When One HD decides to not renew their rights for the 2011-12 NBA season and ESPN Australia is only able to air a select number of primetime games per week, that leaves a whole lot of (maybe not as many as previous years due to the lockout) games unwatchable for diehard fans...that is of course unless you are a smart fan and sign up for NBA League Pass! NBA League Pass has been around for a while now but it does change every year and the website doesn't reveal every detail so I hope this review & guide helps. I would love you to help out with it by adding your questions and thoughts in the comments below. I will kick it off by doing a walk through the sign up process, the video player/viewer and then have a FAQ at the end of the article. If you want to skip everything right off the bat then you can always visit www.NBA.tv to sign up for NBA League Pass and NBA Team Pass right now.
To make things easier here is a table of contents with links to each section
- NBA.TV Packages & Pricing
- The Free Trial
- Creating An Account
- My Account / Landing Screen
- Viewing Module
- Connecting/Watching On TV
- iPhone/iPad App
- Apple TV
- FAQ / Readers Questions
NBA.TV Packages & PricingTo start with lets get the Packages and naming stuff sorted. The actual service is called 'NBA.TV'...although many people call it 'League Pass' when in fact 'League Pass' is only part of the service. There are 2 NBA.TV package options:
LEAGUE PASS Follow All 30 NBA Teams and Watch Every Regular Season, Playoffs, and Finals Game. $221.08* AUD Per Season or $44.22* Per Month (which equals to 5 Monthly Payments)
TEAM PASS Follow Your Favorite Team throughout the Regular Season and Watch Every Playoffs and Finals Game. AUD$170.84* AUD Per Season
The Free TrialNBA.TV is currently offering a free preview from Monday December the 26th to Tuesday January 10th (Australian Time) for the League Pass package and after that date you will have to enter your Credit Card details and choose your package. To get started head to http://nba.tv and click the red strip that says: 'FREE PREVIEW DECEMBER 25th - JANUARY 9th - START WATCHING' (see image above). I was lead to believe that I could sign up and start watching archived games or special NBA programming straight away (like my NFL Game Pass) but there appears to be no archived games or anyway to watch anything until the first game starts on Boxing Day. At first I thought this was a mistake or a free trial limitation, so I then signed up for the Dallas Team Pass and was equally disappointed as it is exactly the same as the free trial...not even a single pre-season game!
Creating An Account
Depending on which package you choose you will need to create a NBA.TV account. The signup screen simply requires you to enter some simple details for your new account (no credit card or payment details are required).
My Account / Landing Screen
Once you have created an account and logged into NBA.TV, you will then arrive at the 'My Account' screen. From here you can update your information and Launch NBA.TV/League Pass using the blue 'Launch NBA.TV' button.
NBA.TV Viewing Module
Once you hit the 'Launch NBA.TV' button you will get a popup window like the one above which contains the NBA.TV viewing module. Lets look at what each option is...
Score Strip The 'Score Strip' is located in the top left hand corner of the module and lists upcoming and previous games. When the games are available you simply drag and drop or click a game to watch it at any given time.
Game Calendar There is also a Calendar option in the top right hand corner available to quickly choose games from a certain date.
Video Quality There is an option to adjust your Video Quality depending on your Internet speed. You will need to play with these settings as everyones speed is different but the idea is to get the best quality possible without any lag/delay. The options available are:
- 400 kbps
- 800 kbps
- 1600 kbps
- 3o00 kbps
- Best Available
Connecting/Watching On A TV As I am a Mac user I can only vouch for my Macbook Air being able to connect to my TV via a HDMI cable to stream games, however Nathan from NFL Down Under recently wrote a comprehensive guide to setting up NFL Game Pass on your TV which you can use for NBA.TV here: http://nfldownunder.com/features/how-to-watch-nfl-game-pass-on-your-tv
iPhone/iPad App The NBA has just released their own NBA.TV iPhone & iPad App which feature 50+ new video highlights per day and access to live and on-demand games through League Pass or Team Pass. If you don't have a laptop or computer you can still purchase either League Pass or Team Pass through the NBA.tv app and if you register for an NBA.tv account you can login to any PC or Mac anywhere at any time to watch games using your account. The app also includes photos, scores and stats. Download the NBA.TV iPhone or iPad app here. Some screenshots of the app:
AppleTV Unless you have a US iTunes account I am led to believe that you will not be able to watch NBA.TV directly through Apple TV. For some reason it supports NHL & MLB but not NBA...surely this will change in the near future!
FAQ / Readers Questions Answered If you have a question please leave it in the comments below
Can I download games? No you can only stream but previous games will be available to watch at anytime once the game has started or is over (for how long after the game finishes I am unsure of at the moment) Is there a discount code? Not sure how long these last but you can try for RETSUB2011 15% off or EMAILCOL2011 for 10% off before Jan 9th.Got questions or answer? Leave them in the comments below! Visit www.NBA.tv to sign up for NBA League Pass and Team Pass here