40 thoughts on “Open Thread: Buying MLB Advanced Media

  1. I have had. MLBtv for five or so years now. I am a big fan, especially since I am rarely in the blackout area for Yankees games. I upgraded to premium and think it is worth it for the most part, though the DVR didn't work much on my Mac last year. I think each year it has improved and am more than happy to stick with it. Plus it is great for bringing the laptop out to the porch on nice summer days for a cigar and some baseball….even if it means I annoy my red sox fan neighbors.

    • Yes, I find cigars annoying too. ; ^ )

      I probably should not expand the open thread any further, but was curious what you thought about the C's giving up Perk. I personally am a fan of Jeff Green and I think the C's got the better of the trade, but I had no idea how beloved Perk seemed to be. You're the only C's fan who speaks to me, so I thought I'd ask.

      • Haha, I hate to see him go personally. Perkins has been there a while and has been solid for them. I don't really know much about Jeff green, so I am hoping/assuming they know what they are doing. My NBA fandom is definitely not the strongest…

  2. I also think that one of the differences between premium and regular mlbtv is that you can choose whether to watch the home or away feed, whereas with regular they usually give you the home feed. At least that is how it used to be. I like having the option myself.

    • The MLB.tv page has a checklist detailing the differences.

      As far as I can tell, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to get the basic MLBTV package. I had it for about a month, upgraded to premium to try it out, and the difference was easily more than worth the extra cost.

  3. I've only had MLB.TV – that said, where you're at, it should be the perfect app. Who are your "local" teams out there? Something you'd want to check – you'll be blacked out, in real-time, for every game they play, which means you'll likely miss every Yankees/Angels game – in or out of town, and possibly the same for Oakland games. One of the things you don't consider – you're blacked out even when the local team plays away – I could see it for home games, but away games are also blacked out.

    Gotta spring for the Premium package – the dvr feature alone is worth it; you can also watch 4 or more games at once with premium – I haven't used that feature much, but the dvr is invaluable. Last year, I'd start a game late, skip the commercials, skip the pitching changes, and be caught up by the end of the game.

    Works fine on computer; surprisingly well on laptops while you're traveling; and downright seamlessly idiot-proof if you use a PS3. They had some serious bugs with the PS3 last summer for a few weeks; the MLB servers also get overloaded during the weeks they have reduced price promos; that said, I could usually watch games in HD without hesitation or glitches.

    One other advantage of MLB Premium – you have your choice of Home or Away feeds. Kind of fun, watching the Yankees and hearing the opposing commentators viewpoint. Enlightening, to say the least. Also a very refreshing break from the YES anchors.

    • PS3 allows you to watch on tv; my cable modem gives me more than twice the bandwidth required to watch in HD – so family should be able to do most normal things while you're watching. Fwiw, it isn't THAT hard to hook your computer/laptop to an HDTV – they all have the right inputs – I was doing that in '09, before the PS3 app came out. And, fwiw, the PS3 app is free – just download, link to your account on your computer, and you're home free. DVR functions work ok on PS3, better on PC.

      I had no problem watching HD, upscaled onto my 1080p projector, all last year. That's why I kept annoying you with my comments, how I could "read" a player's eyes. Try it yourself – see what you think. ;D

  4. MLB TV Premium is without a doubt the best option, assuming you have high-speed internet access and a good computer. It's really not worth the extra money to get Extra Innings, IMO.

    And like Jay said, you can stream it through a PS3 to your television if you have one.

  5. I bought the MLB.TV Premium package last year and agree with the comments above that it's well worth the extra $20 for the DVR and Home/Away choice. Does it make me an uber-Yankee's fan to admit that I'd love a way to be able to watch the Yes Network up here in Vermont (and I'd even pay for the privilege!)? According to the Yes CS rep I spoke to, there isn't any way to do this – anyone know of any work-arounds?

    • I get the YES network with my DirecTV subscription — can't watch Yankees or Nets games with this, but I can see their other content. I think that Verizon FIOS has the same deal available. Is this what you mean?

      If you're outside of the Yankees' broadcast territory, you can't subscribe to the YES network to see Yankees games — you have to get one of the MLB advanced media packages.

    • Can't you get it on Direct TV? I can do that here in Iowa – didn't know if it was blacked out up there or not.

  6. I subscribed last season to At Bat. I wanted to be able to listen to Twins day games while at the office since the radio I have here doesn’t always get decent reception. Ended up using it when I’m at home, too, on those occasions where I didn’t want to listen to the game off the radio with headphones on. The nice thing with At Bat is that you are not subject to local market blackout restrictions. Plus, you get to choose your radio feed (home or away).

    I realize the reason that MLB can’t offer a similar thing for MBL.TV is due to local market TV broadcast agreements. What I don’t get is why they can do it for the radio feeds and not TV.

    We don’t have a pay-for TV service in our house which mean I can’t watch many of the games on TV even if I wanted to. I would gladly subscribe to MLB.TV if they were able to do away with the local market restrictions.

    • I'm imagining that you are fairly tech saavy – even if you don't have a PS3, all it takes is a couple of cables and a few keystrokes, and you can watch your computer on your tv – with the added benefit of making Hulu and Youtube looking that much bigger, if not better.

    • You get At Bat with an MLB TV premium subscription, and I'm pretty sure you can listen to in-market radio broadcasts. Not sure about the basic package.

    • I think they're calling the audio product MLB.com "Gameday Audio" now. I've used that for years — I love listening to baseball games on the radio. I think that Gameday Audio is included in both regular and premium MLB.TV subscriptions. If you want access to a blacked-out game, you can listen to it on radio, then once the game is over you can access it on demand. I think.

    • Brien, as it's been a good couple of months since we had a serious disagreement, can I ask you what the hell goes on with your thumbs up/thumbs down ratings? I just thumbs-upped you here to restore you back to zero. I follow your tweets, is it possible that Glenn Beck has it in for you?

      • Heh. I don't know. I sort of gave up on that when I answered a simple question about how the Type A/B thing works and got a thumbs down on it.

        Maybe Derek Jeter reads this blog.

  7. MLB.tv works with Roku. My parents use it for MLB.tv and Netflix, and they never have a problem with it.

  8. I'm British, and the only way of being sure to see every Yankees game is mlb.tv. There's the added benefit here of no blackout restrictions, so I can watch all 162 games.

    • aah, part of the irony of blackout restrictions. Yankees fans like you (U.K.) and me (L.A.) are treated better by MLBAM than the team's core base.

    • Glad to see I'm not the only European lurker. I just got MLB.TV which is th only practicable way of seeing the games I want to see.
      I sprung for the Premium package, it was not that more and DVR-functionality will probably help with the time difference.

  9. You can most definitely watch MLB.TV via the At Bat iPhone application.

    I spent the year 2010 behind our archrival’s official lines in New England (Vermont, blissfully, not Boston), and MLB.TV+At Bat were a godsend. Even when I only had a cellular connection and no WiFi, the audio and video were very clear — and I was in a rural location to boot.

    When you watch MLB.TV on a smartphone, it uses the phone’s built-in GPS to determine where you are and what games it had to black out. Living in Vermont, I could watch any game that didn’t involve the Red Sox. So when the Yankees played at Fenway, I had to watch NESN. But that wasn’t as bad as I feared — much as I loathe the Red Sox, they actually have a TV broadcast crew that calls a pretty even game of baseball.

    • Aha! Our first At Bat user checks in.

      Why did you decide to use MLB.TV + At Bat, instead of just MLB.TV alone on your iPhone? What are the advantages?

      I've noticed that the Red Sox radio team is pretty good, too. Can't remember their names. I listen to them a lot, since they're usually broadcasting the games of my second favorite team. One of the great joys of the MLB Gameday radio program is checking out the broadcast abilities of various radio teams.

      • I also had both MLB.tv and At Bat.

        Being able to watch video via At Bat didn't end up being so worth it to me. Occasionally I'd check in to watch the end of the game while away from my computer or out doing something, but streaming live video is a battery DRAINER. iPhone really can't handle it, I'd watch for 10 minutes and my battery would go down 20-30%.

        • The drain isn't THAT fast. Watching video on the iPhone does soak up juice, but not so much you can't get through a game.

          To be a heavy iPhone user, you _have_ to have a job that allows you to keep it plugged in most of the day. I have a desk job, so I dock the thing all day at work and I have never had to worry about the battery in the evenings. I wouldn't recommend an iPhone to someone whose job requires them to be in a lot of different places during the course of a day with no access to regular charging.

      • Is it _possible_ to watch MLB.TV on an iPhone without doing it through the At Bat app? I don't believe it is. If someone knows a way, please let me know.

        Of course, now that I've moved back to New Jersey, I won't be buying MLB.TV this year, since I'm back in the Yankees blackout zone.

        • I will probably open up another open thread to share my experiences. I don't have an iPhone, but I have a Droid, an iPod Touch and an iPad. The iPad should be a great choice because it has a robust battery.

        • Another aha moment. So far I can't get MLB.TV on any of my mobile devices. My Droid just refuses to log in. My iPad directs me to a web page to sell me At Bat. Seems to me that I was able to get Gameday Audio on my cell phone last summer without At Bat.

          I'd shell out the $15 for At Bat, but MLB wants a separate $15 for each of my mobile devices. I'll probably settle on just buying it for my iPad.

    • I have had to watch my fair share of NESN broadcasts and I don't mind it. They do a good job and actually know the Yankees. It is nice to watch a different teams' broadcast and not hear the same story each time (we used to make bets on what inning Pettitte's pick-off move would get mentioned when he was on the mound).

  10. With most of my favorite shows accessible online, I ditched cable a couple years ago. Still waiting for yesnetwork.com to set up a blackout-less online service, not looking good. Stuck with Sterling in the meantime..

    there's still ATDHE.tv (ATDHE.net was seized) for free streaming of ANY sporting event on any given night if desperate (albeit low quality and hit-or-miss on connections).

  11. Last year I had Mlb.tv premium. I live in Canada so didn't get hit with blackout restrictions very often. The issue for me was nexdef (used for HD viewing) was really unreliable. It may have been the fact that I was on a college internet connection which can be good or can be awful. At times games would just not work, due to slow internet connection I think. I had windows 7 and nexdef didn't seem to work terrible well with it. If you're going for mlb.tv, go premium though. Jumping between innings is nice, especially if watching the day after and time is an issue so you can at least watch all the big moments. Also being able to rewind is nice, if nexdef works for you that is. With MLB.tv you can watch up to 4 games at once on a computer. You could always connect your laptop to your tv via HDMI or VGA if you wanted to watch on a larger screen.

    I'm undecided if I'm going back to mlb.tv this year though. If you have a strong internet connection it is nice though; if not its a waste of money.

    • fwiw, I had more problems with Nexdef back in '09; last year it was pretty good – again, there were a few weeks in the middle of summer when they had the promotion on – while that was happening, I'd have games dropping out of HD, or I'd even drop res myself, just so it wouldn't freeze.

      As Larry intimated, MLB.TV support is completely worse than useless. ONCE in two years they've given a useful response; and that was to uninstall, reboot, and reinstall their software. Missing, of course, several innings in the process. (or half an inning, if Bad AJ was on the mound.)

      When you subscribe, you're basically hoping MLB has upgraded their servers enough to handle any additional subscribers – every time I had a problem, it was MLB's fault – my bandwidth never dropped below twice the suggested level.

  12. Make life easy Larry, move to ny…you'll never miss a yankee game:) You can watch the bulk of your games on yes and the rest of your games will broadcast on fox, espn or channel 9. Not to say moving is easier but watching yankee baseball is.

  13. I'm from Sweden and have been using MLB.TV for a few seasons and I love it. Adding the At Bat feature on my iphone makes the morning commute much easier when I can get the play-by play summary.
    Also the PS3 MLB.TV feature is a great addition to the whole package..

  14. I've been using MLB.tv since it came out, and as others have said it has only gotten better each year. Premium is absolutely worth it to not have to listen to some of the infuriating homerism of some teams (ahem, white sox) or the terribly boring sound mix of others (Orioles seem to keep game sounds low and broadcast booth high making for an extremely quiet broadcast with little crowd noise). It works great on everything, my laptop, my iphone (through the at bat app), my ps3, and even our new samsung tv has a built in mlb.tv app which is great because I no longer have to put up with my ps3 overheating and turning on it's loud industrial sized fan. Also, if you're even slightly savvy and patient, there are ways to get around blackouts.

  15. While people are talking about MLB.TV… I wanted to ask a few questions:
    1) I paid for the postseason package last year. It did not let me stream it to my PS3. I have the PS3 MLB.TV "app" – no dice. I called MLB.TV and they didn't offer much advice on the issue.

    2) I live in SC. We have no local team. I guess the Braves would be the closest thing to it. Would I expect much in the way of blackout restrictions if I wanted to watch the Yankees? I know that TBS airs Braves games all the time (so no Braves-Yankees) and I think FOX occasionally airs Yankee games. But other than that, I shouldn't expect much in the way of blackout restrictions?

    3) When I caught the postseason on MLB.TV last year (my first time using the service), I received the raw feed. No instant replay, but I did have the play-by-play voiceovers. There was also a bit of lag between the play-by-play and the video. Is that what most users found to be the case?