Here's What New Year's Eve on TV is Like

(Photo Getty)In this special TV Roundup (the last one of the year), we're reviewing the ways to enjoy New Year's Eve by the warm glow of your television. Because aside from free booze and novelty glasses, New Year's Eve is probably the best night of the year to stay inside. And now, thanks to high-speed broadband among other nifty innovations in entertainment, you can relax in the comfort and safety of your home and watch the madness unravel, now in HD.

The Traditional Route
If watching revelers jam into Times Square is your thing (and no one will fault you for that because it's an awesome pageant of freezing tourists) it's a straight up Ryan Seacrest vs Carson Daly battle. Sort of.

Poll: Which New Year's Eve host do you prefer?
Click to vote:
  • Carson Daly
  • Ryan Seacrest
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest (10 p.m. ET, ABC)
Seacrest, heir apparent to Dick Clark's "Rockin' Eve" since 2004, is the presumed favorite on ABC. Here's what he's got on tap: Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen ("Call Me Maybe"), Neon Trees, and of course the "Gangnam Style" guy is performing. And then Seacrest has Fergie on the West Coast where he'll cut back and forth to live performances by Justin Bieber, Jason Aldean, Brandy, Karmin, Greyson Chance, OneRepublic, Pitbull, Ellie Goulding, The Wanted and of course no NYE party would be the same with out Flo Rida. Seacrest's special wraps up around 3:15 a.m. ET.

New Year's Eve With Carson Daly (10 p.m. ET, NBC)
Daly, on the other hand, is not messing around this year despite hosting "the other" party in Times Square. Hope you like The Voice because NBC is calling in all the favors from its singing reality show and getting Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine to all appear. He's got Angela Kinsey (The Office) doing some living reporting and Amy PoehlerNick OffermanJay Leno, and Jimmy Fallon have all taped pre-recorded segments. As for musical performances, Daly will narrate a "retrospective" that looks back on 2012 (starring Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Madonna, Psy, Beyonce, Adele, and David Guetta).

And though he may not have the star-studded line-up, chiseled jawline, perfect hair, it should be noted that Daly's audio equipment from last year's NYE battle was far superior (not to mention warmer).

The New Traditional Route
If you don't want to choose sides and will more likely be flipping around on the TV, laptop, iPad, etc., here's the way to go:

Live Ball-Cam – This is a Livestream feed that looks pretty clear and stable.
EarthCam – This webfeed will stream live from multiple shots in Time Square as well as around the world. EarthCam also has a pretty interesting-looking app (for $3.99).
NYE Ball App – If you just can't get enough web-based content, have it neatly ported through your very own app. Android users click here.

The Channel Surfing / DVR Route
CNN New Years Live With Anderson Cooper (10 p.m. ET, CNN)

Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin were kinda awesome last year. They're an unassumingly perfect match and definitely worth checking out if only to see the latest in Griffin's elective surgical treatments. Plus, she will pretty much say anything. There's also the rumor going around that the Honey Boo Boo family circus is making an appearance.

New Year's Eve Live! on FOX (11 p.m. ET, FOX):
This is live from Vegas. Featured guests: X Factor Season 2 winner Tate Stevens, Lifehouse, and Carmen Electra.

MTV's Club NYE 2013 (11 p.m. ET, MTV)
Snooki and JWOWW (along with Jeff Dye from Money With Strangers) are who MTV came up with to host their shindig. But Ke$ha, Ne-Yo, Sean Kingston, Rita Ora, and Conor Maynard will perform live.

All-American New Year's Eve (11 p.m. ET, FOX):
Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly are hosting a more adult contemporary rock sort of NYE party. Pat Benatar, Sarah Brightman, and the cast of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet are said to perform.

Live From Lincoln Center (7 p.m. ET, PBS)
This is for sure worth DVR-ing: New York Philharmonic Orchestra is dedicating its annual New Year's event to composer-conductor Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away in August of this year.  And if you already knew that you'll probably recognize these names who will be there, too: Audra McDonald, Joshua Bell, Raul Esparza, Michael Feinstein, Maria Friedman, Josh Groban, Megan Hilty, Kelli O'Hara, and Frederica von Stade.

DVR Watch
Definitely tape CNN New Years Live With Anderson Cooper (10 p.m. ET, CNN)
, South Park's season 13 finale airs at 10:30pm, and if you're not watching it live set to record Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest (10 p.m. ET, ABC) if only for the live performances.

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