Price: $0.00 (with compatible cable provider)
Rating: Strong Recommend
We've introduced you to products like the Roku, devices of instant gratification and even offering the option to ditch your cable bill. One of the most common complaints from those who drop cable is that they don't have access to sporting events. The best cable package and access to pay per view at one time didn't even ensure we'd be able to see every game. ESPN3 (formerly ESPN360) has helped fill the void. Games not picked up by the networks are often shown on this broadband network for sports, bringing us closer to a world where cable could be wholly abandoned.
Streaming an afternoon game; the service shows potential, though the stream broke up a few times during our viewing.
ESPN3 is a broadband network for live sports. It covers sports like football, basketball, soccer, golf, and tennis. We admit that we went to a small private school whose sports teams often doesn't make it onto the major networks or ESPN, but ESPN3 has allowed us to view many basketball games that we would have resorted to AM radio to attempt to enjoy. And if we are busy at the time of the game, games can be viewed 24 hrs up to a week after broadcast. Another feature of ESPN3 is that it can be viewed on Xbox Live by those with gold memberships.
ESPN3 does have some flaws. It is only available to subscribers of participating ISPs and on college campuses and military bases; some games are "blacked out" in certain regions. This mean that a local channel or pay per view have purchased the game showing, thus no broadcast via ESPN3 permitted. We also noted some bandwidth-related resolution fluctuations that may affect image quality while viewing, but this all depends on your connection speed.
ESPN cannot be viewed through wireless internet cards so viewing on the iPad on the go isn't available. However if you're holed up in a hotel out of town, some users can sign into the service through their ISPs. We currently live in an area where the only service provider doesn't subscribe, but we manage to still use the service by using the VPN client our school provides.