Jul 14, 2011

Pub-d-Hub on Roku

Since the Netflix price plan change has gotten a lot of movie fans thinking about other options for movies, I thought it would be a good time to share a great free classic movie resource for those of you who have the Roku player.

It’s a movie channel called Pub-d-Hub which, as the name so cleverly indicates, shows a variety of materials in the public domain. It is set up a like a simpler version of Netflix, with several categories from which to select titles. The channel has a lot of subpar material, but I’ve also seen several great titles that I haven’t found by any other means. It has a lot of titles from Netflix streaming as well.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with all the options on this spunky little channel. In addition to movies, they offer cartoons, old television shows and radio shows. There are also lots of interesting novelties such as cautionary films of the sort you used to see in school classrooms and old television commercials. It’s nice to have those options with a shorter running time when I don’t plan to watch T.V. for long, or when I don’t have the patience to commit to a movie.

While Pub-d-Hub is free, they strongly encourage donations. Given the amount of titles and the fact that they add new material every week, I think they are well worth a contribution. There is also a paid plan, which I haven’t explored, but at a screamingly reasonable $2 a year, I certainly intend to try it out. There’s a search option on the paid plan which would help a great deal with navigation and an amusing music option, which plays snappy tunes while you browse for something to watch (this feature started with the free version, but will eventually be moved to subscription only).

There are a few drawbacks to the service. Many of the offerings are in terrible condition, with bad video and sound. This is not the place for an optimal viewing experience. It can also be a pain to page through all the titles as there is no option for creating your own playlist, though the search option in the paid version may help to alleviate that headache. These problems have not prevented me from visiting the channel regularly.

Though I haven’t been totally put off Netflix by the new price plans, the change has made me think more about my movie consumption. I don’t think the new prices are unreasonable, but the way in which they were implemented has bothered me enough that I’ve decided to scale back to streaming only for now. I’m hooked on the oddball titles in Instant Play, but a 100% price increase over the course of only a year is absurd and I don’t want to support that with my money. It has occurred to me that I may be doing exactly what Netflix wants by dropping DVDs, but I’ve tried not to over think this issue!

By using other options, I’m hoping to enrich my movie-watching experience. This means exploring Hulu, Amazon, iTunes and ClassicFlix more often. I think that while sites like Pub-d-hub (and the newer Crackle) are never going to be the end-all destination for me, they do fit in nicely with the other options out there.

Are you already using Pub-d-Hub? If so, I’d love to know what you think of the channel. If you haven’t tried it, why not check it out


  1. Very interesting! I'm going to have to start looking around on the Roku more, I was unaware of this. Thanks for the info!

    Best wishes,

  2. I'm glad you liked the post Laura. There are lots of interesting things on Roku. I'm addicted to the Pandora channel in particular. There's also a cool channel that has a bunch of radio stations from all over the world. Definitely do a little digging; there's good stuff to be found!

  3. I love my Roku player and I frequently watch the Pub-D-Hub channel!! Love those old movies and Im only 43! :)

  4. I'm trying to remember what life was like without my Roku! I've enjoyed a few of the other free/low cost movie channels, but I still think Pub-D-Hub is the best. Especially when you splurge and pay the $2 for gold content. There's some really oddball, interesting stuff in there.