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FAQs, I can't say I wasn't warned (updated with less interesting information!)
2008-04-14 17:55
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 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 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 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 today and became a former subscriber. Back to the world of Extra Innings. Television as seen on television! What a concept!

UPDATE 2:'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,'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. 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.


2008-04-13 00:02:16
1.   Andrew Shimmin
I ended up canceling my account because I couldn't get the thing to work right. Full screen wasn't a full screen, it was insufficiently buffered, so unwatchable half the time. I tried email support, first, but the reply (four days later) was completely useless. The funny thing is that the 400k feed works perfectly; it's just the Premium stuff that sucks.

Calling to cancel I was really dreading, but the billing department picked up on the first ring--no holding.

2008-04-13 00:55:13
2.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
I thought I was the only one! Awful, awful service, while watching the Yanks-Sox game archived this morning, at one point it suddenly jumped to the SF Giants the 6th inning,all the sound dropped out to be replaced by a high-pitched siren... (i liked the siren more than Joe Buck). I had already sent 4 emails about previous problems, still no reply...
2008-04-13 01:07:44
3.   invisibleman
Funny, my problem is the exact opposite - archived stuff works just fine, but live games never load.
2008-04-13 01:11:00
4.   Eric Enders
Both archived and live games load fine for me; they're just interrupted frequently by periods of freeze frame.
2008-04-13 02:10:55
5.   Bob Timmermann
Sounds to me like's monopoly is paying off very well for them.
2008-04-13 07:23:28
6.   Bluebleeder87
1)"I ended up canceling my account because I couldn't get the thing to work right. Full screen wasn't a full screen, it was insufficiently buffered, so unwatchable half the time."

2)"I thought I was the only one! Awful, awful service, while watching the Yanks-Sox game archived this morning, at one point it suddenly jumped to the SF Giants game"

3)"Both archived and live games load fine for me; they're just interrupted frequently by periods of freeze frame."

Forget that... & I was seriously considering getting it, hey Bob, if your anything like me you probably got a nice head ache to go a long with your troubles.

2008-04-13 07:35:57
7.   Daniel Zappala
I was stupid too -- I bought the Gameday audio package, figuring I might be able to get it to work in Linux this time. No luck. If I start up VMWare and Windows, I can get it to work there, but that's a real pain so I'll likely cancel.

MLB is the only outfit I know that can't get simple audio to work cross-platform. It's really not that hard.

2008-04-13 13:12:46
8.   Andrew Shimmin
7- It's just that they don't want you to steal it and make youtube videos that people want to watch, right? Is there any other explanation for this? I don't know what the NextDef (they called it a driver, but it pretty clearly wasn't one) thing was doing, although my firewall thought it was doing something that the EULA specifically said it wouldn't. Until somebody tells me otherwise, I assume the hole thing is another chapter in using DRM to make a product somebody might want, completely unbearable.

The Spring Training games all worked for me--I had no trouble with the archives (I watched the 4+1 game, the Russ Martin walk-off grand slam, and a couple of others), and really dug that I could time shift them. Then the season started and everything went to hell. They picked the first week of the season to roll out a ton of crap that doesn't work. What kind of theory of anything is that? I gave them the week to figure things out, since I had the EI free trial to fall back on (though, San Diego games were blacked out on EI, for some reason), but it was still bad, last week.

2008-04-13 17:08:20
9.   Bob Hendley
I got the this year, but I think the sent me last year's package by mistake, because when I tune in the Dodgers game JP is always starting.
2008-04-14 09:00:17
10.   Schteeve
I subscribed last year, and had no problems at all, although I never tried to watch archived games. I decided not to re-up this year due to my rapidly approaching honeymoon. But I agree with your friend, watching a tv show on a computer just never did it for me.
2008-04-14 09:19:24
11.   invisibleman
3 Update: All the games are playing fine - for now.

Selig: I don't know...can you swing a sack of door knobs?
Bowman: Can I?!
Selig: You're in! Here's the sack.
Bob DuPuy: But you gotta supply your own knobs.

2008-04-14 09:36:46
12.   standuptriple
Be prepared to provide your own sack. And your own door knobs. Standard sack swinging rates apply.
2008-04-14 09:47:32
13.   underdog
Using the 400, non premium service has worked fine for me overall, including archived games, on the Mac. But you do need Flip4Mac and apparently Silverlight, and again that is not counting the premium service which obviously has its own problems.

How much is EI? Maybe I should do that next year. Although I don't currently control the cable subscription in the house, my landlord does and I get the free feed downstairs. Hm.

2008-04-14 18:28:15
14.   Andrew Shimmin
When I canceled, they said I'd get an email within a day or two confirming, and telling me what was being refunded (I expected to have to call back and fight about that, but figured I should wait till I knew what the terms of the fight were). That was last Tuesday. Haven't heard from them. I called today and was told that the billing department was swamped with cancellations, but that I should call back on Wednesday.

Swamped with cancellations sounds right. I guess there are lots of people who don't want to pay a hundred and twenty bucks to beta test software.

2008-04-14 20:34:46
15.   fordprefect
Thanks for the warning gents. my wife almost bought this for me as a surprise.
2008-04-14 20:36:54
16.   Bob Timmermann
If your wife bought for you, she could get the experience of watching you in front of a computer swearing at not being able to see things. You'd spend more time apart.

Then again, I don't know the dynamics of your marriage.

2008-04-14 20:54:05
17.   fordprefect
We both swear in front of the computer quite a bit actually, maybe trying to dual-boot ubuntu and windows is saving our marriage :D?
2008-04-15 04:17:00
18.   adamclyde
did anyone catch the live feeds from It played perfectly and was an amazing picture - even in full screen. Why can't just do that... it just played. In all browsers (firefox and IE), I didn't have to download anything and there was no buffering, no hiccups, nothing. And... I'm sure they had MUCH more demand on their servers or whatever than does for any given game. shameful...
2008-04-15 07:16:10
19.   Sushirabbit
18, yeah, they were really nice and worked fine.

MLB is a national disgrace. Or it should be if we were a nation. Or if we cared about anything. I wonder if the people that work for Selig get pitchforks on their first day of work?

2008-04-15 09:24:00
20.   grandcosmo
19, Good to see that you are keeping everything in perspective.
2008-04-15 10:04:25
21.   Bob Timmermann
I think 20 is from an plant.
2008-04-15 14:26:24
22.   grandcosmo
21. As an shill I get $.01 for every blog comment I make.
2008-04-15 22:25:57
23.   Benjamin Kabak
I have on a Mac running 10.5. The fact that it works smoothly puts me in the minority of folks here I guess. Or maybe we're just a silent non-minority?
2008-04-16 00:26:13
24.   Bob Timmermann
Do you get to see archived games? That was the biggest problem for me.

That, and not very good picture quality to begin with.

And very unhelpful tech support.

2008-04-16 04:14:01
25.   williamnyy23
At the risk of being labeled an MLB schill, I have had no problems with MLB.TV. I have subscribed for several years now, and only on occassion experience the problems enumerated here. Perhaps, there are a few bugs with the Premium Service that need to be ironed out, but I think $120 is a great price for gameday audio and video of every game, highlights and archived footage (extending to previous seasons), spring training games and access to the Baseball's Best library.
2008-04-16 08:52:32
26.   Bob Timmermann

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