With all the excitement this year in the NBA I jumped in early in the season and signed up for NBA League Pass online streaming.
If you are not familiar with this, the NBA League Pass gives you access to live video of all the games including live stats and scores and archived video.
Or so I thought.
Being in Canada I guess one of their requirements is that they have to black out all of the games that air on the local networks, which I don’t mind, but at least black out the games the channels that I get with the standard packages and not the addon packages. I found myself unable to get a number of the big games on cable or online. So I was still left in the dark.
The beauty of the service is that on a PC, you can watch 4 games at a time. And if you have a PC or HTPC hooked up to the TV you can see it on the big screen. The quality is pretty good too.
If you use an iPad or iPhone, you can download their app and watch the live streams in excellent quality on the devices. The bonus is that you can even see the scores of other games and quickly switch between them.
On your Xbox there is also an app. But to use it requires an Xbox live membership (which I can’t justify paying extra money for) and it allows you to watch two games at once on your tv in excellent quality.
I don’t think it’s offered on my Apple TV in Canada but I believe in other countries they get the app. I’m sure it’s good quality too.
The one really big thing I hate is when one or more of the games are blacked out and now you can’t fully utilize the service to watch the games. I have to use multiple devices to switch between the various games. To me this defeats the purpose of the whole thing.
Now this is not the end of the world. You can easily find ways around this and be able to use the apps to watch all games.
This is how I utilize it at home.
Luckily I have a jailbroken iPad 2 and to get around the blackouts I use a tweak called location spoofer that is available in the cydia store. I change my app location to somewhere like Spain and voila. I now have access to all games.
I use XBMC throughout my house and XBMC has air video built in. So now I basically just airplay the games to whatever TV I am sitting in front of and I can easily switch between the games as well as the TVs I want to view it on all through my iPad.
The quality is equivalent to watching the games on SD cable and I’m air playing them to screens larger than 50″. I wish it was better but I’m also ok with it.
One thing you need to take into consideration when doing live streaming is your monthly data allowance. It doesn’t eat much data in a month but if you have a small package it can be a significant amount.
Really and truly I can only recommend this if you can get around the blackouts. You may not have an iPad like I do but on a PC is very easy to do with some googling. Having access to all the games makes it worth while to us NBA lovers.
The entire season costs just over $100 CDN and you get a discount if you order before the season starts. You can also get 50% off deals half way through the season.