Watching baseball with out cable, satellite, or blackouts
April 16, 2013 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Can I watch the San Francisco Giants this season without cable or satellite and avoiding blackouts?

I have an HD antenna and a Mac mini hooked up to my TV but, unfortunately, there are very few Giants games shown on the channels we get.

I've been looking at some of the options on mlb.com, but since I'm pretty sure I'm in the Giants' home television territory (Lodi/Stockton area) the games would be blacked out anyway. Is that right? Am I missing other options?
posted by DakotaPaul to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you're comfortable with the tech and willing to pay for it, the best option is an MLB.tv subscription and a VPN or proxy setup that lets you route your traffic through some far away state/country to avoid the blackouts. I've never set that up myself, but know plenty of folks who have. I'm sure there are instructions out there to help get it all sorted.
posted by that's candlepin at 10:22 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, the VPN/proxy idea never occurred to me—I will definitely look into that. Any recommendations on a good VPN or proxy that would work for this?
posted by DakotaPaul at 10:56 AM on April 16, 2013


I don't know about the Giants, but in NY, you can subscribe to YES, the Yankees network, and watch the games locally on line. Check the Giants cable network to see if they offer a direct solution. They may.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2013


I used VyprVPN this summer when I had the reverse problem - I wanted to watch the Olympics and the BBC's streaming coverage was only available in the UK. (I am in the US.) They successfully made it look like I was in the UK, and I watched way too many sports I wouldn't ordinarily care about.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've done (and do) the VPN thing. I use StrongVPN but I'm not really happy with the speeds.
posted by bitdamaged at 12:08 PM on April 16, 2013


What about using a Roku box, which offers MLB.tv as an option? Or is that subject to blackout restrictions?
posted by mosk at 12:26 PM on April 16, 2013


Yeah, you are probably in the mlb.tv blackout area for the Giants, so a VPN is the way to go. You can confirm blackout status by zip code here.

Tunnelr.com has provided a decent VPN and cost me $42 for April-Sept. Even though I know very little about networking or Macs, it was pretty easy to set up on a Mac mini using Tunnelblick software to handle the OpenVPN. I've seen mysterious issues with games being blacked out despite having a proxy well outside the regions of either team, but a proxy overseas worked fine.
posted by exogenous at 12:28 PM on April 16, 2013


in NY, you can subscribe to YES, the Yankees network, and watch the games locally on line.

The hitch is that it's only available to current cable customers. Basically, it's offered to people who need it least. It's also only available through a web browser, which won't give you TV-level quality the way MLB.tv on a set-top box will.
posted by mkultra at 12:52 PM on April 16, 2013


exogenous: I've seen mysterious issues with games being blacked out despite having a proxy well outside the regions of either team

There are a variety of Byzantine situations during which all MLB.tv games will be blocked out. Games played opposite the Fox Saturday Game of the Week, I think is one example. This does not apply to viewers outside North America.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:25 PM on April 16, 2013


I'm in NC and the Giants games on the past two Saturdays have been blacked out for me. VPN might not be good enough for *every* game.
posted by scose at 3:54 PM on April 16, 2013


I too used a proxy last summer to watch the BBC coverage of the Olympics. IPVanish.com worked fine for the month that I used it.

Another much cheaper option is to rediscover to joy of listen to radio broadcasts of baseball. $20 on MLB.com gets you the home and away radio broadcast of every game for every team. IMO, it's the best deal on the Internet.
posted by COD at 5:02 AM on April 17, 2013


Thanks, COD. I love listening to Jon Miller and crew call the Giants, and based on some of the responses here and some Me-Mails I may end up going that route.
posted by DakotaPaul at 8:12 AM on April 18, 2013


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