PBS America

Learn how Simplestream helped PBS America to create their first UK catch up service on Freeview Play.


Content Owners


Editorial Staff


October 10, 2022

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A streamlined operation for big screens

PBS America is a British television channel from America’s Public Broadcasting Service, targeting factual entertainment and documentary fans with a variety of content types, from science and history to arts and culture. The player is home to best-loved award-winning content, such as Ken Burns’ American history series, FRONTLINE & American Experience documentaries.

PBS America chose Simplestream to create its own first UK on demand service, looking to launch on Freeview Play devices. PBS America looked to streamline its operation by leveraging automated workflows, and re-utilise existing components provided by other third parties. The channel had the main objectives to considerably expand reach, increase   penetration across the UK audience, and enhance their monetisation opportunities.


A thorough Hybrid TV solution

Simplestream deployed a Hybrid TV solution which leverages the proprietary Media Manager and App Platform products. The combination of backend and frontend provides PBS America with the most powerful framework for seamless delivery, presentation, and monetisation of premium content, cross-platform.

In detail:

  • Media Manager provides a fully automated OTT content workflow, ingesting and encoding content from an MRSS feed via Amagi, PBS America’s cloud playout provider.
  • App Platform offers a comprehensive set of out-of-the-box UIs, with functionalities that aid content discovery, and on demand consumption.
  • Monetisation is offered client-side using Freewheel as the ad server and Axiom as the ad inventory provider.


Thousands of hours of content, on big screens

Simplestream – as a preferred partner of Freeview for Hybrid TV applications – was able to simplify the operational workflows for a service launch of such size and scale. The integration with PBS America’s existing tech stack was key to create the free-to-access service that enhances the end-user experience on big screens.

The combined solution supports PBS America in delivering thousands of hours of content to over 10 million Freeview Play users across the UK.