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MLB.TV Mosaic: baseball nirvana

Mat Lu

Today is one of the best days of the year: the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, spring is in the air. It's Opening Day! Major League Baseball has really been on the forefront of delivering content on the web, and this year looks to be the best yet. MLB.TV started testing their stand-alone Mosaic player last year, and it looks like they've updated it significantly for the 2007 season (it just became available for download last night). Mosaic is a very cool application that lets MLB.TV premium subscribers watch six (!) baseball games simultaneously (the above screenshot is rather boring since there were only two games last night). You can then click on any of the game to bring up a larger size window focusing on that game alone (as below). This year MLB.TV is doubling the bit-rate of their streams to 700kbps so I would expect the video quality to improve significantly over the last few years.

The biggest downside to Mosaic is that it's a resource hog. This is unsurprising when you discover that it is in part a Java application that depends on Flip4Mac for the video (all the streams are Windows Media based). In addition, location based blackout restrictions apply to the home markets of teams (based on the billing address of your credit card). Nonetheless, for the big baseball fan (and particular fantasy baseball player) Mosaic is close to nirvana, especially for those of us who no longer live in our favorite team's home market.

The Mosaic player is included with a premium subscription to MLB.TV which is $119.95 per year. They have also have a regular subscription for $89.95 that will allow you to watch one game at a time in a browser window as well as an audio-only Gameday Audio subscription for $14.95.

Oh yeah, Go 'Stros!

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