News happens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A TV may not always be nearby when news happens. Thankfully, there are quite a few options for watching news online. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and HuffPost Live all offer quality online news channels that recreate the cable news experience through online video. News junkies who’ve cut their cable service can still watch live news channels online. Current cable TV subscribers can stream some of their favorite cable news channels over the web on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Each of these online news channels offers distinct advantages and flaws, depending on your cable subscription status or preferred political affiliation. A few channels will webcast HD live streams of their cable news broadcast, some offer a news live feed online, and others offer free, on demand versions of their most popular shows shortly after they’ve aired on TV. Whether you’re looking for a place to watch breaking news live online or catch up on your favorite news shows these online news channels have something for everyone.
HUFFPOST LIVE NEWS ONLINE CHANNEL
The newest member of the online video news pack, HuffPost Live is the online news video spin-off of the Huffington Post and you can watch it without a cable subscription. The online news site streams free live video news from 10 a.m. EST to 10 p.m. EST daily, and segments are archived and available on demand afterwards. HuffPost Live tries hard to engage you with other online viewers by building text chat and Google Hangout video chat into the interface. There is also a full-screen mode available for those who don’t want to engage and just want to watch the video news feed.
The HuffPost Live news studio is a distinctly casual operation. News anchors wear jeans and type at their laptops while moderating a discussion. In-studio guests have visible hipster tattoos. An inordinate amount of time is spent discussing matters of the Huffington Post website. The panel discussions are just on-air Google Hangouts with subject matter experts dialing-in from home. Yet, this unconventional formula featuring everyday professors, engineers, and citizen journalists produces a smarter and more elevated discourse than often heard on typical cable news pundit shows. Think of HuffPost Live as a low-budget video version of NPR news.
FOX NEWS LIVE ONLINE: TECH, NEWS, AND ENTERTAINMENT
Fox News generally does not webcast their live TV broadcast, except to users of a dedicated iPad app. Note: There is an app for Android, but it doesn’t support streaming of Fox’s online news show. The network does, however, stream an hour or two of live news every weekday for free on Fox News Live. The website does not offer the network’s most popular shows like “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity,” but instead offers web-only shows covering news, tech, and entertainment. “Power Play,” “Fox 411,” and other web series air live beginning at 11 a.m. EST daily and are available on demand afterward all day. No cable subscription is required to watch.
The politics and production values of these Fox News web series are the same caliber of the top Fox News television programs. Big name Fox News personalities don’t host the web series programs, but the guests and panelists are regular Fox News contributors. The picture quality isn’t quite HD, but it’s pretty darned good. There are no commercials, except for the ads that occasionally pop-up on the video screen player – playing audio directly over the news you’re watching to create an inaudible mess. If you’re a Fox News fan without cable, though, Fox News Live is a respectably well-produced substitute for the real thing.
CNN NEWS LIVE FEED ONLINE DELIVERS PROGRAMMING 24/7
CNN is the only cable news network providing a non-stop, real time live news stream over the Internet allowing you to watch CNN online. Watching this live stream, however, requires verification of an active cable subscription, similar to the process NBC used for the London Olympics webcast. Cable subscribers can get HD live streams of CNN, Headline News Network (HNN), and a U.S. weather channel, plus on demand video of popular shows like “Anderson Cooper 360” and “Nancy Grace.” Viewers without a cable subscription can still watch free video clips of the day’s news highlights. The CNN news live feed online does have commercials, which are the same ones that air on CNN and HNN.
MSNBC ONLINE: WATCH POPULAR NEWS SHOWS ON DEMAND
MSNBC does not broadcast its news show online, but they do make all of the most popular MSNBC news shows available on demand shortly after airing. There’s no cable subscription required to view the shows. “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Hardball,” and all weekday MSNBC news shows are presented free online in a constantly updated MSNBC video news archive. The MSNBC video player produces crisp HD resolution, and has a clean interface for navigating available news shows and segments. Each show is presented in its entirety, broken down into 5-10 minute segments with occasional commercial interruptions. Shows are generally available online an hour or so after their original broadcast. MSNBC does occasionally broadcast a live online news feed on election nights or during major breaking news live events, so check the MSNBC website if you’re looking for a live cable news webcast on a big news day.
Did you turn to the Internet to watch news coverage of the election? Is Fox News Live an adequate replacement for Fox News? We report, you decide and post your opinions in the comments section below.