Comcast last week began offering all MLB Extra Innings games in High-Definition for the first time ever.
DIRECTV has aired every MLB Extra Innings game in high-def for several years. But for Comcast, which until now has broadcast several Extra Innings games each day in standard-definition, this is something to crow about.
Of course, being a new feature, there are a few catches.
For starters, you must have a Comcast X1 set-top, and, of course, a subscription to Extra Innings which includes up to 80 out-of-market MLB games per week.
If you have both, you must then tune to the first channel in the MLB Extra Innings listings in the X1 guide above the current MLB Extra Innings SD channels. (Comcast says the channel does not have a channel number because the feature is still in ‘beta.’ meaning it’s in trial.)
You then select the title, ‘MLB Extra Innings HD (Beta)’ from the X1 guide, and that launches an MLB Extra Innings ‘Collection’ page with team logos organized by league.
When you select a team logo, the logo will be displayed on screen until the set-top runs a validation check to determine if the customer has the Extra Innings subscription, and the game selected is not subjected to a local blackout.
The Extra Innings game will begin broadcasting in high-def when the validation process is finished. (The game’s announcers will be based on which team logo you select.)
One more catch: The HD games do not include pause, rewind or fast-forward at this time. Comcast is using IPTV (Internet Television Protocol) to stream the programming to the set-top instead of a traditional cable signal so some normal DVR features are not available. However, Comcast says it expects to add them at a later date.
The HD games are available at no extra charge for X1 set-top customers who subscribe to Extra Innings.
— Phillip Swann