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MLB.com FAQs

Technical FAQ

Media Player Questions
  1. Which Media Player do I need to play media on MLB.com?
  2. How do I download and install the Windows Media Player?
  3. How do I download and install the Real One Player?
  4. How do I change my MLB.com player preference?
  5. How do I access my player options when the player is embedded in the browser?
  6. What are the optimal configurations for my media player?
  7. Can I watch my game feed in my computer's media player, or do I have to use the MLB.com-provided one?
Browser Questions
  1. How do I delete Temporary Internet Files in my browser?
  2. I know I need to enable cookies for MLB.com to function properly. How do I enable cookies on my browser?
Compatibility Questions
  1. Can I access MLB.TV or MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO on a Macintosh?
  2. Can I use AOL as my browser when accessing my MLB.com subscriptions?
  3. On Windows 98, can I use Internet Explorer as my browser when accessing my MLB.com subscriptions?
Game Link Questions (MLB.TV and MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO)
  1. When I click on the game link, nothing happens. No browser window at all pops up. What is happening?
  2. When I click on the game link, the MLB.com Media Player window comes up, but the whole screen is white (except for the score ticker at the bottom of the window). What is happening?
  3. When I click on the game link, all I see is a plug-in prompt or a message saying "You are watching MLB.com..." What is happening?
  4. Every time I click on a game link, I am asked which player I want to use, but then nothing happens. What's going on?
  5. I am having trouble accessing the game feeds and I may be behind a firewall, on a router, or on a wireless connection. Why does my media player try to connect endlessly, or try to connect and then reconnect, or I receive a "Cannot connect to server/network" error message?
  6. What file types do MLB.com products use? How do I associate these file types with my media player?
MLB.TV Questions
  1. When I play an MLB.TV game, why can I hear the audio, but not see the video?
  2. How can I improve the quality of my video feed?
  3. Why am I cut off after only a few minutes when I try to watch an MLB.TV archived game?
  4. Will the game I want to see be blacked out? What does "blacked out" mean anyway?
  5. I'm getting a Blackout message, but I don't think I should be blacked out from the game I want to see. What's going on?
  6. What's the difference between watching a "streamed" game (a live game on MLB.TV, for example, or a game in the MLB.TV on-demand archives) and watching a "downloaded" game (for example, one purchased via the MLB.com Digital Download Service)?

Media Player Questions

1. Which Media Player do I need to play media on MLB.com?

To listen to live and archive MLB.TV and MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO feeds, you need either the Windows Media Player Series 9 or the RealPlayer installed on your computer. The first time you click on an MLB.TV or MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO feed, you will be prompted to choose your player preference. This default media player will be set as your personal preference on the MLB.com website only.

To play all other content on MLB.com, such as other archives and free content, you need the Windows Media Player Series 9. We recommend that you have both Windows Media Player Series 9 and RealPlayer installed. See System Requirements for details.


2. How do I download and install the Windows Media Player?

  1. Go to www.microsoft.com.
  2. On the left of the screen, click on Downloads.
  3. On the left of the screen, click on Windows Media.
  4. From the list of downloads, select the Windows Media Player Series 9 applicable to your operating system.
  5. On the right, click on the Download button.
  6. After the download, open the installer (MPSetup.exe) and complete the installation.

3. How do I download and install the Real Player?

  1. Click here: http://forms.real.com/real/player/blackjack.html.
  2. Choose the Real Player appropriate to your operating system.
  3. Download and then install the appropriate RealPlayer on your computer.

4. How do I change my MLB.com Media Player preference?

  1. Click on any game link; the MLB.com Media Player browser window launches.
  2. Click on the Preferences link (just above the media player functions).
  3. Then select your player preference and click Save Settings.

We recommend you have both media players installed. Any time you have trouble with one player, it is always a good idea to try and use the other player, if only temporarily.


5. How do I access my player options when the player is embedded in the browser?

When the Windows Media Player is embedded in the browser window, simply right-click anywhere on the video screen (or on the media player functions, Play, Stop, Fast-forward, Volume, etc.) and select Options from the dropdown menu.

You can also launch your media player from the Start menu and make changes directly in the stand alone player. For the RealPlayer, you will have to change your Preferences this way. All settings saved in the stand alone media player are transferred to the embedded player.


6. What are the optimal configurations for my media player?

For the Windows Media Player Series 9, use the following configurations:

  1. Pull down the Tools menu of your Windows Media Player Series 9 (or right-click on the embedded video screen) and select Options.
  2. In the Player tab, be sure the "Download Codecs Automatically" box is checked.
  3. Also, be sure the "Connect to the Internet (overrides other commands)" box is checked.
  4. In the Performance tab, in the Connection Speed category, select Choose Connection Speed.
  5. In the Connection Speed drop down menu, choose the speed proper to your Internet service. Note: For MLB.TV, the speed must be higher than 350K. If you do not know your connection speed, contact your Internet Service Provider.
  6. Select the Network tab.
  7. Uncheck the top two Streaming Protocol circles: Multicast and UDP. Leave TCP and HTTP checked. (You can also try and uncheck TCP.)
  8. Below in the Streaming Protocols section, click on the HTTP protocol.
  9. Click Configure.
  10. Change the Proxy Setting to Do Not Use a Proxy Server.
  11. Click OK to the Configure Protocol window.
  12. Click Apply.
  13. Click OK to the Options window.
For the RealOne Player, use the following configurations:
  1. Pull down the Tools menu and select Preferences.
  2. On the left, click on Connection.
  3. On the right, click on Test Connection.
  4. Click on Perform Test and Real Networks will then give you an accurate reading of your available bandwidth.
  5. Click on Update and your bandwidth setting will automatically update.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Then, change the Maximum Bandwidth setting to the same value as your Normal Bandwidth setting.
  8. In the Online Status section, be sure Assume I am Online is checked.
  9. On the left, click on the Proxy category.
  10. On the right, click on the Streaming Settings Change Settings button (at the bottom).
  11. Change HTTP Proxy to No Proxy.
  12. Click OK to the Streaming Proxy Settings window.
  13. On the left, click on the Network Transports category.
  14. Check the box Manually Configure Connection Settings.
  15. In both the RTSP and PNA Settings, uncheck the top two boxes (Multicast and UPD), leaving TCP and HTTP checked.
  16. Click OK to the Preferences window.
DISCLAIMER REGARDING CHANGING YOUR COMPUTER'S CONFIGURATION: Changing configurations of your computer is done at your own risk. In no event shall MLBAM or any other MLB entity be responsible or liable for any damage , failure, interruption or error to your computer and/or software or operating system with respect to any changes made based on the above suggested configurations.

7. Can I watch my game feed in my computer's media player, or do I have to use the MLB.com-provided one?

You can watch the game in your computer's stand alone media player if you prefer. If you are using Real format, simply right-click (in Mac, Control+Click) on the media player functions in the MLB.com Media Player window and select Play in RealPlayer.

If you are using Windows Media format, use the following process:

  1. Right-click on the media player functions in the MLB.com Media Player and select Properties.
  2. In the File tab, to the right of Location, you will find the URL. Copy the entire URL.
  3. Then, launch your Windows Media Player from your Start menu.
  4. In the Windows Media Player, pull down the File menu and select Open URL.
  5. Paste the URL into the URL value box and click OK.

This needs to performed quickly or else the authentication will time out. Playing the game in the stand alone player is useful for resizing the picture to the size of your choice. To resize the picture, simply click and drag the corner of the media player.


Browser Questions

8. How do I delete Temporary Internet Files in my browser?

If you are having difficulty accessing MLB.com, then you should clear out your browsers. If you receive a "Page Cannot Be Displayed" or a similar error, deleting Temporary Internet Files in your browser should solve the problem. Here is how to clear the most popular browsers supported by MLB.com:

  1. Internet Explorer Version 6
    1. Pull down the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
    2. Click Delete Files. (Click OK to the Delete Files window.)
    3. Click OK.

  2. Netscape 7
    1. Pull down the Edit menu and select Preferences.
    2. On the left, open the Advanced submenu and select the Cache category.
    3. On the right, click on Clear Cache.
    4. Click OK.

  3. Safari on Mac
    1. Pull down the Safari menu and select Empty Cache. (Click Empty to the ensuing window.)

  4. Netscape 7.0 on Mac
    1. Pull down the Netscape menu and select Preferences.
    2. On the left, open the Advanced submenu and select the Cache category.
    3. On the right, click on Clear Cache.
    4. Click OK.

Also, we recommend that you always type "www.mlb.com" directly into the address box of your browser, as opposed to using favorites or bookmarks. Feel free though to set www.mlb.com as your homepage!

Please see Disclaimer in FAQ #6 above, regarding changing your computer's configuration.

For more information, see our System Requirements FAQ.


9. I know I need to enable cookies for MLB.com to function properly. How do I enable cookies on my browser?

Check your web browser's Help option for instructions on turning cookies on or off. Cookies settings are found in the browser's Tools or Preferences section. Below are directions on how to locate the cookie settings on the most popular browsers supported by MLB.com:

  1. Internet Explorer Version 6
    1. Pull down the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
    2. In the Privacy tab, the bar on the right slides up or down, setting the cookie level.
    3. Configure your browser to accept cookies, at your preferred level.

  2. Netscape 7
    1. Pull down the Edit menu and select Preferences.
    2. On the left, open the Privacy & Security category and select Cookies.
    3. Configure your browser to accept cookies, at your preferred level.

  3. Safari on Mac
    1. Pull down the Safari menu and select Preferences.
    2. Select the Security tab.
    3. Configure your browser to accept cookies, at your preferred level.

  4. Netscape 7.0 on Mac
    1. Pull down the Netscape menu and select Preferences.
    2. On the left, open the Privacy & Security category and select Cookies.
    3. Configure your browser to accept cookies, at your preferred level.

Please see Disclaimer in FAQ #6 above, regarding changing your computer's configuration.

For more information, see our System Requirements FAQ.


Compatibility Questions

10. Can I access MLB.TV or MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO on a Macintosh?

Yes, MLB.TV and MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO work on Macintosh OS 9 and OS X (all versions).

On Mac OS X.2 and X.3, we recommend Safari as a browser. Netscape 7 is also compatible.

On Mac OS X.1, MLB.TV and MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO content works best on Netscape 7.

On Mac OS 9, use Netscape 7.0 as your browser. Also, you will need the Real Player 8 to listen to Gameday Audio or watch MLB.TV. To download the Real Player 8, click here: http://forms.real.com/real/player/blackjack.html.

Note: MLB.TV and MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO Archives are only available in Windows Media 9 format, therefore archives are not available on Mac OS 9.

Internet Explorer for the Macintosh does not work in conjunction with MLB.com. For more information, see our System Requirements FAQ.


11. Can I use AOL as my browser when accessing my MLB.com subscriptions?

Yes. As long as you have AOL version 9, you can access your MLB.com subscriptions on your AOL browser. When using an earlier version of AOL in conjunction with MLB.com, you may get an "Illegal Operation" error message, or your browser may shutdown automatically, booting you offline. If you are booted offline when clicking on a game link, and you are using AOL as a browser, simply use a different browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape. As long as you are using a separate browser, you can continue to connect to the Internet using AOL. Sign into AOL, minimize AOL, and then pull up a separate browser to go to MLB.com.

For more information, see our System Requirements FAQ.


12. On Windows 98, can I use Internet Explorer as my browser when accessing my MLB.com subscriptions?

On a Windows 98 operating system, Netscape is the most reliable browser in conjunction with MLB.com. If you are using Internet Explorer on a Windows 98 operating system and you encounter an error when clicking on a game link, then use Netscape 7.1 (a free download at www.netscape.com).

For more information, see our System Requirements FAQ.


Game Link Questions (MLB.TV and MLB.com GAMEDAY AUDIO)

13. When I click on the game link, nothing happens. No browser window at all pops up. What is happening?

Game links (350K, radio station call letters, etc.) on MLB.com cause another browser window to pop up - either the Player Preference prompt or the MLB.com Media Player window. If you have a popup blocker installed on your browser, then this may stop the window from coming up properly. In this case, in order to access MLB.com game links, you will have to disable your popup blocker.

On some popular popup blockers, such as Google's, you can hold down the Control key on your keyboard as you click on the game link; this will let an individual popup through.

Please see Disclaimer in FAQ #6 above, regarding changing your computer's configuration.


14. When I click on the game link, the MLB.com Media Player window comes up, but the whole screen is white (except for the score ticker at the bottom of the window). What is happening?

It is likely that either your Player Preference is not set properly or you are behind a firewall which is stopping the content. Please set up your browser to allow cookies as detailed in FAQ #9 and configure your media player as detailed in FAQ #6.

Note: MLB.com Support does NOT support particular firewall software (McAfee, ZoneAlarm, Norton Firewall. etc.). To receive MLB.com content, we recommend setting MLB.com as a trusted site on your firewall software. Please consult the Help section of your firewall software for further support.

Please see Disclaimer in FAQ #6 above, regarding changing your computer's configuration.


15. When I click on the game link, all I see is a plug-in prompt or a message saying "You are watching MLB.com..." What is happening?

If you see only a white screen, a plug-in prompt, or "You are watching MLB.com..." it is likely that you do not have a media player installed, or that your Player Preference is not set according to the player you have installed.

First, be sure either the Windows Media Player Series 9 or the RealOne Player version 2 or 10 is installed on your computer. Check the version by launching it from the Start menu (or in Mac, from the Application folder).

Next, reset your Player Preference.

  1. Click on any game link on MLB.com to launch the MLB.com Media Player window.
  2. Then click on the Preferences link to launch the Player Preference window.
  3. Select your preferred player (the one you just launched).
  4. Click Save Setting.
  5. Then close the MLB.com Media Player window and click on the original game link again.
If you are sure you have the correct player and your preference is set correctly, please check the optimal media player configurations in FAQ #6.

16. Every time I click on a game link, I am asked which player I want to use, but then nothing happens. What's going on?

If this is happening, try logging into the MLB.com website first. Use the Login link at the top or bottom of the webpage. Then, before clicking on the game link, be sure your browser is set up to accept cookies as detailed in FAQ #9. Once you're logged in, return to the game link and try clicking on it again.


17. I am having trouble accessing the game feeds and I may be behind a firewall, on a router, or on a wireless connection. Why does my media player try to connect endlessly, or try to connect and then reconnect, or I receive a "Cannot connect to server/network" error message?

In the Windows Media Player Series 9 check the following settings:

  1. Pull down the Tools menu and go to Options.
  2. Select the Network tab.
  3. Uncheck the top two Streaming Protocol circles: Multicast and UDP. Leave TCP and HTTP checked. (You can also try and uncheck TCP.)
  4. Below in the Streaming Protocols section, click on the HTTP protocol.
  5. Click Configure.
  6. Change the Proxy Setting to Do Not Use a Proxy Server.
  7. Click OK to the Configure Protocol window.
  8. Click OK to the Options window.

In the RealOne Player check the following settings:

  1. Pull down the Tools menu and select Preferences.
  2. On the left, click on the Proxy category.
  3. On the right, click on the Streaming Settings Change Settings button (at the bottom).
  4. Change HTTP Proxy to No Proxy.
  5. Click OK to the Streaming Proxy Settings window.
  6. On the left, click on the Network Transports category.
  7. Check the box Manually Configure Connection Settings.
  8. In both RTSP and PNA settings, uncheck the top two boxes (Multicast and UPD), leaving TCP and HTTP checked.

Please see Disclaimer in FAQ #6 above, regarding changing your computer's configuration.

18. What file types do MLB.com products use? How do I associate these file types with my media player?

All MLB.TV and Gameday Audio feeds are of type 'Windows Media Audio/Video file' with extensions 'WMV,' 'ASF,' and 'ASX,' or 'Real Audio/Real Video' with extension 'RM,' 'RAM,' and 'SMI(L)' To check your computer's file associations, pull down the Tools menu in any Windows folder and select Folder Options. Then, click on the File Types tab. Verify that extensions WMV and ASF and ASX open with the Windows Media Player and extensions RM and RAM and SMI(L) open with the Real One Player.


MLB.TV Questions

19. When I play an MLB.TV game, why can I hear the audio, but not see the video?

First check that you have the latest Windows Media Player Series 9 installed. Then, the default connection speed setting for the Windows Media Player Series 9 is to Detect Connection Speed (recommended). When playing an MLB.TV game, if you can hear the audio, but cannot see the video, you need to properly set your connection speed on the Windows Media Player.

  1. In the Windows Media Player, pull down the Tools menu and select Options.
  2. Click on the Performance tab.
  3. Click on the Choose Connection Speed circle.
  4. From the dropdown menu, select the proper Connection Speed (above 350K).
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Click OK.
For the proper Bandwidth settings on the Real One Player, see FAQ #20.

20. How can I improve the quality of my video feed?

When playing an MLB.TV live or archive game, if the media player continues to buffer or reconnect or shows only a frame-by-frame "choppy" feed, then there may a problem with the bandwidth. Our broadcasts are streamed at 350Kbps and your bandwidth must be consistently pulling 350Kbps to receive a high-quality video feed.

First, test your bandwidth. For an accurate reading, use a reliable bandwidth-testing website (such as http://tech.msn.com/downloads/speedtest.armx). Bandwidths continually fluctuate, so perform three or more tests. Again, the recommended bandwidth for video is 350K and above. A user connecting below 350K may get the video, but will likely experience choppy feeds. If you are not consistently testing above 350K, you may want to contact your Internet Service Provider.

Note: MLB.com does not support any specific bandwidth-testing website. Please see Disclaimer in FAQ #6 above, regarding changing your computer's configuration.

Second, be sure your Windows Media Player bandwidth is set properly.

  1. Right click on the video screen and select Options.
  2. Click on the Performance tab.
  3. Set the Connection Speed to the appropriate value as per your diagnostic test.

To set the Bandwidth on the Real One Player, launch the RealOne Player:

  1. Then, pull down the Tools menu and select Preferences.
  2. On the left, click on Connection.
  3. On the right, click on Test Connection.
  4. Click on Perform Test and Real Networks will then give you an accurate reading of your available bandwidth.
  5. Click on Update and your bandwidth setting will automatically update. (Click OK.)
  6. Then, change the Maximum Bandwidth setting to the same value as your Normal Bandwidth setting.
  7. Click OK to the Preferences window.

Third, clean out your browser cache by deleting Temporary Internet files and Clearing History as detailed in FAQ #8.

Lastly, if the above troubleshooting steps do not improve the quality of the feed, heavy Internet traffic may be the problem. In this case, please call Customer Support at 1-866-800-1275. Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your phone number
  3. Your MLB.com registered email address
  4. Your ISP
  5. Your connection type
  6. Your IP address*
  7. The results of your bandwidth tests
  8. Your Location (home, office, wireless, etc.)
  9. Time of Access
  10. Particular Game

* Don't know your IP address?
On windows 98, ME, 2000, XP: Click Start, then Run and type ipconfig.
On Mac OS X: Click Apple menu>System Preferences>Network>TCP/IP.


21. Why am I cut off after only a few minutes when I try to watch an MLB.TV archived game?

Due to broadcast blackout restrictions, new MLB.TV and Condensed Game archives are limited to five minutes duration until 6:00 AM EST the next day. Archived games for ESPN's national Sunday Night Baseball will be available in 30 days.


22. Will the game I want to see be blacked out? What does "blacked out" mean anyway?

To protect the rights of broadcasters, certain live games are prevented from being seen in certain markets - this is known as a "black out." There are two types of MLB.TV blackouts: local blackout and national blackout. For the local blackout, check at the bottom of the MLB.TV page to see if your zip code falls on either team's blackout list. If your zip code is not on the list, you will not be blacked out. For the national blackout, look for a grey icon next to the 350K link. Live games marked with a grey icon will be blacked out in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All the blackout information is located at the bottom of the MLB.TV page. Click here for more information: http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/video/mlb_tv.html#blackout


23. I'm getting a Blackout message, but I don't think I should be blacked out from the game I want to see. What's going on?

First please check your zip code against the list of blacked out zip codes.

If you believe you are receiving the Blackout message in error, please call Customer Support at 1-866-800-1275 for further assistance.


24. What's the difference between watching a "streamed" game (a live game on MLB.TV, for example, or a game in the MLB.TV on-demand archives) and watching a "downloaded" game (for example, one purchased via the MLB.com Digital Download Service)?

Here are the key differences between streaming and downloading video:

STREAMING

  1. Streaming video starts playing almost immediately when you click on a link. There will be a little bit of "buffering" (as your computer makes the connection and starts the data flowing from the server that is feeding you the video) and then the video begins playing.
  2. Video is currently offered in one broadband bitrate: 350K. You must have an internet connection fast enough to allow 350K bits per second to stream into your computer in order for the video to play smoothly.
  3. The quality of the picture you see will vary greatly, depending on the speed of your Internet connection. MLB.com doesn't recommend streaming video for dial-up Internet connections.
  4. The video does not take up any space on your computer's hard drive - effectively, you are watching a "link" to another site (in this case, a place where the video footage is stored) as it is delivered ("streamed") to your computer in real-time.

DOWNLOADING

  1. Downloaded video does not start playing when you first click on a link. You must first purchase the file, then have the entire file DOWNLOADED to your computer (by streaming the bits to you over the internet). Once the download is complete, you can begin playing the file off of your computer's hard drive.
  2. Downloading a full game file can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, with even the fastest Internet connection, assuming there are no interruptions in your Internet service. How soon you can start watching the video footage will depend on the speed of your connection.
  3. You are receiveing a 350K computer file of the game broadcast. Once you start playing the downloaded file, the video quality will be very high and there will be no interruptions based on a poor Internet connection because you are playing it off your hard drive. In fact, you can play the video on your computer without being connected to the Internet at all, because the actual video file is stored locally on your hard drive or device.
  4. To store a complete game, you will need enough hard drive space to store a roughly 550MB file. A complete 9+ inning game at 350K is a large file, and if you do not have enough drive space, you will not be able to watch the video.

 
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