- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 7, 2007

So my better half agreed to buy me the MLB.tv internet package as a birthday gift. I asked for the package mainly so I could watch my hometown Phillies play, though it’s pretty useful when I want to follow certain players on my fantasy team.

For the uninformed, MLB.TV is a service put out by the folks at Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) that provides all out-of-market games through the Internet, so you can watch them on your computer. It’s about half the price of the similar “Extra Innings” package offered through cable or DirecTV, though obviously the video quality isn’t nearly as good. But I’ve never been one of those guys who insists on watching his sports on a 90-inch high-definition TV anyway.

Through four days of use, I can say that MLB.TV works pretty well. It’s not perfect; sometimes the video and audio aren’t synced up and you have to refresh the feed, and sometimes the video pauses briefly before catching up. (I guess I should be ticked that it doesn’t work 100% perfectly, but I have a three-year-old computer, so I’m used to things working kinda imperfectly these days.)

To be clear, I have the basic MLB.TV service, which streams the video at about 400k per second. There’s a “premium” version that streams at 700k per second and also offers something called the “Mosaic” that allows people to watch as many as 6 games at once. On the surface, the Premium service seems cool, but there have been widespread reports of problems with the Mosaic. According to a customer service blog at MLB.com there are still a lot of kinks being worked out. Some customers sound pretty ticked. It seems like it’s a case of MLBAM trying to be a little bit ahead of the curve and not quite having its act together. Give them credit for trying, but I had a feeling that MLBAM was biting off more than it could chew in trying to launch the premium product. Six games at once? Is the technology there yet? Do we have Internet connections that can reliably handle it? My gut tells me no, which is why I signed on with the basic service this year. (It’s also $30 cheaper, too.)

If MLBAM wants to improve the service, my suggestion would be to give the Web interface more content, like live box scores or play-by-play data from other games. As it stands now, I can’t see the box score or lineups of the game I’m watching unless I open a new page.

Think the idea of having live sports online has great potential. But most people long for the day when they can enjoy the service and have it work the way it’s supposed to.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide