Curacao has a big baseball following. Teams like the Yankees, Dodgers (Andruw Jones), Red Sox and of course the Braves (Jair Jurrjens) have big fan bases on the island and if you are one of these big fans, chances are that you have the “Extra Innings” package that TDS offers.
With the Extra Innings package you get to see every game, every day, and it will cost you 365,- Antillian Guilders exlcuding the tax. But for those who spend more time behind their computer than behind the tv (like me), and who want to follow the games online, then MLB.TV is the thing for you.
But for those wanting better picture quality, you have the “MLB.TV Premium” package where games are broadcast in 800k or 1.2MB video speeds. I have the premium package and this costs $19.95 a month. So, to have every game available to me during the 6 month baseball regular reason, it costs about 120 dollars, which is very decent.
Now, if you are taking the regular 400k video package, a 1MBit/s connection will do just fine. But if you’re going Premium, you will need a 2 Mbit/s connection or higher to watch those 800k or 1.2 MB video streams.
Besides the appropriate connection speed, you will need 3 more things.
After you sign up with MLB and make your payment, you will have to install the Silverlight Plug-in for your browser. It’s a very small application and it should install very fast. Note that if you use Firefox 3, that it is not compatible yet with Silverlight.
So if you want to watch the games using Firefox, you will have to use Firefox 2. And if you already have Firefox 3 installed, you can install Firefox 2 alongside Firefox 3 and use that to watch the games with. (My solution)
After you have installed Silverlight, you have to install the Next Def plug-in. This plug-in will start automatically every time you start up your computer but you can disable it if you want. Just make sure to double click the icon to start the plug-in anytime you want to watch a game. The plug-in will then be active in your system tray and you are and that is basically all you need.
To watch a game, all you have to do is log in at the MLB.com or MLB.tv page and you’ll get to see a scoreboard with all the games that are being played that day. You can then choose if you want the 400k stream, the 800k stream or the 1.2 MB stream.
And while the quality of the 800k is pretty good, the 1.2 MB is obviously nicer, especially when you put it full screen on your desktop or laptop. Below you can see two screenshots that I took of the 1.2 MB video stream and they are nice and clear. Keep in mind that the screenshot lowers the quality so the image is actually a bit better than what you’re seeing below.
If you like Major League Baseball but you don’t have TDS, or you don’t want the Extra Innings package, then this is the right thing for you. Keep in mind that you do have to have a 1 Mbit/s or higher connection and that you’ll be watching the games on your computer, and not on your tv like usual.
But if you’re online a lot and have a nice screen, you will enjoy this service. And yes, for only 20 dollars a month you really can’t complain.