MLB.tv, I can't say I wasn't warned (updated with less interesting information!)
by Bob Timmermann
Usually, I buy the Extra Innings package on my cable system, but this year, to save a few bucks and because I have a new computer that has lots of bells and whistles. Actually, there are no bells or whistles, it's just a MacBook with an Intel processor and I can run both the Mac OS and Windows. Why? Because I can.
That "because I can" theory inspired me to get MLB.tv. I thought it might be a more productive use of my time to just dip in on games that I wanted to instead of being married to the TV when the game I was interested in was being played.
A friend of mine who works for MLB.com recommended to me that I buy Extra Innings since I should watch a TV broadcast on a TV. But I pressed on. Mainly to be contrary.
I haven't had any troubles watching live games, but, archived games don't play. Ever. In any browser. In any operating system. Never. Ever.
So I've called the tech support people for MLB.com. I've heard horror stories about this. But I figured how bad could they be? It's not like they were going to take my soul and give it to Bud Selig or Bob DuPuy so they could barter with it and get future endorsements from Satan for other products. "Tonight's text message poll: Who is more deserving of eternal damnation: A) Pete Rose, B) Jose Canseco, or C) Adolf Hitler? Standard text message rates apply."
The first tech support person I spoke with didn't realize I had a Mac and gave me instructions that didn't work at all. But her supervisor intervened and started helping me out. The help consisted of me uninstalling Microsoft's mysterious Silverlight, which seems to almost, but not quite, be entirely unhelpful, or installing Flip4Mac, which is supposed to take precedence over Silverlight. Except it doesn't. Or it could. I've tried it several ways.
Eventually, I was told by the tech support supervisor, "Well, it works fine for me."
I also e-mailed tech support for a different point of view. I was told to call for "extra help."
I can't say I wasn't warned.
UPDATE: I called MLB.com today and became a former MLB.tv subscriber. Back to the world of Extra Innings. Television as seen on television! What a concept!
UPDATE 2: MLB.com's email support says that "Bob Timmerman" has a different e-mail address than what I gave them and I can't have my account cancelled. And people wonder why I tell people to spell my name correctly. Also, MLB.com's Mosaic support team will be glad to help you if you send them a DXDIAG report or a NetStat report. Because that's something that I've always expected to do to get my computer to work.
Despite all this, I could watch NCAA Tournament games on CBS Sportsline with no problems. And I didn't even get charged for that.
Why didn't I just sign up to get beaten up by Bud Selig and Bob Bowman with a sack of door knobs instead?
UPDATE 3: The door knob beatings commence. MLB.com won't even display a login screen for my Gameday audio, which I still pay for. I was told it was a website issue. But I was also advised to make sure I have Silverlight installed. That apparently will make the door knob beating more enjoyable.