A Fox News-watching, Dish-subscribing friend of ours called me up to ask if I had a way to get Fox News content over the internet (see previous post, DISH’s carriage dispute with Griffin (KOTV) & News Corp). The answer is yes, but in a very limited way.
However, the only live programming it carries is Fox News Radio. It also does not carry or archive their most popular signature shows, such as “Hannity” and “The O’Reilly Factor”. I don’t think our friend is going to find it adequate as a substitute.
Last time I checked, I thought both CNN and msnbc also had their own Roku channels. But I see no CNN, and msnbc “highlights” have been folded into a new NBC channel. Fox Business has a Roku channel, but it is not very up-to-date.
I was able to get CNN as a Roku “private” channel. Here is a list of all Roku private channels. You can see there that the code for CNN is RBFA1. If you log onto your Roku account, and go to the account page, you will see a place to enter the code. Then you will have CNN.
This CNN channel’s content is up-to-date. Also, if you click on the CNN International icon, you will be watching a realtime feed of that channel (the only instance of of this I have seen so far).
A special channel on Roku is Plex, previously described here as both a way to serve your own video/music content, and also to select and watch its own channels, similar to Roku’s.
Within the Roku’s Plex channel, you can select Fox News, CNN and msnbc channels, if you previously set up your computer as a Plex server and added the channels. But today, when I started up any of these Plex channels via Roku, I got a message, “This app isn’t supported. You can still access (whichever channel), but you may encounter unexpected problems.” However, their content appeared up to date.
The same Plex channels also worked perfectly well from a Plex browser interface. According to Plex, “All Plex channels are maintained and supported by a community of volunteers.” And I believe the Plex channels are populated by the XML feeds provided by CNN, Fox, etc., so they will likely continue.
But as I had previously found, Plex channels, like Roku channels, are not equivalent to basic cable stations, since they require active seeking of specific archived content, not passive surfing of realtime content.
I wish I had better news for our friend, because last year he generously gave me back the bottle of Jägermeister that he took off me in a “dirty Santa” exchange. I have found it invaluable this year, getting me through episodes of “The Bachelor” that my wife finds so fascinating. “The Bachelor” starts a new season tomorrow. 🙁 (My 2008 review of “The Bachelor”.)
If he were, instead, an avid msnbc viewer, he would be in luck. Plex’ msnbc channel has relatively complete and up-to-date content from its shows, no more than a day after the original airings. Fox News’ Plex channel has even less content than their Roku channel. CNN’s Plex channel is completely out of date.
I’ll advise him to switch over to msnbc on Plex, and then he’ll be fine. 😉