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Watch the news on XBMC. If you love living without cable, but miss watching the news, you’re in luck. A variety of plugins for the world’s best media center software give you access to the news from a wide variety of sources. Whether you’re looking for a live TV broadcast or an overview of the day’s big stories, XBMC gives you access to a variety of news plugins.
There are many amazing plugins for XBMC, meaning you can customize the program to do whatever you want. Of course, this usually requires a bit of work on your part. Watching the news is no different. You’re going to need to find and install plugins for the job. Don’t worry, though, because they’re easy to install if you know where to look. Even better – I’ve done the searching for you.
See the top headlines from around the world, all from a wide variety of different video sources. NewsLook is an online aggregator of video news, supplied by videos from AP, CBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, France24 and many other news organizations.
You can watch all of these videos and more in XBMC, thanks to a plugin by developer queeup. This plugin shows you the top stories on NewsLook.com, or the top headlines from a particular category of news such as fianance, entertainment or science.
You can play an individual story, or you can click “Play All” to watch every story in sequence.
There are a few things missing – being able to select which sources the plugin does and doesn’t use would be nice – but overall, this is a great plugin for keeping up with the news.
To install NewsLook, you need to first install a repo. Find instructions for adding the queeup repo to XBMC, then install the plugin in the “Add Ons” section of the settings.
World News Live
Prefer your news in real time? World News Live offers streams from the BBC, ABC (Australia), FranceTV, CSPAN, RT and more. Even better, you can add any other live stream, if you know where to find them.
A few of the streams didn’t work for me, including Al Jazeera (which there is a seperate plugin for) and CNN. Still, this is worth having around if you want real-time news. Find installation instructions for World New Live here.
The above plugins are dedicated to news and offer a variety of sources. They’re far from the only way to get news on XBMC, however. A variety of other plugins offer access.
The Al Jazeera plugin, for example, provides access to a live broadcast of the TV channel, a list of on-demand top stories and all the shows broadcast on the network.
You can find Al Jazeera in the default XBMC repo, under “Video“.
- Democracy Now is an independent daily news broadcast from the USA. Find a plugin in the Queeup repo.
- There’s no (legal) way to watch the Fox News Channel in real time on XBMC, but you can watch videos from Fox News using the Fox News plugin. It’s found in the default reop.
- PBS offers a variety of informative shows, including a nightly news broadcast and the documentary show Frontline (above). Find a plugin for PBS in the default XBMC repo.
- Free Cable aggregates a shocking number of US TV stations, including the nightly news programs of three major networks, and news magazines such as 60 Minutes are here as well.. Find Free Cable in the Bluecop reop. Most streams will only work in the US.
- Hulu is essential if you get your news from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It is, sadly, USA only. You’ll also find a plugin for Hulu in the Bluecop reop, or you can read more about the XBMC Hulu plugin.
- Prefer MSNBC? There’s a plugin for this news channel in the queeup repo. No live stream, but you’ll find access to both headlines and shows.
Can you not find exactly what you’re looking for, but know there’s an RSS podcast for it? Find out how to add podcasts in XBMC and you’ll be set in no time.
NaviX is a plugin everyone using XBMC or Boxee should install, and it offers more than a few ways to watch the news you want. I’m not going to offer specific instructions, because everything in NaviX is constantly changing, but explore and you’ll find both live and on-demand ways to watch news from a wide variety of networks.
Of course, this is probably only a sample of the news applications out there for the platform. Can you think of anything else? Please, share it in the comments below.
Do you feel insulted because I did or didn’t include a particular news source? Know that I didn’t mean to offend anyone’s political sensibilities – I only wanted to offer an overview of the news plugins out there for XBMC. No political agenda intended.