By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I was watching the Heat and Nuggets last night on YouTube TV and the picture went out with about two minutes left in the game. It went back and forth for awhile and then came back right before it was over. Did anyone else complain about that to you? — Sam, Reno, Nevada.

Sam, YouTube TV and Sling TV have suffered technical issues during the NBA playoffs this year, particularly Sling which had widespread meltdowns for four games in three weeks. The problems are more evidence that live streaming is still struggling to deliver a reliable picture when it counts most. There have been improvements there, of course, but more work needs to be done.

Now as for YouTube TV last night. Yes, some subscribers said on social media that their picture went out for a relatively short period of time late in the fourth quarter. They reported that the screen suddenly displayed a test pattern a few times.

You can see an example below from this Twitter feed:

Fortunately, the outage was brief, but it came at a critical time in the game with the Nuggets looking to wrap things up. (Denver won, taking the series and NBA championship.)

This has become an almost accepted part of watching live streaming during a high-profile event which attracts more viewers and puts more strain on servers. But it’s still a pain for those who are experiencing it.

@YouTubeTV’s NBA Finals glitch in the last minute was maddening, especially given their 40s lag for livestream,” tweeted upset fan Zal Billimora.

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann