As an addendum to our earlier HD Report article on MLB.TV for PS3… let’s get in a quick review of this thing (watching Red Sox v. Texas on the NESN feed right now).
First off… no disc is required. This is a PS3 download (requiring a software update via the PS3’s broadband), and requires you to have a valid MLB.TV subscription (either one will do). The download takes up 16mb of space, and installs quickly. From there you enter your MLB.TV login info and off you go! WHITE SPACE
The MLB app ends up in the video section of your menu. If you don’t have an MLB.TV account, you can set one up through the app, but if you have a valid one you’ll continue on to a screen that gives you a website address and a code. Go to the address, enter the code and this will link you with your MLB.TV account. Once entered, the switchover on the PS3 is instantaneous… ain’t technology grand? :)
The menu comes up in glorious, sharp, colorful HD and you can pick the game you want to watch… menu navigation is smooooooth. You can pick which video feed you want, home team or away, and get the commentators you want to hear. Then the picture comes up and…
THE PICTURE (depending on your broadband capability) LOOKS FANTASTIC!!!! Really awesome, amazing, add your superlative here. Wow! No kidding, as long as your wireless or wired connection is good and you have more than 1mbps cranking through the intertubes, you’re gonna experience a beee-yooo-tiful picture. Remember, of course that this is streamed and there will be some artifacting of the image, but honestly, it really isn’t that bothersome and the image looks as good as today’s streaming technology can present without a massive amount of bandwidth needed— I was able to still do all my wireless computing with no major issues and only a few short lapses in the video stream. It’s not true HD, but it’s mighty close. It looks better than 480p and somewhere around 720p, though not as steady an image as the Netflix stream via the PS3’s BD-Live process.
As for features… You can pause, rewind, but no fast forward unless you like time travel, and generally do all the cool stuff you can do with the MLB.TV premium account; however, I found that through the PS3 you can do this with either account… basic or premium. You can join the live game, find an inning to watch that’s already been played, and change feeds mid-game, as well as view the menu while watching the game in the background. Other than that, it’s a similar but much better viewing experience than on the computer, or having the computer hooked up to the HDTV. Of course, it’s much better than iPhone, although that’s more of a really cool convenience (and has saved me from missing games when out with the lovely gf, or on the road, etc.). A reminder and caveat though… if you live in a location with an MLB team (i.e. your hometown team), you can expect MLB’s blackout restrictions to apply, and that goes for hometown teams with away games.
Speaking of the iPhone app (and yes… iPad, too), keep in mind that MLB offered the iPhone app free initially, then in the following seasons charged for the privilege once they started streaming games. At first the cost was reasonable, but this season it has gone up (still pretty reasonable, but you can see where this is going). That said, get the “free” PS3 download asap and start enjoying games… as next season it may cost you extra on top of the required MLB.TV subscription. I don’t doubt that MLB will require an update to the PS3 app once the next season rolls around (not just for technological updates, but for paywall updates as well), and then require an additional cost (probably $5-20 bucks).
Huge thumbs up on this PS3 treat… It’s really impressive and a must have for baseball fans.
PLAY BALL AND GO RED SOX!!