For young viewers, the news that PBS has added a new PBS Kids channel may be like Christmas all over again. The PBS Kids channel is available on cable and over the air, an important consideration, according to PBS.

As Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO, told reporters at the recent Television Critics Association winter press tour, PBS is “committed to making PBS Kids content available to all children – anytime and anywhere – but especially for those who need it most, including children who live in low-income homes and those who rely on over the air television for educational content.”

Oregon Public Broadcasting has added PBS Kids to its lineup. Portlanders can watch it for free, on the over the air channel 10.3, a digital subchannel.

Comcast cable subscribers can find PBS Kids at channel 311.

In addition to adding PBS Kids, which carries such programs as “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Wild Kratts,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Nature Cat,” this change also makes OPB Plus a High Definition channel on cable. It’s channel 310 there.

Which is great if you prefer to watch such OPB Plus programming as the talk show “Tavis Smiley” or “Jazzy Vegetarian,” along with some series that air both on the primary OPB channel (10 over the air, and 710 in HD on Comcast in Portland) and OPB Plus.

It’s not ideal, though, for viewers who are unhappy about having to pay more for a Comcast package that includes HD.

For example, Dave Wilson, a Salem resident who enjoyed such OPB Plus shows as “Austin City Limits” and cooking programs, now says he’d have to pay more to watch OPB Plus in HD.

A Comcast customer, Wilson says he had a package that included internet and phone service, out of which he paid $24.44 a month specifically for TV. To access the HD channels, Gencobahis he says, would cost him an additional $10 a month.

“My main frustration is I lost the channel outright,” Wilson says, adding one day he could watch it, “and the next day, I can’t.” Wilson says he spent hours on the phone getting unsatisfying information about the channel change.

Wilson says he’s contemplating getting an antenna, and exploring other ways of streaming the shows he wants.

For comparison purposes, a Comcast “Saver Package” costs $99.99 monthly, and in addition to TV, includes Internet and Xfinity Voice services, with a one-year contract. The package doesn’t include HD.

A Comcast representative says that the “X1 Starter Triple Play” is the lowest-cost package that does include HD, along with internet and Xfinity Voice Unlimited. That package costs $109.99 per month with a one-year contract.

OPB Plus is still available free and over-the-air for antenna users, as digital subchannel 10.2.

Representatives of OPB say that making OPB Plus an HD cable channel is about responding to viewership trends and increasing broadcast quality.

“OPB made the decision to present OPB Plus in HD because the majority of our viewers are now HD viewers, and HD is the new industry standard,” Lynne Clendenin, vice president of programming at OPB, said via email. “By moving OPB Plus to HD, we are able to provide higher-quality programming for a large and growing audience.”

Other options for watching include a 24/7 live stream of PBS Kids content on, and the free PBS Kids Video App.

More details about the PBS Kids schedule, watching it with antenna reception (a rescan may be necessary and instructions for that are at, watching it with cable, and other information are on the OPB website at

For details on OPB channels, and where to find them in your community, go to this link:

And finally, if you have questions or other issues, visit the OPB Member Center page:

— Kristi Turnquist

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