Today, April 1 is the second day of the baseball season and I was all set to watch the Red Sox on MLB.TV. I had paid the $119 for the premium subscription and had updated the MLB.TV app on the Roku . I fired up the Roku and selected MLB.TV and then I selected the Red Sox vs Rangers. It started to connect and it was taking a long time to connect and I thought oh no, but finally it did connect. Unfortunately I then saw those words every MLB.TV user hates, “this game is blackout in your area.” I sat there and stared at it confuse, because I am in West Virginia, which is the home territory to neither of these teams. I checked the MLB.TV Web site under blackout and my home teams are Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburg Pirates. I disconnect the power from my Roku and reconnect it, nothing. Then I power down my Airport Extreme and restarted it up, still nothing. Finally I disconnected the cable and waited a couple of minutes and reconnected, no change it was still showing the Red Sox game blacked out. I decided to try the MLB.TV app on my iPad, so I paid the $14.95 and installed the app and fired it up and the Red Sox game came in clear as can be on the same network. I then tried to Googled the problem, I found a lot of complaints on various forums, but no solution other than to call MLB.TV, which I really wanted to avoid. The one thing I did notice was when I clicked on to look up your current IP Address click here it brought up my Airport Extreme ip address and not my external ip address. i knew that was where the problem was, I just wasn’t sure of the solution.
While writing this post I finally found the solution to the blackout problem. I decided for the heck of it to play the Twins–Blue Jays game directly from the MLB Web site and sure enough it said the game was blackout in my area. However it said we are unable to locate you please click here. I then had to enter my credit card information and my address once I did that the game came in well. I fired up my Roku and selected the same game and it played fine there too. I still haven’t figure why it was working fine on my iPad and nothing else, since everything was on the same network, oh well I guess that has to remain a mystery.
If you are a baseball fan and you live outside your favorite teams home territory like me I definitely think that MLB.TV is a must, whether you buy it month to month or a full subscription. I also think that the MLB.com At Bat 11 app on the iPhone or iPad is worth getting, although you probably don’t need both. You can also get MLB.com At Bat 11 on various Android devices. My understanding is that the Android device does video highlights and live pitch by pitch. However it doesn’t do full live game video, that is audio only. If you are going to be where you can watch games, then I would go for the iPad application. The games look really nice on the iPad, once its fully connected, although that can take a minute or so. I also love the Gameday simulation, if I am listening to a game and want to check where a pitch went or the stats of the pitcher or hitter. it is fun to be watching the game through the Roku and start pulling up the various stats both in-game and historical on the iPad.
The one thing I don’t like, besides the price and having to pay for the iPad application each season, is there is no sound when the commercials run, which is just weird. Again as I said before, if you are a baseball fan and live outside your favorite teams territory then I would recommend getting the subscription to MLB.TV and the app on the iPhone, iPad or your favorite Android device. If you live in the are where your favorite team is blacked out, I am not sure it is worth it. Before you purchase a subscription to MLB.TV I do recommend going to their site and checking to see if your favorite team is blacked out in your area. I do think that it is ironic that Major League Baseball, which is the oldest professional sport in the U.S. has embraced the on-line world, while the NFL is still stuck in the 20th century.