I’m currently using a Boxee box to stream my MLB.tv subscription to my living room TV, and I’m somewhat disappointed with the features built-in to the app. For just live streaming the game feed it’s fine, but I wish the Boxee app for MLB.tv would include a number of the features that you get just for logging in via a web browser on a PC. There’s no PIP, no Pitch F/x, no easy jumping around within the game from inning to inning, no easy access to highlights. How are the actual features on the Roxu 2 XS, Dave
The Roku is awesome for everything it does not just the mlb channel. I dropped cable and stream everything though this little guy. Hulu plus, netflix, pandora, it’s got a few channels for skate and snowboard vids as well as hunting, fishing, and even cooking channels on it.
Comment by ithrowplastic — June 7, 2012 @ 12:31 pm
Thanks Dave, I was looking into getting a Roku for exactly this purpose literally no more than an hour ago, but like you was a bit skeptical of how well they would really work for this. Now I’m off to go order one.
I, too, love watching mlb.tv on my roku but I was wondering if you or any other Roku users have the problem of the audio cutting out for a couple of seconds every now and then. I can back up the game and hear whatever I missed (assuming it was at all informative which is unusual considering the fact that I’m usually listening to the Cards’ blowhards) but this is obviously a roku issue and not one of my tv since it happens sometimes when using my roku to stream movies.
Anyone else have similar issues and ideas on how to fix them? Thanks.
Heads up: the $50 unit works just as well as the $90 unit.
Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — June 7, 2012 @ 12:58 pm
Lol that’s exactly why the blackout rules exist. The teams wont stand to lose out on the local TV revenue that is changing the sports financial landscape. That said, I’m with you Nike. I’d probably ditch the cable as well.
Roku also has Amazon streaming, for those of you with Amazon Prime. (most streaming devices don’t have Amazon yet)
Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — June 7, 2012 @ 1:00 pm
All the game consoles are starting to aggravate me with their slow startup and load rituals, whether I’m watching something or playing games. They need some kind of sleep mode so I can pick up right where I left off in seconds, like the portables have.
We’ve had some problems with the buffering or “loading” on our first gen roku (2 years old) this year. It often reverts to the loading page – restarting the roku has helped a couple times. Whatever the problem is, it does not affect Netflix so it isn’t my wireless connection or box, so it’s gotta be the mlb application. It’s frustrating. Anyone know if roku 2 is supposed to be smoother? Also worthy of note – the game is usually 1 to 2 minutes behind live – much slower than on the computer.
Comment by Blackout Restrictions — June 7, 2012 @ 1:15 pm
you could just trick MLB.tv by using a proxy to indicate you are from another area of the country.
Most Blu-Ray players have the MLB.tv app included as well, and are only slightly more expensive than a Roku (around the $100-$150 range). They take up more space and aren’t something you’d leave on all the time, but if the gaming portion of a Playstation 3 isn’t important to you it’s a much more economical way to get everything else.
I bought our Roku after learning about it in the comments to your original article, two years ago. MLB.tv had not been an option for me because of my aging laptop (it couldn’t handle the video–I couldn’t even watch YouTube on it), so I was pleased to have an alternative. I’m pretty happy with it, but it does buffer constantly (rarely does this with either Netflix or Amazon), and there is a lag time that doesn’t exist when I watch games on my new-ish laptop. It can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes behind. As a result, I spend more time watching on the laptop. But I do prefer watching on the tv, so I’ve been doing more of that lately…. I just can’t also follow stuff via threads or twitter, because people know about things well before it “happens” on my screen.
I have a Roku and find the quality of the MLB stream to be quite weak. Netflix, Amazon, etc come in full HD and look amazing and crystal clear, meanwhile MLB games look awful. There’s a smear of blurred pixilation when the there’s action, especially when the camera moves. I actually bought Extra Innings on Comcast because the games – even standard def – look better than Roku. If anyone has a fix and has had similar quality issues with Roku, I’d love to hear about it.
I used a Roku last year, and this year I switched to a LG smart blu-ray player. So far, I like it more than the Roku. While it does take longer to load up (not 2 minutes, but longer), it allows you to switch home/away feeds instantaneously (as in, it goes to the exact same spot you were at in the other feed), it allows you to jump to innings without exiting, and most importantly the fast forward displays how much you are jumping forward in 10 second increments. I generally start watching my games after they start and with this, I can easily jump forward exactly 2 minutes to go from the inning exit to the inning entry. This is the main benefit.
Roku needs to get on that. Currently, you are forced to either sort of guess or exit and click on the next half inning (and you see the other innings, so it can sort of spoil the game in that you will know what innings are longer).
Roku also has this problem with the end of the game. If you’re watching the game afterwards, it often times shows you that the game is going to over after a half inning, because the little doo-hickey is all the way to the right. That ruins the 9th inning.
Anyway, the Roku is awesome in all the ways Dave said, but it does have these annoying traits as well.
I’ve used the roku for MLB this season and love it… except I get fairly frequent buffering issues, which never happens on my computer. The roku seems fine for netflix/hulu/amazon and my connection is super fast, so i can only assume its the application itself… It’d be nice if MLB would get their act together and smooth out the code.
You don’t have to set a proxy up on the Roku, you set a proxy up on the router that delivers the bits to the Roku.
I’m using Unblock Us (http://www.unblock-us.com/) which is a high speed proxy that you have to pay $5 per month for. You have to configure DNS settings either at the device level or at the router level or both. MLB.tv works perfectly on my computer, TV and iPhone and I watch in market games live with no lag. Comcast – begone!
Yes, all the devices need to figure out solutions for this, which doesn’t seem that hard. Is it so inconceivable that people want start watching a game from the beginning without knowing anything about what has happened thus far? My blu-ray player is better, but it still gives me the current inning (or that the game is over). I don’t even want that. Just list the games and nothing else and let the user start from the first inning. The technology is obviously there – get it done, nerds!
I’ve had a first generation and second generation Roku, and there is significantly less buffering with the second generation player. The new remote is quite the upgrade as well, since it doesn’t need to be pointed directly at the unit.
One thing to consider is that the Roku has the most expansive lineup of channels available on a streamer. I doubt any of the Blu-Ray players can touch the suite of offerings (Amazon On Demand, Netflix, Pandora, etc.) that you can get on the Roku.
Once I can watch a local game, I’ll get mlb.tv. Until then, no chance.
Comment by mike wants wins — June 7, 2012 @ 3:46 pm
If you’re on the fence about getting a Roku due to buffering issues, one solution is to buy the XD (it’s the most expensive model at $100), which contains an ethernet port. If you have the option of setting up your router near your TV, you can run a wired connection that’s really smooth. It hardly ever buffers for us.
It would also be very nice if they someone got rid of the progress indicator on screen. When it is the bottom of the 9th and my team is batting and down by 1, if I can see how long until the game ends, it kinda takes the suspense out of the moment. I already know if they made a comeback or not.
Did you have a first generation Roku? Because I do and I have the same issues. The feed will also randomly cut off on occasion. It happens about once or twice per game. I’m not really complaining, it’s just something I’ve learned to expect. According to a number of reports I’ve read on forums, these may be problems on MLB’s side of things, however. But I’ll be the first to admit the performance seems to get exponentially better each year.
Otherwise I’d give a huge thumbs up to my Roku experience as a whole.
It’s been months since I set up MLB.tv on my roku, but I think they have that option. In the settings there’s an option to display game info or just show the teams that are playing. I chose the 2nd option, and it doesn’t give away the game situation.
I was following Tuesday’s game on my phone and it stopped in a key situation – it was driving me nuts. However, I checked espn.com for updates and they were stuck as well. I’m thinking it was more than an mlb.tv issue.
I have the Roku 2 XS which is the newest, “best” version, and I’ve still ran into a ton of issues with buffering and loading. It is hooked up via ethernet and I have the 12 mbps U-Verse, which is typically more than fast enough to run anything else. It was completely unwatchable most nights in April, but has been much better since. Still, there are occasional nights where I run into major issues. Has anyone else had these problems, and if so have you figured out any solutions?
I use the appletv for MLB.tv and it sounds like about the same experience. I’ve got it hard wired and don’t have a ton of buffering issues which is surprising considering Comcast miami is crappy. The app doesn’t do pip on appletv, either. But overall I’d give it 4.5/5.
All the proxy services offer a free trial, so if you’ve got the MLB.tv account already you might as well see if it will work for you. I love being able to watch live with about a 30 minute delay so I can skip the half inning breaks.
I have the 1st gen Roku and I have these problems off and on and not just with MLB.tv. The Roku goes from running all of the apps smoothly to buffering or cutting out altogether. Restarting the device sometimes works but not every time. I have my XBox 360 wired to the modem (Roku is WiFi) and experience none of these issues.
I think the buffering issue has to link back to MLB.tv apps somehow. With my ps3 10 feet from my router if I run MLB.tv over wifi it is unusable because of buffering. Meanwhile my iPad and laptop have never buffered once over wifi all over the house. I’m looking for a second device for another tv not accessible to ethernet and from browsing the Internet it appears ps3, Roku, boxee, etc all have the same buffer issue over wifi. Thinking of trying my luck with apple tv as I know it works great on the iPad.
Agree wholeheartedly! Living in DC, we can’t get Baltimore or Nationals games and sometimes even Pittsburgh games are blacked out live. Being a Cardinals fan it is tough to find out I can’t watch my team because they are playing 250 miles away.
I understand local tv and black out rules, but shouldn’t the MLB.TV subscription make up for that revenue? Can they offer me a deal to pay an extra $20 (or whatever) for local games?
Comment by comish4lif — February 5, 2013 @ 4:49 pm
My Roku is constantly reloading MLB.TV. When this happens I connect my wireless PC laptop to the TV and it almost never reloads. Same TOD, same game, same router, same ISP (Comcast). The one common factor is Roku. My theory is that the Roku adds another layer of network software on top of an already marginal MLB.tv signal and it just can’t keep up.
So at first that was great but then amazon came along in 2014, issued their own device, and starting filtering what would be allowed through other devices such as roku. Sort of sucks, now.