iPad App Review: MLB At Bat 2010

The Yankees and Red Sox kicked off the MLB season last night and today we’re seeing a bevy of clubs celebrating their home opener. One of last year’s iPhone app favorites, MLB At Bat, is back this year for the iPad. In honor of opening day, we’re providing an overview of what you can expect from MLB At Bat 2010. In short, MLB At Bat 2010 for iPad is the ultimate app for any baseball fan, but does come at a hefty price.

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvHP9esFdN8

mlb-at-bat-ipad

The application’s main screen brings you behind the plate of a selected game, with statistics galore at your fingertips. At any moment, you can call up a player card, that swoops in and offers you a look at a player’s statistical history. All much easier than breaking out your Topp’s. The top bar provides insight into todays scores and a diamond graphic allows you to see if anyone is on base.

mlb-player-card

Overall, the interface is gorgeous and works as you’d expect it to on the iPad. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber, you can view in-game highlights. Once your done, pinch to zoom restores the video to it’s position. Selecting the TV icon allows you to view games and you can select from either the home or away broadcast (MLB TV Premium subscription required). The quality was not on par with what I was seeing on my Mac, but it’s certainly good quality. In my brief testing, I did not experience any buffering issues. Should that change during the season, I’ll update this review.

There is a major limitation of this service – you cannot view games of teams in your local area. Living in New York, I’ll need a TV to view either the Yankees or Mets. As a fantasy baseball GM, access to an entire season of out-of-town games is well worth the price of admission. Now, about that price of admission. MLB At Bat 2010 is priced at $14.99 and it’s good for 2010. Next year, you’ll have to pony up for a new season. MLB.TV subscriptions start at $99.95 or $119.95 for MLB.TV Premium. The latter offers you choice of home/away broadcast, DVR controls, multi-game views. Note that many of these features are limited to your Mac or PC. You can find out more about MLB.TV subscriptions at MLB.com.

mlb-lineup

If you were planning on purchasing MLB.TV, then the iPhone or iPad app is a drop in the bucket. Unfortunately, there is no combination app. You can certainly purchase and use the iPhone app, but who wants a season of pixel doubling on their iPad. All these subscriptions and apps add up quickly. $14.99 + $14.99 + 119.95 = $149.93. If you love baseball and don’t intend to use the service to follow your home team, it’s hard to argue with the quality of the product. For those passing on MLB.TV, the app is on the expensive side, despite a beautiful interface and access to statistics just a tap away.  In the future we’d like to see a lower-cost version that is not MLB.TV compatible.

  • Ljm

    Hi. I love the app and the subscription, but the video quality on the iPad is kind of crappy, because I don’t see any way to install the Nexdef plugin. Am i missing something I should be doing? Or is this just the resolution I’m stuck with for awhile? It’s watchable, but at times it really breaks up. Is that whet you are seeing?

  • Christopher Meinck

    I’m definitely getting much better quality on my desktop Mac. I haven’t seen any breaking up, but I agree with you on the quality not being as good as the desktop. The iPhone app, being a small screen, masks some of what we are seeing on the iPad app.

  • Darren

    Likewise the video on the iPad is meh which is terrible because the iPad is a sexy device and can do HD video…MLB.TV needs to fix this because we are paying at least 115 dollars. (100 for subscription 15 for app)

  • Mark Eggan

    Yeah, video for iPad totally stinks. definately not worth the FULL price.

  • Jason

    I was looking at getting this subscription, I’m glad I found this thread first.

    I will keep a close eye on this and see if it gets better.

    Thanks

  • Scott

    Also beware that the app only seems to allow video play of live games, not archived games as viewed on the Mac as part of MLB.tv’s subscription. If anyone can shed light on this, I’d appreciate it. From what I read on it, the only way to view a full completed game is on a desktop computer.

  • Doug R

    MLB.Tv subscribers should BE-WARE that generally poorly-produced, highly repetitive, obnoxiously loud commercials are fed to “paid” subscribers to the extent, that several times a week, I turn off the video service and go back to the radio/audio feed (which is actually quite less expensive). Very hard to avoid . . .

    The visual quality and game/announcer selection is very good, but the interface – especially the premium HD “DVR” service – isn’t well thought out. The DVR controls are shut off during commercial breaks so I regularly race to FF a partially “saved” game to get past a commercial break before it begins.
    .
    The MLB.TV service would be actually worth it if it wasn’t for the awful, low-budget, obnoxious commercials (mostly for MLB-licensed products and an umpiring school) that fed to viewers on a continuous basis.