Benjamin Eick is a Reds fan and an engineer in Portland, Ore., and he is passing along his love for the team from Cincinnati as it had been handed to him when he was born in the Midwest. But with today's technology, Eick teaches his son about the national pastime in a much different manner.
The new father relies on MLB.TV Premium and the brand-new MLB for TiVo as his platform. Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced on Friday that the annual subscription cost has been lowered to $99.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $84.99 for basic MLB.TV.
"MLB for TiVo is the best thing since, well, TiVo," Eick said in an email to MLB.com. "I love having the ability to watch Reds games with my 6-month-old son, teaching him early. I used to almost exclusively listen to the games because I need to be able to move around the house, but with MLB for TiVo, I can take advantage of my big-screen TV and surround sound and see the game from everywhere -- making dinner, bottles, baby food. And when it's time to put my son to bed, I can pause the game."
This is the 11th season for MLB.TV, the technology that reshaped sports, and TiVo is the newest of the ever-growing number of ways you can watch live out-of-market games from everywhere. Devices include connected equipment such as include Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, Apple TV, Roku Player, Samsung TV or Blu-ray Disc Player, LG (Blu-ray or TV), Panasonic (Viera TV or Blu-ray), Boxee, Sony TV and Western Digital, and mobile means such as iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Android and BlackBerry Z10.
"As a Reds fan on the West Coast, the best part about MLB for TiVo is the ability to start the games from the beginning, since most games start at 4:05 while I'm still at work," Eick said. "I can usually catch up by the time the game ends by skipping commercials."
The annual subscription price is now reduced because another month is in the books and the regular season is now about one-third of the way complete.
Eick described the clarity of the feeds as "amazing," and indeed that is one of the best reasons to get MLB.TV. Subscribers get HD-quality video, thanks to speed detection that delivers high-def on any size monitor. Alternate Audio Options allow you to overlay the home or away teams' radio broadcasts over live video feeds or use the "Park" option to enjoy the ballpark's natural sounds. Pause and rewind or fast-forward live games. Use Clickable Linescores to go directly to any at-bat or half-inning of a game. Watch up to four games simultaneously.
Take advantage of Picture-in-Picture to choose one game and track another or watch in-game highlights simultaneously in a secondary window. Track the location, type and speed of every pitch. View real-time highlights and player stats that automatically load into the media player, instantly launching a Picture-in-Picture window with one click. Customize a list to feature entire fantasy rosters and receive on-deck notifications to watch live look-ins for each player.
If you sign up for MLB.TV Premium, you will receive an exclusive offer for a subscription to MLB.com At Bat 13, the top sports app of all-time. This offer is only available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. At Bat 13 is part of the suite of apps from MLB Advanced Media that also includes MLB.com At the Ballpark and Beat the Streak Presented by Dunkin' Donuts.
Another perk that comes with having MLB.TV Premium: watching tomorrow's stars today. You can save $20 on a yearly subscription to MiLB.TV, which allows you to watch live games involving all Triple-A teams, select games from other classifications, select All-Star and playoff games and on-demand archives.
While other fans are the best ones to ask about MLB.TV, active players also will tell you why they subscribe. Just ask Astros right-hander Bud Norris, the first winning pitcher of this season, on how often the service comes in handy:
"All the time. I remember when they first got it, we had a package for free, but now I'm getting it for myself. I know my girlfriend does it all the time, my mom's on all the time, and all my [California] friends are always asking for my password.
"They definitely go on MLB.com and watch the games all the time. Whether it's at their workplace or at home, they have a lot of ways to go watch the game."