DIRECTV Now last night suffered a several hour-long outage for most, if not all, subscribers, another reminder of the fragility of live streaming.
Shortly before 8 p.m. ET, subscribers to the AT&T-owned service began posting complaints on social media sites that they couldn’t log in.
“I am unable to log in to my service… It now appears to be stuck in an ATT loop…was working perfectly until today… What changed, and how much are you going to penalize loyal customers???” wrote @onedogtwodog on Twitter.
“@directvnowhelp not able to access directvnow on apple tv, ios or web. when i try to log in it either says ‘unable to contact server’ or on web goes through an endless trying to login and then boots me back to login screen. please help! thanks,” @kennedydavid tweeted.
“I watched 0 minutes. Tried to log in, got to the rectangle of death immediately. Haven’t even seen what
@directvnow‘s interface looks like. #prayforme,” said another unhappy customer.
Downdetector.com, which tracks online outages, reports that 3,669 people were simultaneously complaining about DIRECTV Now at the height of the problem. The complaints continue to escalate and didn’t begin to slow down until nearly midnight.
It’s unclear if the outage affected every DIRECTV Now subscriber, but its Twitter customer service team acknowledged the problem in a series of apology tweets.
“We are aware of the situation that is going on with our services,” wrote @directvnowhelp at 10:22 p.m. ET. “Our frontline response team is working diligently to get you back to streaming your channels. We thank you greatly for this. Give us feedback on if this was helpful information.”
At 11:20 p.m. ET, @DIRECTVNowHelp tweeted that the issue had been resolved. However, some DIRECTV Now subscribers early this morning said they still couldn’t log in.
“Can’t login via website. Can’t view account details. PC, Android, Apple,” tweeted @DEF3ction at 2:46 a.m. ET.
DIRECTV Now, which launched on November 30, 2016, experienced numerous outages and other technical snafus in the early months of operation. However, the online TV provider has stabilized in the last year, although it still has suffered the minor issues such as occasional buffering and picture freezing that afflicts all live streaming.
But last night’s episode illustrates that the technology behind live streaming is still a work in progress.
— Phillip Swann