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Summary:

Thursday is opening day for the Major League Baseball season, and a new update for the MLB.com At Bat app has arrived just in time. New features abound, including the ability to watch all out-of-market games live on your device free for the month of April.

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Thursday is opening day for the Major League Baseball season, and a new update for the MLB.com At Bat app has arrived just in time. The update brings a number of new features, including the ability to watch all out-of-market games live on your device free during the month of April.

Live game video streaming is usually only available if, in addition to purchasing the app, you also have MLB.TV subscription access (which you can also now access on your Apple TV, by the way). For April, Volvo is sponsoring a free trial of live streaming for all MLB.com app owners (iPad and iPhone versions). It’s sure to be a hit with those who’ve yet to decide whether or not they want to sign up for a full MLB.TV subscription, but it might also alienate some who decided to take the plunge early and pay full price ahead of this feature introduction.

The app also introduces a completely redesigned Gameday feature, which displays pitch-by-pitch live info on a virtual version of the actual at-bat live for users without live video access. The updated Gameday now features ballpark renderings from MLB 11: The Show, a PlayStation baseball simulation video game.

Finally, users of the apps will also be able to view key plays and occasional live clips, black-out games included, and watch past 2011 season games on-demand in the archive after they air. iPhone users will also be able to access new At the Ballpark features, including check-ins, maps of stadiums, special deals and social media features.

Android users won’t get the month-long free preview or access to archived games, but instead will get one free live out-of-market game every day for the duration of the season, and all the other new features mentioned above that are coming to the iPhone version.

I plan to spend April hooking up my iPad 2 to the TV using HD mirroring to watch baseball, something I haven’t done regularly since I was very young. This is definitely a smart move from an organization looking to attract new viewers, though I find it surprising that the iOS apps are still distinct, and not a single, universal version. We’ll see if it translates into higher subscription numbers once the trial is over.

  1. “I plan to spend April hooking up my iPad 2 to the TV using HD mirroring to watch baseball, something I haven’t done regularly since I was very young.”

    As long as the team you are interested in is not a local team or plays a local team and thus subject to blackout restrictions, you are golden. I can’t use MLB.TV or At Bat to watch any Braves games because I live in Atlanta. Sucks. I’d be willing to pay MLB to see all the Braves games. I won’t give money to cable and the local station is only good for about 1/4th-1/3rd of the games. Times like this I wish I was a Cubs fan. At least WGN is still their predominate broadcaster, even the pre-season games.

    Joe

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  2. Wow, you had an iPad 2 when you were young. Cutting edge.

    After the success of March Madness on Demand iOS app, I’m hoping more live sports are streamed through apps. Offering one month free on MLB is a good start.

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    1. NCAA APP was free.

      MLB Apps are $15 per device. Takes away the meaning of free. I have IPod, IPad, IPhone. That’s $45 for Apps. This month is supposedly free for Apple Tv owners. Can’t get in. I was thinking of subscribing this year. Had Direct tv extra innings last year. The Nickle and dime approach to these apps has turned me off.

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  3. Does HD mirroring work with MLB At Bat 11? My understanding was that MLB disabled the mirroring while their app is running… but I’d be very excited if mirroring worked.

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  4. Airplay doesn’t work during live streaming. All I got was the audio feed. No video.

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    1. I have the same result with the HDMI output from the iPad 2 — I only get audio, no video. In fact the iPad mirroring works perfectly until you open MLB At Bat, and then the screen goes blank. So this makes me think that MLB is blocking any video-out from their app.

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