Traditionally, you had to have a cable subscription to watch the big news channels like MSNBC, Fox, and CNN. These days there is an easier, more affordable way of accessing your favorite news networks: with a streaming service. A streaming service is a platform that lets you stream television through your internet connection. The best streaming service providers offer access to all the top news channels from the U.S. and around the globe. What’s more, they let you watch the news on any device you want–including TV, phone, tablet, and computer.
Streaming live news is incredibly simple. In fact, chances are you already have everything you need at home. First, check your streaming provider’s website for a list of compatible devices. These devices work with most live news channels:
- Smart TVs, e.g. Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TV
- Smartphones/tablets, e.g. iOS, Android
- Games consoles, e.g. PS4, Xbox
- Streaming sticks, e.g. Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Roku Streaming Stick
A reliable internet connection is essential to streaming live news channels. If you only stream static, on-demand content (like Netflix or Amazon Prime), then you can get by with speeds of 10-15 Mbps. But if you want to stream live news (or any other live TV broadcast), then you need at least 25 Mbps to ensure a stable viewing experience and the ability to watch in high definition. The more devices logged on to your internet connection at the one time, the better your internet needs to be to maintain the same quality. If you’re a news junky who likes streaming different news channels on different devices simultaneously, then 50-100 Mbps will give you a high-quality stream.
Before purchasing a subscription to a news streaming platform, you should think about how many different devices you’d like to use. If the subscription is only for you, then a 1-device subscription will do. But if you’re planning on sharing the account between a few friends or family members, or if you like to watch multiple news channels simultaneously on different devices, then you may want to purchase a subscription with up to 6 screens. Just imagine being able to stream Fox, MSNBC, and CNN in HD on multiple devices in the one room!
Just about every major news network can be streamed, although the exact channels vary between different streaming providers. Some streaming providers offer all the top channels, while others offer only the ‘big three’ (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC).
Here’s a list of news channels you can find on one or more of the major streaming services:
- CNN (and CNN International and CN͠N en Español)
- Fox News Channel (And Fox Business)
- CNBC World
- BBC World News
- Bloomberg Television (and Bloomberg HD)
- Local Now
- Cheddar Business
- The Weather Channel
Even the biggest news junkies occasionally feel the urge to watch something else, like a film, documentary, or sports. Fortunately, all the top streaming providers that carry news channels also carry non-news channels. The best streaming services are like cable providers–just without the cord. These services give you access to dozens–sometimes hundreds–of top TV channels, so you can flick between the channels, just like you would with cable. The only difference is you’re accessing everything through what’s known as an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service that plays through your internet connection instead of through a traditional cable-set top box configuration.
In terms of billing, news/TV streaming services usually charge a monthly subscription fee for using their service. Some services offer customers the option of paying their annual subscription fee up front for a discounted rate. Paying yearly can save you money, but paying monthly offers more flexibility because you can opt out before the next monthly billing date. Many services let you select packages consisting of certain types of channels, so you might purchase news, films, and sports in the one subscription, for example. Some streaming companies let you trial their platform for 7 or 30 days before committing. As with any service, consider the cost of add-ons before they start to pile up.
Once you’ve made the decision to subscribe to a TV streaming service all that’s left to do is subscribe. Start by checking out the streaming services that offer your favorite news channels. Then sign up for free trials and familiarize yourself with your chosen streaming service before committing to a paid subscription. If you’re into news, then (pardon the pun) we have good news for you: there are a wide range of great streaming platforms to choose from.