When AT&T introduced its streaming television service DirecTV Now earlier this week, cord-cutters were excited about the flexibility of the platform. Less than 72 hours since its launch and those users are having second thoughts.
The DirecTV Now launch has been plagued with bugs and technical challenges, according to various reports and a considerable amount of vented furstration on social media.
Users who signed up for a 7-day free trial of the streaming service were turned away when they tried to create their account. The process took multiple attempts for many users who simply wanted to give the service a spin for a week.
Those who were able to create their account and access the service found a fair share of problems waiting for them as well. The stream was choppy and inconsistent for some watchers, and a constant buffer process created for unexpected pauses in the programming.
Some channels were also blacked out despite being a part of a user's package. Others reported experiencing an issue where a show would pause for minutes at a time before skipping ahead, jumping over a considerable amount of content.
Others complained of being presented with a message about "error 60," which indicates an account is being used in more than two locations. DirecTV Now grants for two streams simultaneously, but offers error 60 to those who are attempting to watch on more devices than allowed. The error message was delivered despite the service only being used in a single location.
DirecTV Now acknowledged this issues via Twitter, stating that it was working to fix the problems so users could "keep streaming to your heart's content." The support account reported a full fix of the account login issue, but reports of problems while watching content have continued to pour in.
"We experienced an issue last night that prevented some customers from streaming. Engineers resolved the issue and we haven’t experienced it since," AT&T told Consumer Reports in response to the problems.
The technical problems present trouble for AT&T, which will have a difficult time competing with existing streaming services if users continue to have trouble while trying to watch DirecTV Now. But the issues also present a larger problem for cord cutters who want to move away from cable without losing their favorite shows: many live streaming services continue to be plagued with problems that make them less reliable than cable.
DirecTV Now isn't alone in its technical troubles; Sling suffered from plenty of bumps along the way of its launch, and HBO users were hit with service outages during some of the broadcasts of the channel's most popular shows.