Sunday, February 22, 2015

Unlocator experience, not a review, dealing with NBA and MLB blackout.

My objective: reduce monthly costs to the provider of television, voice and Internet services by subscribing to online streaming video for the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB), including bypassing the league blackout of the local New York teams.

I read a couple of reviews of Unlocator by people who seem to actually understand this stuff.  I do not.  I'm just trying to use it.  I started the free seven day trial a couple of days ago but I cannot see myself using it.  In addition to the issues specifically related to Unlocator mentioned below, the one service that I tried, NBA League Pass, convinced me that there are still substantial differences between TV and video on the Internet for sports.  For the concurrent games that I want access to, Internet streamed games require a bunch of silly junk to get to a game and for switching to another game.  It's not at all like TV where we can switch very easily.

I upgraded my unused Roku box from XL to 3.

- started NBA League pass
- future MLB.TV

I considered Virtual Private Network (VPN) but sounded like a better alternative for my limited requirements.  I'm not concerned about the government reading my messages, although I wouldn't mind protection from crooks.

Unlocator has a seven day trial.  So far its been consistently disappointing.

Implementation seems to be per router, not universal, which would seem to require a separate entering of Unlocator DNS data for each router encountered.  This would quickly prove to be tedious.

- Unlocator advises that I should have subscribed to an international version of NBA League Pass.

With Google's Android OS:
    - Nexus 7 tablet: Unlocator online documentation only addresses verion 4, not 5 (Lolipop); I followed directions for Android 4 but after entering Unlocator DNS data the screen never activated the Save button.
    - Droid Turbo smart phone: I tried the Unlocator "Smart VPN".  I entered Unlocator data but it did not seem to work.  Then when I tried to back out Andriod seemed to be stuck with the Screen Lock required by Unlocator "Smart VPN".  Verizon Wireless documentation said to go to Screen Lock in Android Settings and select None but that was not an option.  I finally found in another forum that I could do this: clear Credential Storage, then go back to Screen Lock and None was now an option.  Who knew?

Google Chromebook: not an option for Unlocator .

Windows: Same deal.  I need to change stuff for my router that is buried in the bowels of Windows.  What if I want to take my PC to a friend's home?  I'd have to change the settings for that person's router, then change back when I get home.  Who the heck is going to do this?

I'd have to change the Verizon FIOS router settings to remove the blackout of home teams on my Roku 3.  Unlocator documentation does not match the router screens.  Unable to implement.

I am now thinking that VPN might actually be easier to implement and also provide much more security even though that was not the primary objective.

Also, Unlocator works by providing two IP addresses for its DNS.  Why wouldn't/couldn't NBA, MLB, etc, simply block them?