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NHL GameCenter Premium
There can be a bit of confusion learning all the variations of this all-in-one hockey app and the prices that accompany them. But once you figure that out, NHL GameCenter is a lifeline to everything hockey, all the time.
The Recapp Rating
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You’ll pay a steep price to get all the bells and whistles of NHL GameCenter Premium. But if the NHL is what you crave, this app will give you all the hockey you need, minus the chill of the ice.
The first hurdle is figuring out the app’s different flavors, which at first is a bit confusing. The free version gets you the basics: live scoreboards, news, stats, schedules and standings. Upgrade to the Premium app ($9.99 in Android and iTunes) for live radio broadcasts of the games, video highlights of goals soon after they happen, and additional video content, including condensed games and best-of clips. To get live video of games, you’ll need to upgrade to LIVE (nearly $80 for the season). Verizon also offers its own versions of the app (Basic is free, and Verizon 4G LTE customers can upgrade to Premium for free too) that offer even more video, including clips from NBC and NHL Network.
Once you determine which version to use, the NHL GameCenter is intuitive and full of content. From the start, you can pick your favorite team to get a customized look. There are schedules, news and photos of all the players with stats and video highlights. There is even merchandise for sale through shop.nhl.com and seating charts for stadiums (though if you try to buy a ticket through the app, it’ll spit you out on the stadium or team’s website).
Where you’ll get hooked, however, is the live-game action. The list of scores is updated as games are played (as you’d expect), and tapping a game gets you a box score, play-by-play listing and photos (which are updated during the games).
One of our favorite features is the in-game video highlights. Soon after a goal is scored, a video clip of the play is available in the game tracker. So even if you don’t want to pay to watch the games live, you can at least see some of the action. We had some buffering with the videos, but the app gives you two screen sizes and a few different qualities of video to choose from, which improves the experience. The live in-game video can also be choppy at times (finding the puck on a small screen isn’t the easiest), but it is better than not watching the game at all.
If you’re too busy to watch the video, you can access radio feeds with the Premium edition, so you can listen in live.
Reviewed: Mar 08, 2012 | Michael Grossman