We may earn money when you click our links. Learn more

How to Watch PBS Online Live Stream & On Demand

Best Streaming Providers for PBS



Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video is an increasingly popular on-demand streaming option with agrowing library of original content.
Free Trial



A binge-watcher’s paradise. Tons of on-demand and original shows to stream.
Free Trial



Netflix is an on-demand streaming service, featuring complete seasons of past and current shows, an extensive movie library, and some of the highest-rated original programming around—all commercial-free.
Free Trial

Upcoming Prime Time Shows

The Great American Read
The Mayo Clinic: Faith - Hope - Science
Amanpour & Company

If you know the phrase, “Ready, Set, Bake!” you’re probably someone who watches a lot of PBS. Shows like The Great British Baking Show are just the tip of the iceberg. You can watch local programming from your region as well as favorites like Masterpiece Theater, home of popular favorites like Downtown AbbeyWallanderSherlock. In fact, PBS was many people’s first introduction to a lot of great television from across the pond, like classic Doctor Who. American kids in the 1970s knew exactly who Tom Baker was by the colors of his scarf.

If news and culture programming are important to you, cutting cable and losing access to public television can seem daunting. So what can you do? Can you watch PBS online? Here is you complete PBS live stream guide.


Watch PBS Over the Air and Online

The very nature of PBS is intended to be free, public television. That’s the point of those pledge drives twice a year, right? PBS should be regularly available in your local market depending on the broadcast signal. With a good digital antenna, you can pick up the station in your range. Our recommendation is the Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV antenna which we’ve found to be both reliable and aesthetically pleasing. Look on Amazon to find the best price. With this, you can watch PBS programming live as it airs.

To push broadcast TV to a new level, try the antenna in combination with a digital DVR like Tablo. You can record your favorite shows and watch them later or catch PBS live streaming by using it to beam to any connected device while you’re away from home.

Learn more about available DVR options in this article.


Watch PBS With The Free Roku App or Online

Thankfully, PBS has entered the modern age. You can watch much of their best programming online, free straight from their website.

And, if you own a Roku, the prospects are even better. Download the PBS app from the Roku app store and enter your location to get the right PBS programming for your area. There are similar apps for Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. You can also download apps for your Apple and Android devices. There is even a special PBS Kids app to keep your kiddos entertained for hours.

You don’t have to worry about being the last to know about the new Sherlock Christmas special or miss out on local programming for your region.


Watch PBS Online On Demand with Your Favorite Streaming Service

There are a variety of other ways you can watch PBS online on demand. If you’re interested in the back catalog of PBS programming, services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu will give you access to some of the fan favorites. Rick Steve’s Europe is the perfect example of a series you can come back to again and again.

Keep in mind that programming availability may differ from service to service.


You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Have a question about obtaining a PBS live stream? Want to know if a certain option is best for you to watch PBS online? Leave a comment, and we’ll do our best to help.


This site is a U.S. Consumer site. You can learn more about our site and privacy policy here.