MLB.TV Adds HD Viewing

I don’t follow baseball, but I may start, just to check out the new media player from MLB.TV. Rolling out in time for spring training, the new MLB.TV video player features DVR capabilities that let you pause and rewind live games, live game chat and if you have a fast enough connection, you can now watch games in HD.

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The New York Times reports that half a million people shelled out $120 to subscribe to the MLB.TV service last year. In these tough economic times, the league is looking to keep those impressive subscriber numbers up by lowering the price to $110 for the season (or $80 for a version with fewer features).

The MLB’s video player will use the Swarmcast CDN to help determine a user’s connectivity and deliver the best quality feed available ranging from 400k to 3mbps, which the company says, provides 720p quality. The league is also using Flash for its video after kicking Microsoft’s Silverlight to the curb last year.

I may not get the appeal of baseball, but baseball definitely gets online video. It almost has to. With its day games and jam-packed schedule, baseball needs to be accessible to fans at almost anytime. And while MLB charges a premium, it puts every game online (except where blackout rules apply) and offers fans enough customization options — like following a fantasy league player and layering a radio broadcast over video feed — to make that its offerings well worth the steep subscription price.

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