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Streaming Election Night Broadcast TV? 396

kakapo writes "A couple of years ago, we dumped our cable TV, and don't have much luck getting old-fashioned broadcast where we live. That's fine — we can download or netflix almost anything we want to see, and it is great not to pay the Comcast tax every month. Problem is, now I want to watch the election live, complete with talking heads, pundits, glitzy graphics and all the rest, rather than reading about it on a website. So, is there any way to download network TV / CNN / MSNBC in real time — I don't mind paying. And yes, we could visit friends, but ideally our kids would watch the first part and then go to bed — and a sitter would be expensive if we have to wait until late for the result."
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Streaming Election Night Broadcast TV?

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  • Yes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:34PM (#25560545) Journal
    Go here [cnn.com] and click on "live video."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'll spoil the election for you: McCain wins.
      • Re:Yes (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:54PM (#25560889)

        Dave Byrd [premierelections.com], is that you?

    • Your local FOX, CBS, ABC, NCB and whatever UPN became.. Will all have local webpages, often times with news via video and perhaps more content.

      For the larger your going to be best served by going directly to their webpage and look for Live, Streaming, and/or Video.

      Other than that try the RSS feed for new videos at Hulu.com, a lot of news these days.
    • Hi, I find your link to CNN to be humorously incorrect but fun nonetheless. The true links to live election coverage are MS-NBC [imageshack.us], Fox News [imageshack.us] and CNN [imageshack.us]. Be sure to wait until election day to tune in!
  • Hulu.com? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sohmc ( 595388 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:34PM (#25560549) Journal
    Hulu had streaming live feeds of the debates. I'd think they'd have some sort of streaming feed come election day. Also, I know CNN has streaming feeds of some of their programs.
  • Check the Cable feed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:34PM (#25560551)

    Have you tried plugging a TV into the cable feed? A lot of times, the cable company won't bother implementing a cancellation, figuring that reclaiming the box is good enough and saving the cost of a truck roll. It's possible that you'll still have analog basic cable on that "disconnected" cable line. Alternately, you could sign up for one month of limited Analog Cable for $15.

    • by eln ( 21727 )

      I lived in an apartment for almost a year with no TV, mostly because I didn't think it was worth it to spend the money on the TV when I couldn't afford a monthly cable bill. About two weeks before I was going to move out, I finally broke down and bought a TV. Plugged it in to the cable line just for kicks, and voila, cable TV. I could have been watching free cable TV the entire time I was there.

      Of course, when I moved into the new place, I plugged the TV to the cable line there and...nothing. That reall

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      My last apartment, I smoked up the cable guy when he hooked up my internet. Guess he "forgot" to put the filter in the line after that. In my current home, I never saw the cable guy when I got internet.

      OT, but I heard a story on the radio about Cox buying up spectrum, perhaps to compete with cell phone companies. I got a good laugh when the anchor mentioned "the privately held Cox".

  • Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by psychicninja ( 1150351 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:34PM (#25560553)
    Google found this first thing: http://www.dvguru.com/2006/11/06/election-day-coverage-streaming-overload/ [dvguru.com] and that was just a quick search. Does this really need to be a front-page discussion?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      um...yeah, i'm sure the question is about the elections taking place in 2006. . .


    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bedroll ( 806612 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @05:06PM (#25561069) Journal
      Yes. You may immediately think "Google" and be able to type in the appropriate search, but not everyone is so astute. That's why we have /., and putting it on the front page does better to ensure that everyone who might think to ask will see it. There's also something to be said for the potential for variety of information you'll get here versus Google. Maybe not so much for the quality...
  • by Splab ( 574204 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:35PM (#25560561)

    This election is pretty much sealing the fate of the western world as we know it; we are quite a lot of people very very interested in the results.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:56PM (#25560911) Homepage Journal

      No it isn't
      Let me fill you in.
      If McCain wins odds are that we will have a Democratic majority on congress.
      The end result is that it should keep things somewhat in the center. Or very little will get done that doesn't have a universal support.
      If Obama wins we will have a Democratic congress. Truth is that I would bet that it will also go more towards the center but if they start really messing up then in two years congress will shift back towards the Republicans and we will again have balance.
      If Obama or McCain really mess up we fire them in four years and get a new president.
      In the end it will not be the end of the world.
      Geez I don't like Obama's energy policy since it is not as pro nuclear as I would like. I am not all that fond of McCain's tax plan. Or Obama's "Guess what folks. You can not give a tax cut to someone that already pays zero or gets more back than they pay in. That is called charity."
      Truth is I doubt it matter much one way or the other. I don't think their is a great man running for president this year but I also don't think their is a monster running.
      Chill out and relax.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @05:15PM (#25561207)

        If Obama or McCain really mess up we fire them in four years and get a new president.

        Like we did with George W Bush?

      • by MaxEmerika ( 701730 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @05:35PM (#25561479)
        This analysis reminds me of discussions taking place around 2000, when the prevailing wisdom was that it would not make one bit of difference who got elected. We were wrong then, and you are wrong now.
      • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @05:53PM (#25561697) Journal

        I'd agree with most of what you say were it not for Sarah Palin. That woman puts the fear of God in me, and I'm an atheist! Can you imagine someone in the President's seat who doesn't even know what the Bush Doctrine is without having to phone a friend? We had a retard in the oval office for 8 years and it has been an unmitigated disaster. Lord help us if the American voters once again show disdain for educated people as 'elitists.'

    • They will be all over it.

      If McCain gets over 120 Electoral College Votes, he
      will have had a good day.

  • Sign up for cable today, and cancel after the election. Most cable companies in the US don't have contracts, and you can cancel service at any time. You might end up paying for a month of service and an installation fee, but it could be cheaper than a baby sitter.

  • Listen instead (Score:5, Informative)

    by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:37PM (#25560603)

    Any decent AM radio station will have full-time election coverage, and radio news is generally 1000% better than the swill that you see on TV.

    • Re:Listen instead (Score:5, Informative)

      by Crazy Man on Fire ( 153457 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:42PM (#25560685) Homepage

      AM or your local FM NPR station if you can pull it in. I've found NPR's live election coverage to be quite good.

      • Also, most NPR stations (at least WFPL, our local station) have streams, so reception shouldn't be an issue for most /.ers
        • by fm6 ( 162816 )

          As does NPR.org itself. Which is also a good place to go to look for member station web sites, frequencies, and streams.

          Still, there's a lot less drama when you can't see the talking heads.

      • I'll plug my favorite NPR station: kqed.org. Live streams right on the site. And by far the best of all the Public Radio stations I've come across.

    • Re:Listen instead (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 ( 716938 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:45PM (#25560735)

      I totally agree and plan on finding out what Americans do on Election Day via shortwave radio from BBC or Radio Sierra-Leon or some other non partisan source on my antique Halicrafters. I am by the way IN the US and a US citizen. Ever consider some other country could run a propaganda station? they might call it..oh I don't know... " Voice of America"...or something....

      • by WMD_88 ( 843388 )
        Can you even pick up the VOA in the US? I'm in college in southwest Florida and have never been able to; ditto from my house on the east coast. Granted, I don't have the best radio; the only BBC feed I could pick up was the Caribbean one that they shut down this year (West Africa comes in but is faint).
      • by Abreu ( 173023 )

        you mean this?:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_Mart%C3%AD [wikipedia.org]

        I have access to US network news here in Mexico City, but I'll probably watch the local networks and the BBC instead, for a more unbiased angle.

      • by Chirs ( 87576 )

        The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation usually has pretty decent election coverage. They have streaming radio from a number of timezones at cbc.ca.

    • by saskboy ( 600063 )

      Good tip, and the networks and cable stations were part of the problem in 2000. Paying for their "service" would be doing America a disservice.

      Michael Moore let CNN, and Fox TV have it in Fahrenheit 9/11. He suggested that it was the erroneous claim from Fox that Bush had beat Gore, that led to other stations in changing their opinion, which turned public opinion in favour of Bush Jr.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Obfuscant ( 592200 )
        He suggested that it was the erroneous claim from Fox that Bush had beat Gore,

        Pssst. Here's a free clue: Bush did beat Gore. Even after all of Gore's judicial attempts at getting pro-Bush absentee ballots thrown out. Yeah, all anyone seems to remember is the SCOTUS decision overturning the Fla. Supremes for judicial activisism, but forget that it was Gore who was behind all the other court cases that lost.

        But you are right in the long run, listening to the mainstream coverage will not help anything. The

  • Slingbox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:39PM (#25560641) Journal
    If you have a friend with a slingbox [wikipedia.org] you could use that.
    • I second that. I work for an IPTV operator, and slingboxes are quite amazing really. You can get a client plugin for almost anything, and all you need to do is find a video source to hook it up to with a decent network connection.

      Of course, as with all high tech solutions, test before you go into production, as it were...

  • Why watch at home? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:42PM (#25560683) Journal
    While CNN [cnn.com], MSNBC [msnbc.com], and Faux News [foxnews.com], are all likely to have live streaming feeds of election results, it might be more worthwhile to head to your local sports bar. They'll very likely have the election results on, and they have a reasonable supply of alcohol as well, which will come in handy no matter who wins (if your candidate of choice wins, you celebrate; if the other guy wins, you drown away your sorrows),... ;-)
    • Multiple birds with one stone, I approve! :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I guess you forgot the part where the poster said he had kids and did not want to get a sitter? Then again alcohol could quiet the kids well enough as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by samkass ( 174571 )

      And as for the baby sitter... Virginia's polls close at 7pm, and if/when Obama takes that state, the election is basically over, so you probably won't have to pay her/him much overtime this year.

    • by Abreu ( 173023 )

      Im not sure about watching the elections on a bar... it may lead to bar fights

    • If you're in the DFW area, the Tarrant County Libertarian Party is having an Election Watching party at the Cowboys Golf Club. Details here [meetup.com].

    • by fm6 ( 162816 )

      it might be more worthwhile to head to your local sports bar.

      Did you miss the part where they have kids?

  • C-SPAN streams live (Score:4, Informative)

    by NevDull ( 170554 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:42PM (#25560689) Homepage Journal
    For the things you want to watch which are covered on C-SPAN, you can see C-SPAN 1, 2, and 3, and C-SPAN Radio here [cspan.org].
    • The C-SPAN site uses a flakey AJAX framework to try to sniff your stream reader. Unfortunately it's broken for some browsers. That seems to include firefox - including the version on my Ubuntu Feisty install which I keep up-to-the-minute with the upgrade tool.

      So I've reverse-engineered it enough to find URLs for the underlying streams.

      Here are direct links to the realplayer streams for C-SPAN [rbn.com], C-SPAN2 [rbn.com], and C-SPAN3 [rbn.com].

      = = =

      PS: I haven't been able to figure out how to construct similar links for archived sho

      • That seems to include firefox - including the version on my Ubuntu Feisty install which I keep up-to-the-minute with the upgrade tool.

        Correction: Ubuntu Hardy Heron.

    • C-SPAN uses real-player feeds which suck big time.

  • Screw that... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:42PM (#25560691)

    I think I'm going to take a sleeping pill right after work and try to sleep through the whole thing. There's no point in watching it "unfold" - the next day my guy will either be President Elect or not, and my watching breathless talking heads constantly reanalyzing the same data isn't going to change it one way or another.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That was true of Decision 2000 also, except the "next day" part. It's called 'history'. We should look into it while we still have it.
  • by flynt ( 248848 )

    I don't know the legal issues of P2PTV, but I think TVants does exactly what you're looking for. It does work under Wine, too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TVants [wikipedia.org]

  • Antenna (Score:2, Informative)

    by jmichaelg ( 148257 )

    Depending on where you live, you might be able to make do with an antenna.

    Admittedly, very retro in this day of ubiquitous cable but the photons are still out there in the ether.

    Speaking of antennas, the last half of this segment [pbs.org] from last night's NOVA broadcast has a sidebar on the application of fractals in shrinking antenna designs.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Make your own antenna.
      I used a board wire hangers and some screws and I get better reception then I have ever seen, and I have it indoors.

  • I say head on over to one of those kinds of sports bars will all the TV's an see if they're broadcasting it. Stream the beer instead.

  • Comcast Tax? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:54PM (#25560897) Homepage Journal

    I mean seriously. If you were to go to McDonalds and buy a Big Mac would you be paying an Big Mac tax?

    It's a price.

    • by Abreu ( 173023 )

      I think he means that he doesn't feel like he has an option when it comes to service providers. Therefore, paying Comcast feels like paying taxes to him.

    • I mean seriously. If you were to go to McDonalds and buy a Big Mac would you be paying an Big Mac tax?

      If McDonald's had a monopoly granted by the local government, the way cable companies often do, that might be a fair analogy.

    • "If you were to go to McDonalds and buy a Big Mac would you be paying an Big Mac tax?"

      Yes, but with his health instead of his money.

    • Re:Comcast Tax? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @05:55PM (#25561719) Homepage Journal

      If you were to go to McDonalds and buy a Big Mac would you be paying an Big Mac tax?

      If I went to McDonald's and the only way to get a Big Mac was with Fries, a Coke, and a Sundae (with wonderful "extra" options like salad, milk, and coffee available only if I purchase a "base" value meal), you sure as hell can bet I'd see it as a "tax".

      Of course, the solution is to not go to McDonald's. Right up until I realize that McDonald's has been granted a monopoly in my area. Going to Burger King requires that I MOVE 30 miles away because they can only serve local residents. Worse yet, nice restaurants have all been driven out of business by a government-sponsored monopoly. So my options are currently go to McDonald's and pay the McTax, or don't go out to eat.

      THAT is how Comcast is a tax.

  • C-SPAN has a live feed, URL is rtsp://rx-wes-sea74.rbn.com/farm/pull/tx-rbn-sea001:2459/farm/cspan/g2cspan/live/cspan1-g2.rm for real media. I'm sure Hulu and justin.tv will have streams running as well.

    • Yes, but it's real media.
      Using Real Media Player again on my computer would be even worse than 4 more years of Republicans. Well, maybe. It's a tough call.

  • the "i don't own a tv and i have to tell everyone about it" guy

    in answer to your question: who cares? why do you feel the need to tell everyone you don't own a tv? that's the real subtext of your question

    and if you think that's a smarmy answer, well then i have a real answer for you: GO BUY A TV. GET CABLE OR SATELLITE. END OF STORY. your brain will not melt, you will not be contributing to the downfall of western civilization. really. or, go ahead and listen to the various unnecessary technical gymanstics you must perform offered in this thead. instead of simply going and getting yourself a simple, harmless television

    the onion was prescient: Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television [theonion.com]

    this is some sort of genuine subculture. and if not owning a television turns one into a vainglorious buffoon, then please, everyone should own a television, for the sake of a healthy sense of humility. sheesh

    • Your advice is probably good. Assuming he can actually afford to purchase a tv then pay the monthly fee for service. Since he apparently has children, maybe that's an important consideration.

      • he can't get a tv if he is a member of a certain demographic in this country

        according to a demographic every bit as ridiculous as the morons who think innoculations cause autism, the television emits stupidity rays that make kids stupid, suffer ADHD, etc.

        television is television is television. it entertains and informs. end of story. its not a magical totem of evil, hellbent on turning your children into zombies

  • FOX (Score:5, Funny)

    by inzy ( 1095415 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @04:59PM (#25560977)

    i believe Fox has the best coverage - i hear it's pretty balanced, and covers all the policy issues; I'm sure they'll have a stream with not too many adverts

  • Some channel that, perhaps with public funding, broadcast news programs over the airwaves, that would cover that kind of thing?

    For myself - I had to drop Dish network, but went ahead and got two TR-40/DTVpal Digital-->Analog tuners before I did, and it turns out my PBS affiliate has three HDTV channels, with another two from another affiliate I get decent reception on, none of them have the same programming, so I actually have five pretty decent channels for free.

    Free unsolicited endorsement - if you hav

    • He said reception was bad in his area. If you have poor but watchable analog reception, you'll have unwatchably choppy digital reception. Before digital, I got PBS from 2 states. Now, I'm lucky if I can get one station to come in without breaking up long enough to watch the News Hour.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @05:02PM (#25561017)

    Direct tv will have 8 feeds on one channel in HD

  • C-SPAN (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rayge ( 609834 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @05:03PM (#25561031)
    You could watch the live stream from http://www.cspan.org/ [cspan.org]
  • Good Luck (Score:2, Informative)

    by aarenz ( 1009365 )
    First off, I am betting that the whole thing will be embroiled in troubles with all electronic voting machines and close recounts. I doubt that we will hear an official winner in several states until days or maybe weeks later. Second, suggest getting one of the digital converter boxes and an amplified antenna. Will serve you well for a long time into the future and provide a very good signal even when you normally get static on the old analog over the air. I work for a broadcast group and we have tested di
  • Why bother watching live, or watching at all? Is it really going to make a difference to your life that you know who the president elect is when your head hits the pillow vs when you wake up in the morning? Geesh! The only thing more boring than watching election coverage is watching the endless speeches, debates, talk shows, etc. leading up to the election. Your election coverage has been going on for months on end already. Obama this, and Palin that, and blah, blah, blah, voting machines, blah, blah.
  • You could listen to NPR and they'll update their website as data comes in.

  • slingbox

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama