Major League Baseball has tapped Inlet Technologies, and its Spinnaker technology, to power its MLB.TV service, which broadcasts all out of market baseball games live.
The deal with Inlet will lead to higher quality video streams, an enhanced "MLB Mosaic" capable of viewing 16 games at once, and the potential addition of advertising into the live streams.
The new technology will produce video at 1.2 megabits per second, up from 700 kilobits per second during the 2007 season. The additional data should provide higher video quality than last year's service, comparable to what you would see on TV.
As part of the agreement, Inlet created a customized "mosaic" interface, allowing users to view thumbnails of multiple games at the same time, in real time. For the 2008 version, the MLB Mosaic will allow users to watch up to 16 games at once, up from six games last year. Users will be able to click on any individual thumbnail and that game will expand to full screen, without any buffering.
The Spinnaker technology also creates the capability for MLB to insert advertising directly into the live streams. As of this writing, a representative for MLB had not responded to a request for comment on whether advertising was a part of MLB.TV's future business model.