Q. I was trying to watch game one of the Western Conference Finals last night on DIRECTV Now and the picture kept buffering until it finally kicked me out of the app entirely. I couldn’t log back in for about 30 minutes. Did the service have an outage? — Ryan, Kansas City.
Ryan, you’re not the only DIRECTV Now viewer who experienced issues last night while trying to watch game one of the Houston Rockets-Golden State Warriors series on TNT. In fact, thousands of subscribers to the live streaming service posted messages on social media sites saying they couldn’t watch any channel.
DownDetector.com, which tracks online outages, says 550 people were complaining at the same time during the height of the technical issue, which appeared to occur between 9 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET.
When 550 people are complaining simultaneously during a technical issue, that usually means it’s affecting dozens of thousands, if not more. (Not everyone posts a notice on social media during an online snafu.)
The good news is that the issue didn’t seem to last very long, perhaps just an hour based on user complaints. In addition, the problem didn’t affect everyone. DIRECTV Now has roughly 1.5 million subscribers, according to its owner, AT&T. If dozens of thousands were affected, that would still be a relatively small percentage of the total audience.
But that’s cold comfort for those who were inconvenienced last night. And the fact that DIRECTV Now’s Twitter customer service team last night never acknowledged there was a significant streaming issue left many a bit perturbed.
“I’m also having trouble watching anything! Nothing loads and I’m on the Apple TV!! What the heck! If there’s a problem in
@DIRECTVNow side just say it,” @BrianaCrockett tweeted last night at 11;32 p.m. ET.
“@DIRECTVNOWHelp Trying to watch game 1 of the WCF (Western Conference Finals) and it would be so freaking great if it would stop buffering,” wrote @maralapopis on Twitter at 9:38 p.m. ET.
DIRECTV Now’s Twitter customer team issued apologies to complaining customers throughout the snafu, but didn’t indicate the problem was unusual.
“We apologize for the buffering issues that you are having. Which streaming device are you having this issue on? Please let us know so we can help you,” @DIRECTVNowHelp told one customer last night at 11:14 p.m. ET.
Ryan, like other live streaming services, DIRECTV Now has experienced technical issues from time to time since its launch in November 2016. I think most people would agree the service has improved in recent months, but it’s just not as reliable as the traditional video service from cable and satellite.
Not yet, anyway.
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— Phillip Swann