Earlier this year, I moved from Kansas to Brooklyn. That added a whole lot of excitement to my life, but it also meant I wouldn't be able to watch every Kansas City Chiefs game on local TV anymore.
Luckily, DirecTV gave my family access to NFL Sunday Ticket this year so we wouldn't unsubscribe from their service, so I can see all out-of-market games live on pretty much any device I own. During the chaotic first week of the 2016 NFL season, I watched several games using the NFL Sunday Ticket app on my PlayStation 4.
The main thing I wanted to do was watch the Chiefs open their season against the Chargers. It was mostly fine.
First off, the PS4 app for NFL Sunday Ticket has a slick, simple interface. You have a list of games you can watch and you click on the one you want to watch. Easy!
For most of the game, I was in the fetal position due to stress as the Chiefs went down 24-3 and then came back to win 33-27. This was not helped by the fact that the stream would occasionally freeze for 10 to 15 seconds at a time, often just before big plays.
If I was an impartial observer, this wouldn't have bothered me that much. As a seriously invested fan, it was a bit irksome. It could've been the service itself or my admittedly spotty apartment wi-fi, but I hope it's better next week.
Still, I was able to see the entire game. I consider that a success.
Thanks to the dynamic highlights system, I was able to catch the big moments of other games I wasn't watching, like this thriller between the Raiders and Saints.
On a streaming service, it isn't quite as fast to switch from one game to another as it is on TV. Thankfully, the dynamic highlights system in NFL Sunday Ticket offers a way around that if you want to keep up with games around the league.
Here's how it works: Whenever anything interesting happens in another game, such as a touchdown or turnover, a little pop-up will appear in the game you're watching. You can dismiss it, or choose to instantly watch that play. Once the clip is over, you'll go back to the game you were watching.
It works really well, and I was able to keep up with all of the close games of the weekend with that feature.
Once the Chiefs game was over, I wanted to watch the highly anticipated matchup between the Cowboys and Giants. This is where I encountered Sunday Ticket's biggest problem.
Since I live in New York, the Giants game was broadcast on local TV. Thanks to antiquated blackout regulations, that's the only (legal) way I could watch it.
NFL Sunday Ticket lets you know up front that you can only watch out-of-market games, so I wasn't surprised. It's just a bummer that blackout laws extend to expensive, online streaming services.