Q. I’ve been watching Comcast’s free preview of the MLB Extra Innings. But the games seem to be in standard-definition. I don’t want to subscribe if they are in SD, for goodness’ sakes. So are the games in HD?! — Richard, Boston.
Richard, the cable operator has carried the Extra Innings plan for several years, but prior to the 2017 season, 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 in 2017, 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; the listing should be above the first standard-definition Extra Innings game in the guide. (You also can access the listing by using your voice remote.) 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, Richard, you can watch all the 2019 Extra Innings games in HD. But it will require some work.
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— Phillip Swann