Play ball (in sync)

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Reader and sports fan Ian Mullane is feeling a little squeezed by his players. He writes:

I’m a die-hard fan of both a well-known baseball team and the radio broadcasters of that team. I live too far from the home radio station to pick up a good signal, so I listen to the broadcast using the MBL At Bat 11 app on my iPhone. Unfortunately, I still live within the team’s blackout area so the app’s video stream does me no good. When the game’s on TV, I want to watch it, but also listen to the radio broadcast. The problem is that the MLB app’s broadcast is delayed by about 30 seconds and so it doesn’t sync up with the TV broadcast. I have a pretty sophisticated video setup including a satellite DVR and 5.1 receiver but I can’t figure out how to make this work. Any ideas?

I’ve been there. This is how I’ve managed it.

Grab your iPhone and attach it to a wall charger so you can keep the thing powered during the broadcast. String a miniplug-to-RCA cable between the iPhone’s headphone port and an available audio input on your AV receiver.

When you want to watch a game, switch the audio input on the receiver to the one you’ve set up for your iPhone. If you have any sound coming out of the TV, mute it. Now put the power of your DVR to good use by pausing the game. Listen to the MLB app’s broadcast until the words and sounds you hear match the point where you’ve paused the TV broadcast and then press Play on the DVR. The audio and video should now be darned close to being in sync. If they’re not, use the DVR’s Pause, Fast Forward, or Rewind controls to tighten things up.

I haven’t gone to the trouble of calculating the exact delay between the MBL app’s audio and real-time, but if it’s consistent, it might be worth doing that calculation so you can simply pause the TV broadcast for a specific length of time and then press Play.

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