and click Search by State.   A list of available stations appear, click the station to which you want to localize and click Confirm Station.  The logo of your new station is displayed in the top navigation menu to the right of the PBS Video logo. Related topics: I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to watch a PBS program that was broadcast but is not yet available online. What are my options? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program?
As the national membership organization of public television stations, PBS acquires program rights and distributes programs to its member stations. Due to the fact that PBS is not a production entity, we unfortunately are not able to help with transcript requests. You can visit the program website or contact the producers of the program you are interested to see if you may obtain a transcript. Contact information for most PBS shows can be found on the individual program web site (Programs A-Z) or the PBS Program Contacts page (Programs Contacts). Contact the producers of a show Related topics: I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to change the station to which I am currently localized. How do I do that? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 3:16 PM
What is the benefit of creating an account?
Creating an account is free and provides you with the following benefits: Higher quality video streaming. After being logged in you can watch videos in high quality HD streaming. Access to a Watchlist. A Watchlist keeps a history of all of the videos you have watched, provides the ability to resume watching videos in progress, and lets you access videos you had saved to watch at a later time. PBS Insider membership. A PBS Insider membership enables you to receive updates from your local station. *To enable this feature, you must choose a station when prompted. Related topics: Learn how to create an account I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to watch a PBS program that was broadcast but is not yet available online. What are my options? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Can I delete a video from my Watchlist?
Yes. Click the "X" located directly next to Remove on the top right side of each video.  Please note that you cannot recover a video that has been deleted; you must locate the video on pbs.org and add it to your Watchlist again. Related topics: What is the Watchlist? Do I need to be signed in to use the Watchlist? Are videos ever removed from my Watchlist without my knowledge? Is there a limit to how many videos I can save to my Watchlist? Learn how to create an account I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to watch a PBS program that was broadcast but is not yet available online. What are my options? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 11:35 AM
I really like a show that I watched, how can I buy the video?
Many videos have links located directly beneath the video description that allow you to purchase the video in shoppbs.org or iTunes. Click each link to purchase the video from the associated website.  Related topics: I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to change the station to which I am currently localized. How do I do that? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 3:15 PM
What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Supported desktop browsers: Chrome*, Internet Explorer*, Firefox*, Safari*  Mobile devices running: Apple iOS, Android 2.3 and Android 4+  Support for Flash + HTML5 on desktops (auto-detected), HTML5 on devices  Connection speed: Broadband Required (Minimum bandwidth speed of 500kbps)  * Latest, or most widely used version. Related topics: I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to change the station to which I am currently localized. How do I do that? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account?
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 11:28 AM
I want to watch a PBS program that was broadcast but is not yet available online. What are my options?
Many of our programs have some lag time between broadcast and streaming availability. Typically, shows are available for streaming the day after they are broadcast on television and are usually available online for up to two weeks after. We suggest that you search the PBS.org website the day after a show is broadcast and see if it is available for streaming.  Related topics: What is the Watchlist? Do I need to be signed in to use the Watchlist? Are videos ever removed from my Watchlist without my knowledge? Is there a limit to how many videos I can save to my Watchlist? Learn how to create an account I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 3:17 PM
The video I'm watching is stalling or has choppy video playback.
Check your internet connection. A broadband connection with at least 500 Kbps is required for the best viewing experience. If your connection is not strong, you might encounter choppy playback.  To work around this, you can call your internet provider and upgrade your internet speed. Related topics: I am getting a message that a video is unavailable in my area. Why? I want to watch a PBS program that was broadcast but is not yet available online. What are my options? Where can I find the transcript for a particular story or program? What is the benefit of creating an account? What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content? What is the Watchlist? Do I need to be signed in to use the Watchlist? Are videos ever removed from my Watchlist without my knowledge? Is there a limit to how many videos I can save to my Watchlist? Learn how to create an account
Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 at 3:17 PM