Q. Will you please look into whether Comcast will have the MLB Extra Innings package in HD. I can’t find anything on their web site about it. — Michael, town unknown.
Michael, the answer is yes, but it’s a little tricky.
Before I explain, a little background on Comcast’s MLB Extra Innings plan.
Comcast’s ‘early bird’ price for the 2018 MLB Extra Innings plan is $163.96, which is roughly $9 (and 5.8 percent) higher than its 2017 pre-season price. The package will include up to 90 out-of-market games each week.
The cable operator has carried the Extra Innings plan for several years, but prior to last year, it did not offer all the games in HD. Extra Innings subscribers were forced to watch at least two or three games each day in standard-definition.
Considering that HDTV has been in consumer homes for nearly two decades, the lack of an all-HD Extra Innings package was a bit embarrassing. By comparison, pay TV rival DIRECTV has provided all Extra Innings games in high-def for several years.
But last year, for the first time, Comcast finally began offering all MLB Extra Innings games in High-Definition.
And that’s where it gets tricky.
To watch all the games in HD, you must subscribe to MLB Extra Innings. have a Comcast X1 set-top, and…be a very patient individual.
See, Comcast’s Extra Innings games in high-def are delivered using the cable op’s X1 “platform,” which is the company’s terminology for IPTV (Internet Television Protocol). IPTV is the delivery of programming to the set-top using streaming instead of a traditional cable or satellite signal.
So you don’t actually tune to a channel.
Instead, you watch the streamed HD games by selecting ‘MLB Extra Innings HD (Beta)’ from the X1 guide. That will launch a ‘MLB Extra Innings HD Beta Collection’ page with MLB Team logos organized by league.
When you click on a team logo, the MLB logo will be displayed while a validation check is done on-screen to determine if you have an Extra Innings subscription and the game is not subject to a local blackout.
If everything checks out, your team’s game will begin. The announcers will be for the team logo you selected. For instance, if you choose the Washington Nationals logo in a game against the Atlanta Braves, you will get the MASN broadcast with Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo.
So, Michael, you can watch all the 2018 Extra Innings games in HD.
Wait a minute. There’s one more thing. Comcast says that you can’t pause, rewind or record the games streamed in high-def.
Sorry about that.
I told you that patience would be required.
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— Phillip Swann