On March 6, 2023, PBS decided to end support for the PBS app and PBS KIDS app on older Apple TV devices. These are Apple TV 2 and 3 models, which were released by Apple prior to the Apple TV 4's release in October 2015.
Why is PBS ending support for older Apple TVs?
Due to the older age of the Apple TV 2 and 3 models, Apple no longer supports these devices, and PBS is unable to update our apps on the older Apple TVs. This means that content on our app is breaking over time, and we're unable to fix it or offer troubleshooting when a menu, show, or video has an issue on the app. This is not a problem unique to PBS, and many other apps on the older Apple TV models are ending support as technology moves forward.
If you're using an older Apple TV model, we're sorry to say that you will be unable to access the PBS app or PBS KIDS app on your device. We've tried to leave the PBS app and PBS KIDS app available on these devices for as long as we can, but unfortunately, we're now unable to offer the apps on these devices. When you open the PBS app, you will now see a message that the app is no longer supported on your device, and you'll be returned to your Apple TV's home screen.
Is there a way I can still watch PBS on my older Apple TV?
If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad*, you can try downloading the PBS or PBS KIDS app on your phone or tablet and then AirPlaying the app to your Apple TV 2 or 3. Apple has directions on using AirPlay on their site here. Since the app is open and playing on your supported phone and tablet - and the Apple TV is only being used as a screen for video playback - you may be able to watch PBS videos on your TV using this workaround.
However, since the older Apple TVs also use an older version of AirPlay, this workaround may not work for everyone, and PBS is unable to help with any issues that happen while AirPlaying on an older Apple TV.
*Our app is currently supported on Apple iOS 12.4 and later for iPhones, and Apple iPadOS 12.4 and later for iPads.
What else can I do to watch PBS?
If you wish to continue using Apple TV to stream programs on your television, we recommend upgrading to the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K devices provided by Apple. Both of these models are newer and are still supported by Apple, so any new updates to the PBS app will be able to reach your device. This means we can bring new features to your app as we build them, and also help out if you have any issues using the app on those devices.
If you're interested in using another streaming device to stream PBS, you can find our other supported devices on our website at this link.
Thank you for supporting and watching PBS!