Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): PBS, Roku, Disney, Fling Soft, "Travel with Kids," YouTube

--PBS to Premiere First Episode of New Ken Burns Documentary on its iPad and iPhone/iPod touch Apps
--Roku Adds Disney App Featuring Short-Form Video
--TV Series, "Travel with Kids," Launches on Roku; Official YouTube Roku Channel Set to Launch

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • PBS said Wednesday that the first episode of "Prohibition," the new documentary miniseries from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, will premiere on PBS's free apps for the iPad and for the iPhone and iPod touch this Friday. "The entire series will air nationally on PBS Sunday-Tuesday, October 2nd, 3rd and 4th," PBS states in its press materials. "Each episode will also be streamed live on, timed to the national broadcast. Episodes 2 and 3 of 'Prohibition' will be available on PBS for iPad and PBS apps for Phone and iPod touch the day after each television airdate and remain available through Friday, October 7th. All episodes will be available for purchase on DVD at and on iTunes. The premiere of the first episode of 'Prohibition' on PBS Apps also provides viewers of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" an opportunity, two days prior to the premiere of that series on Sunday, September 25th, to watch the real story of what gave rise to prohibition...HBO and PBS co-hosted a lunch on September 8th with Burns and 'Boardwalk Empire' executive producer Terence Winter. Video from the luncheon, including clips from both films, are now available on PBS's Facebook page and on PBS for iPad features 250 hours of free video, including full-length programs, as well as TV schedules, previews, and a tune-in reminder calendar that can be synced with iCal. PBS for iPad and PBS Apps for the iPhone and iPod touch are available free from the App Store." Said PBS's SVP of interactive, product development and innovation, Jason Seiken: "PBS' strategy of debuting high-profile shows on the iPad and iPhone before television broadcast has been enormously popular with users. Users of our apps watched more than 52 million video streams last month. The early premiere of the first episode of Ken Burns's and Lynn Novick's much anticipated 'Prohibition' is part of our ongoing mission to provide all Americans with content where and when they want it."
  • Roku has announced the addition of a Disney app to its Roku Channel Store. The app offers short-form video clips from, including music videos and movie trailers. "We're delighted to be the first player to stream this collection of Disney videos to consumers' TV's," Roku founder and CEO, Anthony Wood, said in a prepared statement. "Disney is synonymous with family-friendly entertainment, and now Roku families can stream their Disney favorites for on-demand viewing on their TV's."
  • In other Roku news: 1) Fling Soft has announced the release of the family travel-guide TV series, "Travel With Kids," in the Roku Channel store for a one-time fee of $4.99. "The new 'Travel With Kids' channel premiering on Roku gives anyone with high-speed Internet access and a Roku box the ability to stream 'Travel With Kids' episodes directly to their television set in both standard- and high-definition," Fling Soft states in its press materials. "The channel makes use of Fling Soft's robust video backend technology, which ensures a crisp viewing experience, and allows for quick and easy updates of content and new episodes in the future...Users can select any episode from the first four seasons (49 episodes) featuring many incredible locations including the UK, France, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Peru, The Bahamas, Hawaii, Florida and many more. Additionally, when Season 5 is complete it will be instantly released to those that have already purchased the channel for no additional charge." 2) An official YouTube channel (superseding an unauthorized one that Google requested be removed) is set to launch on Roku later this year, gadget blogger Dave Zatz reports.
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