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Monday, November 10, 2008

MLB TV Reaches Deal With Verizon FiOS

MLB has reached a carry deal with Verizon's FiOS TV service, expanding the number of markets carrying the MLB TV network. This is actually semi-important to me, because we're reviewing our TV situation thanks to Time-Warner's clunky Scientific Atlanta DVRs that are hard to navigate and have problems with bizarre reset messages occurring sometimes even during programming, not to mention diffident service. (Here's the mlb.com press release.)

Unfortunately, I'm not all that impressed by the Engadget stories I'm reading about FiOS service; these include fast-forward disabled video-on-demand (not that I use that much, but c'mon), and weak but recently improved HD coverage that only recently has included Extra Innings. It's extra-relevant to me because I talked to a Verizon employee this morning who was this very day installling FiOS on my street.

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Rob I sent you an email. Please let me know.
Will check it when I get in.
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Re: TWC DVR: bag that, and go get yourself a nice TiVo HD. If you do the three-years-up-front, the subscription cost including the cablecard is about the same as the DVR. I did, and haven't looked back. OTOH, I think it might not work with Extra Innings, but I use an HDMI out from my PC for MLB.TV Premium for that, as it looks better and is cheaper. If you can get DirecTV, their DVR is said to be excellent and offers Extra Innings, but I haven't tried it. TL;DR: there are alternatives to both cable DVR and FIOS.
Thanks for that info. I was unaware that TiVo was cable-ready.
Ivan is right. The Tivo HD or the Tivo Series 3 HD will work on TWC without a cable box, you will be required to lease cable cards from TWC.

I'm pretty sure that Extra Innings would work, but you might want to ask customer service to verify. I could have swore I got it to work in my office through a cable card but I might be mistaken.

Also you won't get Video on Demand or PPV. So no Dodgers on Demand, but that hasn't been good since the MLB decided they didn't like that the Dodgers were using their content.
What Dan said. It's clear enough to me why VoD and PPV won't work -- CableCard doesn't provide upstream communication to the cable company. But they also told me that sports packages won't work, but that doesn't make any sense -- I don't see how it's any different than enabling HBO. Next year I might try to get Extra Innings and then cancel it just to see... Anyway, yes, TiVo HD is about 10x better than any cable company DVR.
Oddly enough, we heard from a VP at Time Warner today. It was my wife that had the conversation, so I can't say what transpired directly, but we shall see how it goes from here.

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