I have I believe is a second generation AppleTV. A few weeks ago, I could no longer stream PBS content. I can get all other channels without any issues.

I can get into the PBS app itself. I can see the content. I can go into settings. If I select something to watch, I sometimes even see the commercial supported by content that plays at the beginning of some of the streams. However, I then see the little spinner, and the screen goes blank. If I press the Apple TV Remote, I can see the frame which shows where I am in the show, and it even shows me the length of the show, but nothing plays.

I've rebooted the Apple TV by unplugging it and plugging it back in. I've switched PBS affiliates. I haven't tried completely resetting my Apple TV because that means reentering and enabling every other channel. I'm hoping to do that as a last resort.

I've seen hints on other forums that the most recent Apple TV update of PBS broke the service, but nothing solid, and nothing about what can be done to fix the issue.

Anyone else have or had these issues? Was anyone else able to work around them?

  • Why does "Public", and publicly funded, PBS restrict access to their programming and use DRM?? This should be much easier.
    – Jamie Cox
    Jul 4, 2017 at 23:39

2 Answers 2


I have similar issues. All works fine on the Apple TV with the exception of streaming the PBS shows. PBS works fine on my PC. I'm using an Apple TV2 and have a Passport subscription to PBS. We just finished watching Victoria and other Masterpiece series a while back but now, after the commercials play, I get 'Error loading Content' or Content not available now, try again later'.

You and I will need to work with PBS support to fix out accounts in all likelihood.


The PBS Kids app on Apple TV is the only app I've used that consistently has problems (I'm guessing it shares a codebase with the PBS App, so problems are similar). Sometimes it locks up in the middle of an episode (this is somewhat rare, thankfully), but more commonly:

  1. The 'live' feed that starts playing as you open the app keeps playing in the background after you choose a show/episode to watch, so you have two audio streams playing at the same time. The only way to fix is to quit the app (press home button on ATV remote twice, then swipe up), or to restart the Apple TV.
  2. The app just... won't open. It gets stuck like this quite often. You open it, and it starts playing the little 'PBS Kids' song and logo animation, then it quits halfway through. Then it does the same thing every time you open it.

Sometimes restarting the Apple TV works. Sometimes it doesn't. Just a week or so ago (December 2019), it seems like I can't get the Apple TV app version to load at all, no matter what.

I have it working on my iPhone XS, my wife's iPhone 8, my family iPad (2017 model), my iPad Pro, and our computer (MacBook Pro), so we can stream it from one of them to our Apple TV over AirPlay... but what's the point of the Apple TV app if it breaks more than half the time we use it!

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