Because my uncle wanted more variety in his baseball game-watching, he last month subscribed to MLB Extra Innings. It was a good move -- now we have access to multiple games daily, replete with choice of broadcasters and all the out-of-market commercials. (He’s especially fond of tuning into Dodger home games with Vin Scully at the mic.) It’s fun having so many games available for our viewing pleasure.
On the heels of my uncle’s becoming a Extra Innings subscriber, I decided to check out the MLB At Bat app for iOS. I’m really glad I did, because it’s a fantastic app. For all the issues I have with the current game, MLB did a wonderful job with At Bat. The iPad version is particularly good: video is obviously better (especially on the Retina model), there are stats galore, and the user interface is just well-designed. On my iPhone, I have the Giants set up as my favorite team in the app, so I get push notifications every time a game’s about to start (with starting pitchers) as well as for scoring alerts, video highlights, and so on. It’s really handy. In addition, I subscribed to the $27.99/month MLB.tv service. What that gets me is not only Gameday Audio (with choice of announcers) but also live streams of games. (Local blackout restrictions apply, however; in my case, that means no Giants or A’s video.) The stream is slightly behind the live action, but it’s still damn cool to be able to watch a live game from my iPad.
This sort of sans-TV TV watching, I think, is the future. It really is a great feeling being able to watch a live game on my iPad. Throw in other apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and you effectively have a mini HDTV. Even better, iOS devices have AirPlay support built-in, so I could conceivably take, say, today’s Phillies-Mets game from my iPad to my theoretical big-screen TV.1 No HDMI port/cable required, and everything’s in full HD resolution.
If you’re a baseball fan, you need MLB At Bat. It’s exquisitely well done.
Sadly, I’m still watching TV in standard-def. ↩