"We've been in regular contact with MLB.com, and have heard nothing but praise about the Flash platform."
Gould said the malfunctions were relatively minor and were far fewer and less severe than last season, when many subscribers were unable to even log in. That was when MLB.com was using Silverlight. Gould said that delivering true high-definition streaming video is a complex task and baseball is only now working out the kinks because it couldn't fully test the video feeds from major league ballparks until opening day. Teams don't play in their home stadiums during spring training.
"We've had very small window to do end-to-end testing," Gould said.
As I discussed the situation with Gould on the phone, Charlie Wagner, a CNET photographer overheard me. He told me he was prevented from seeing a ninth-inning rally by his favorite team, the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday night when his MLB.com video player broke down.
"The video froze on me in the ninth inning," said Wagner, who has subscribed to the service for three years. "I couldn't see the finish until ESPN came on... I was mad."
Despite the problems, he Wagner said he thinks the picture quality is better.
As for Silverlight, the company declined to comment but on a blog post, Steve Sklepowich, a Microsoft executive, did challenge one of Bowman's assertions about Adobe. Bowman suggested that Adobe was a better fit for baseball because of Flash's wide consumer adoption.
"While Flash 9 may have high penetration," Sklepowich wrote, "the Swarmcast NexDef plug-in that helps power MLB's HD experience has virtually no adoption. Ubiquity here is a red herring. What customers really want are high quality solutions. Silverlight has been doing that since its inception and already supports the ability to deliver true HD using IIS Smooth Streaming with no additional plug-in required."
Perhaps Bowman described the situation best this week when he said that streaming video on the Web isn't as trustworthy yet as television. "You turn on the TV and it just works," he said. "(Internet video) still has a ways to go."