The Yankees spring training games are well underway, and while spring training presents the first chance to watch live baseball since October, I have to admit that I have yet to watch even a minute of a game. As the only West Coaster on the Pinstripe Alley staff, I do not have the luxury of watching games on YES Network (though I know many of you don't either). I don't get MLB Network in my cable package, which is already overpriced. Not to mention the fact that the vast majority of spring training games are played at 10 AM PST on work days. However, the main reason I haven't caught a spring training game is because I have been debating whether I should renew my subscription to MLB.TV.
After much debate, I decided to switch from MLB.TV to the MLB Extra Innings package available through my cable provider (Cox). It is quite a bit more expensive ($170.63), but I could not handle MLB.TV any longer. I have purchased MLB.TV for the past four or so years. Although it seems like they claim to have improved both the picture quality and the streaming every single year, my experience with the service seems to have gotten progressively worse over the years. Last year in particular, some days it didn't even feel worth the trouble to try and get MLB.TV to work properly.
I experienced numerous issues with audio. Often, if I muted the game at any point, then tried to un-mute it, the audio would never come back unless I closed MLB.TV and then started it up again. Frequently, the game would go to a commercial break, then never return. Five minutes later, I would notice that it felt like a really long commercial, only to restart MLB.TV and find that I missed two outs.
My biggest complaint is that the game would freeze and then go to the spinning wheel of doom multiple times per game. This seemed to always occur when something exciting was happening, leaving me to wonder how exactly the Yankees managed to score three runs during the three minutes that I missed. I actually started leaving a tab with MLB Gameday open during every game, so that I could still follow along when MLB.TV crapped out.
My laptop is relatively new (2014), and my Internet does not seem to be at fault, since I am able to stream stuff like Netflix with no problem. I do not think that the issue is that I was using the most basic version of MLB.TV (the $109.99 one without the choice of home or away broadcast), because fellow writers with the premium version have complained of similar issues. I am curious to hear if any readers experienced these issues as well.
Even though MLB.TV dropped their prices this year, following the lawsuit, I have decided to give MLB Extra Innings a try instead. I am hopeful that it won't have the streaming issues that I have experienced with MLB.TV, but I'm not sure what to expect. I'm aware that it comes with the ability to use MLB.TV, and I think I might use it if I happen to be away from home, otherwise I look forward to watching games on my actual television for once.
What platform do you use to watch Yankees games? What have been your experiences with MLB.TV and MLB Extra Innings? If you've used both, which would you recommend?