Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screen

It Was a Bad Week for Live TV Streaming: We Explain What Happened

Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screenIf you tried to watch several live TV streaming services, especially during major sporting events, over the last week you may have found some glitches along the way.

Over the weekend Cord Cutters News heard from many of our readers that live TV streaming was down on services like WatchESPN, DIRECTV NOW, and PlayStation Vue to name a few. So far none of the major streaming companies have come out with a statement on what is happening, so we started to dig around.

So what happened with all the recent outages?

As best we can tell what has happened is a rush of new subscribers and unexpected demand in viewership has left streaming services struggling to keep up. This is not just from cord cutters but also cable subscribers wanting streaming access to their shows as seen with WatchESPN.

Now streaming services are rushing to expand compacity to handle the demand. Why is it so slow in the day and age of on-demand hosting? Security is a big part of it. The contracts streaming companies have with the content providers don’t allow them to just put the content on any old server. These servers must be secure with a secure connection to prevent pirate streams coming from them.

As best we can tell most major live TV streaming services have seen their growth skyrocket far faster than expected.

The good news is that streaming is taking off and growing quickly. The downside is we are overfinancing some growing pains as companies adjust to the growth.

Why do live TV services struggle with outages and buffering more than on demand?

You may have noticed that live TV services see far more outages than on-demand services. There are many reasons that on-demand services are more stable.

First, on-demand services can install multiple servers around the country and world. This network of servers means even if one set goes down only a small number of people will see an outage until it can switch over to a backup server farther from your home.

With live TV the fact that it is live means it all must come from a limited location. This is done to cut back on the delay and for the need to have the servers be connected to the content companies 24/7. This makes live TV. Unlike with on-demand servers that have a stored copy of the show or movie live streaming means the server must also be pulling a copy of the feed from the content companies 24/7.

Second, with live TV everyone is watching the same thing at the same time. Typically the number of people watching a show or movie at the same moment from the same server is far lower than the number of people trying to watch a major sporting event at the same exact second. That puts a far higher demand on the server versus on demand.

We could keep going but these are the two main reasons live TV is more difficult than on demand. With that said live TV services are far more stable than they were a few years ago. Look for them to continue to improve in quality in the months and years to come.

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66 Responses to It Was a Bad Week for Live TV Streaming: We Explain What Happened

  1. marlee41 January 3, 2018 at 8:04 am #

    It has been awful. Off and on, off and on; rolling; continuous buffering. I tried to watch HULU and the audio wasn’t coinciding with video making it unwatchable. I thought it might be with the certain movie I was trying to watch, but no, it was all of HULU. When will this end???

  2. Craig W January 3, 2018 at 8:09 am #

    I experienced a lot of buffering with WatchESPN but had no issues with Sling TV. A co-worker said to me yesterday he had issues with DTVN over the last week. I had problems with many OTA signals that I attributed to the frigid temperatures lately.

    • Craig W January 3, 2018 at 8:41 am #

      New users and high demands for live events makes sense as the reason for the streaming issues. I wasn’t saying that the cold temperatures had anything to do with streaming just my OTA reception.

  3. Michael Allbritton January 3, 2018 at 8:18 am #

    I tried to watch the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl games on Monday on the WatchESPN app on my Apple TV, but had to turn off the Rose Bowl because of the buffering and crashing. I was only getting to see about 1 in 3 plays, which was quite frustrating. I didn’t even get to the Sugar Bowl, since the experience with the first game was so bad.

    Monday’s live bowl games were the worst experience I’ve had with live TV streaming, but far from the only bad experiences. During the beginning of the NFL season, frequently, games I was watching on the NFL Sunday Ticket app would start out blurry and pixelated and take a long time to resolve to a clear, HD picture. Same for ESPN and the NFL app. I didn’t have the same problem on the Fox Sports Go app, though.

    I admit it is hard for me to believe that content providers are STILL having issues like these with live TV streams in, now, 2018.

  4. Aaron January 3, 2018 at 8:24 am #

    This is strange because I had a great experience streaming the content this weekend using YouTube TV. The other streaming services may have more channels, a better price, or an options I would love. However from my experience, they cannot beat YouTube TV in terms of the stream reliability. That is the most important thing for me to be able to enjoy the content when I want to.

    • swkerr January 3, 2018 at 8:46 am #

      Same here. YouTube TV has been rock solid for me. Of course they have a lot more experience in streaming than any of the other companies. They also have one of the largest data center operations in the country and can probably spin up extra on demand capacity pretty quickly.

      • Aaron January 3, 2018 at 8:48 am #

        You are so right. I think that is why YouTube is rock solid in terms of reliability. I was really shocked in how bad Hulu Live TV was with reliability since they have been in the streaming market for a while but I guess other than Netflix only YouTube really deals with a heavy load day in an day out.

        • Jeremy January 3, 2018 at 11:05 am #

          too bad Youtube TV is stuck at 30 fps. DTV Now would be my choice. 60 fps and HBO for only $5/month.

          • bdavidk January 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

            YouTube TV has add 60fps to almost all the sport channels including local fox for NFL. I have it on the Nvidia Shield and yes when it was at 30 fps football looked bad but now it looks just like it did when i had dish.

          • Jeremy January 3, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

            60 fps not available on Apple TV so they’re not an option for me.

          • SS January 3, 2018 at 2:15 pm #

            YouTube TV isn’t on Apple TV. So, you can’t possibly know that it won’t support 60fps on AppleTV

    • Dean G January 3, 2018 at 8:47 am #

      I have Vue and had no problems all weekend…..

      • Aaron January 3, 2018 at 8:49 am #

        Sounds great! I am glad you had a good experience.

    • Malignar January 3, 2018 at 8:59 am #

      I switched to Youtube TV this weekend due to the bowl games being unwatchable on DTVN. Love the performance, but the lack of channels will likely have me back at DTVN or adding Philo. I’m likely back to DTVN for the NCAA tourney games (no turner channels with Philo and Youtube TV).

      • Aaron January 3, 2018 at 9:03 am #

        Oh I agree with the channel selection but for me it is about reliability.

    • muledoggie January 3, 2018 at 9:03 am #

      Things are in a state of rapid change, as was said in the article. Services that were experiencing buffering delays in the past may be the best as things change. So, stating that one service is free from these issues should have a caveat: FOR NOW.

      • Aaron January 3, 2018 at 9:12 am #

        What you said is a true statement but like I commented below. Other than Netflix, Google is the only other company that has dealt with a really heavy streaming load day in and day out. It really shows in terms of reliability in comparison to other services. These other services can improve and they will with time

    • Les Prouty January 3, 2018 at 10:21 am #

      I used to have Hulu Live all summer. Had buffering issues all the time. Switched to YTLTV in September. It has been fantastic. Very rarely have I had any issues with YTLTV. And this weekend was perfect with all the games. While it lacks a few channels I would prefer to have, what it does have is enough for me. And their unlimited DVR is unbeatable.

  5. David Batten January 3, 2018 at 8:48 am #

    So many people bash Sling TV for they may have had long ago, but now Sling TV still seems to be the most stable when shit hits the fan.
    I did not have any issues with streaming on Sling TV this weekend and Sling TV is still the largest.

    • SS January 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm #

      YouTube TV is the most stable. It has the most stable stream because it runs on the YouTube platform which has millions of people watching content every hour.

      • David Batten January 3, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

        Streaming pre-recorded content and live content are two entirely different things! It also points this out in the article.
        Second, YouTube TV has a very low number of subscribers when compared to Sling TV.
        Not too mention it not available everywhere and a poor selection of channels, etc.

        • SS January 3, 2018 at 2:16 pm #

          YouTube does live videos too which get millions of live views.

      • Rocksleeper January 3, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

        YouTube TV still hasn’t rolled out to all markets either. I believe the latest numbers still have them about half as many subscribers as most of the other live TV services. So the demand isn’t as high.

        And YouTube videos is like any other On-Demand service (Netflix, Prime, etc.). It can cache video ahead of time on your device while the connection is good. That way if your connection has a minor slow down, it won’t effect the video because it was pre-cached on your device already while the connection was good. How YouTube streams their pre-recorded videos has nothing to do with how they will stream live content that they can’t pre-cache on your device.

        • SS January 3, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

          YouTube does live videos too which get millions of live views. Also, Sling and DirecTV Now had streaming issues from day 1 even before they had 100K+ subscribers. DTV Now even has issues when streaming content on demand.

          Google/YouTube has the most powerful server platform in the universe. It’s no doubt they would be unbeatable in streaming content. They get millions of server calls per second. So, trust me; they can handle it. That’s why they have enough storage to store 9 months of unlimited DVR recordings.

          • Rocksleeper January 3, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

            “That’s why they have enough storage to store 9 months of unlimited DVR recordings.”

            EVERY streaming service records EVERYTHING. All cloud DVR is unlocking the recordings for you to watch back. This is how most streaming services has the “Start over” option on the majority of channels, even shows you have not selected for DVR…because they were already recording them in the first place.

            Different services decide to offer this in different ways. PS Vue and YouTube TV decided to make is “unlimited” DVR for a certain time frame, then purge the content they’ve recorded that hit EOL.

            Sling TV and Hulu have decided to let users keep certain recordings “forever”, but limit how many of those that can choose. This forces users to eventually delete what they no longer want, and they can purge shows from their servers once they are no longer needed by anyone.

            Neither method has anything to do with the “amount of storage” these services have. Storage is cheap…if you’re a big company, you have enough. But how they handle their constant “recording of everything”, which every service does. Plus PS Vue and YouTube TV sometimes just unlock the “On-Demand” version of the show you DVR’d, not actually give you a recording.

          • PaperCoyote January 3, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

            Google is the third most powerful server platform in the world behind AWS and MS Azure. Amazon’s AWS powers services like Netflix, Spotify and even Sony’s PSN.

          • SS January 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

            I’m not talking about cloud computing platform services available for third parties. I mean the systems they have for the company themselves.

            Amazon and Microsoft, for example, may have the most used cloud computing web services, but their own websites and services are extremely slow compared to google sites. Microsoft server even struggles to handle simple things like Windows updates. They’re no better than Apple servers which can’t handle a lot of iPhone iOS updates at once. Amazon websites (like IMDb, boxofficemojo) and even Amazon Video time out so many times. AWS servers are so bad that if you take one server down, it takes hours to reboot everything.

            Also, just because AWS and Azure are older (and hence have more content) doesn’t make them more powerful.

            Google and YouTube services alone handle more server/database hits per day than all the AWS and Azure services combined.

          • PaperCoyote January 3, 2018 at 5:23 pm #

            AWS and Azure are not just cloud computing. Azure handles services such as Xbox Live whereas AWS handles Netflix storage and streaming, Spotify, And all of Sony’s PS Services. I agree that AWS has issues, their biggest being the sheer volume of traffic generated by Netflix and Twitch. They need to address capacity issues. But the fact is they are bigger and stronger than Google. YouTube and YouTube TV are great services and right now I am using YTTV more than I use DTVN and Sling because of the quality of the service. I was just pointing out that both MS and Amazon have a bigger presence when it comes to backbone and infrastructure than Google does. It isn’t a knock against Google. It is just that they are not the most powerful in the universe. That doesn’t make them bad that just makes them smaller and one could argue since they handle less traffic then they are more streamlined.

          • SS January 4, 2018 at 11:59 am #

            My point is that all those services combined (whatever you want to call them, if not Cloud Computing), they still get less traffic than what Google (and YouTube) servers get.

            Sure, they have more customers (and more services) calling their web services because they’ve been in the business longer and made more contracts. But at the end of the day, all those services don’t get more traffic than Google alone gets.

            Take video services for example. The total traffic on YouTube alone exceeds combined traffic for Netflix, Twitch, Amazon Video (and even throw in Hulu, Facebook Video, Sling, DirecTV Now etc).

            For example, people spend about 1.5 billion hours a day on YouTube. Meanwhile, they spend less than 500 million hours on Netflix, Amazon Video, Twitch, Hulu, Facebook Video etc combined. So, even though AWS is serving dozens or hundreds of major video services, they still endup handling less traffic than YouTube.

            And not just traffic – storage too. All the stored videos on all those other services combined are just a tiny tiny fraction of all the content stored on YouTube.

            And then for all other AWS, Azure non-video services – their total server traffics fails in comparison to all the requests Google (search) gets per second.

            So, yes AWS and Azure may have more customers in their web services/cloud computing platforms. But their servers handle very little compared to what Google servers are handling for just the internal stuff.

            Long story short, Google has the most powerful robust servers we have at the moment. No other service on the planet is handling more stuff than Google.

          • PaperCoyote January 4, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

            According to a report from the analytics firm Sandvine, Netflix generated a third of all downstream online streaming video traffic in the ranking of the ten most popular streaming sites. In fact, Netflix generated more than twice as much traffic as its closest runner up, YouTube. Netflix can claim 35.2% of the traffic, while YouTube can only claim 17.5%. So No Google servers do not handle more traffic than AWS. YouTube, which is by far the biggest strain on Google’s servers handles half the traffic of Netflix. And 80% of YouTube’s traffic is from outside of the U.S. So their 12 North American Server farms are not getting as much of a load as their server farms in Asia and in Europe.

            Yes Google has a robust platform, and yes they handle a lot of traffic and not only streaming. But again they are not as robust and as large as their competition nor are they the best on the planet.

          • SS January 4, 2018 at 4:38 pm #

            It’s sad if you actually think Netflix has more traffic than YouTube. They’re not even 10% of what YouTube gets.

            Wherever you got that data from, it’s misleading or based on statistics instead of the actual data. Or it’s narrowed to specific categories or regions. Based on what you’ve mentioned, I’m guessing it’s only limited to US traffic, and on website. Most YouTube (and even Netflix) activity happens on the apps. Not websites. And apps are not tracked by those website trackers.

            Look for the actual statistics released by Google and Netflix. Don’t look for a niche third-party report that’s highly filtered down.

            Also, all the videos stored in Netflix are a tiny fraction of storage of all the videos uploaded on YouTube in just ONE DAY.

            For example, here’s a 2017 article about the difference at the time based on actual numbers, not some random stats:

          • PaperCoyote January 4, 2018 at 5:32 pm #

            We will just agree to disagree. I was using Sandvine’s numbers which is what has been used for the past decade to track global and regional traffic in the industry. Yes the numbers I gave showing that Netflix uses more Bandwidth (that’s what matters not the number of viewers or hours) in North America. Because America is where Google is launching YTTV to go against these other services. The numbers you showed were for YT worldwide and as I said 80% of YT traffic is outside the U.S.

            Even with all that being said that doesn’t change the fact that both Amazon and Microsoft have bigger infrastructure with more server farms globally. Google is great at what they do. I have been a fan since I was shown the initial search engine by Sergey back in 1998. I jumped on their stock in 2004 because I knew they were going places. But at the same time I am not a blind fanboy that thinks all things Alphabet are the greatest. Google needs to play catch up in the cloud space.

            Their backbone is growing but not yet on the same level as AWS or Azure. It’s not a bad thing that they are third and Apple is fourth in the data center world because it will push those companies to get better. I already think Google handles traffic better than the other two. Their services are also more cost effective than the other two. It will be interesting to see the numbers in a couple years . Google may be late to the party in a lot of things but they tend to catch up and most of the time surpass their competition.

          • SS January 4, 2018 at 7:33 pm #

            If you only rely on sandvine data, then you’re way mistaken. Sandvine uses data from a very small sample of internet providers and they only look at fixed internet, wifi usage. Also, that’s a very old data set. On the server side, it doesn’t matter the ISP or device used to request. Sandvine is very narrowly focused on specific network bandwidth. You should look up different figures and not limit yourself to one extremely limited survey

            The fact that Google servers can handle worldwide data, storage and requests more than ten times of everything else, means they can easily handle a small percentage increase in US usage.

            Also, don’t forget Google as a search engine stores copies of pretty much all the websites (and images) in the world and constantly runs crawlers refreshing the data which is very server-demanding. And then there’s gmail and Google Drive which make Amazon Drop look like an amateur in terms of speed, functionalities and data stored.

            I’m not trying to make Google look better. It’s just facts. When it comes to good, reliable streaming service, it doesn’t matter how many companies have purchased your webservices. It’s about how you can make it a seamless experience on the server side. Even without YouTube, the data and traffic that those Google services have exceeds all Amazon services combined by far.

            We don’t know the exact number of servers each has. But even if by a miracle Amazon had more servers, it’s not about the quantity. It’s about the quality and speed they offer. They’re still dealing with way much less traffic than Google. And their platform is extremely slow compared to Google speeds. You can have the largest hard-drive and fastest processors, but if you don’t know how to write good software to optimize that, then you’re still not powerful enough.

            If Amazon really had the best platform to optimize software and database, their would at least apply that to their own websites. Amazon, IMDb, Box Office Mojo etc receive a minute fraction of the traffic Google search receives. Yet their performance is just terrible. If Netflix runs on the fastest servers, then why do they still have outages during peak hours?

            But hey, please keep telling yourself that AWS services get more traffic than Google.

  6. Dan January 3, 2018 at 8:48 am #

    I switched from DirecTVNow for this exact issue. With Sling TV, I have had zero buffering issues (like they had a couple years back when I had them). I know the frame rate with Sling is less than others, but for ESPN at least for the bowl games, I think the quality is on par with the others. Later in the spring for the NCAA tourney, I may have to switch to PS Vue for watching basketball on TNT and TBS – it is too choppy to watch for any extended time on Sling. Also, I will be dropping ESPN package on Sling after NCAAFB Championship, that’s the only time I watch them.

  7. Fred Koot January 3, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    ESPN needs to take in the account all the shared passwords or crack down on them. That’s what is causing all the buffering

  8. Carl Collie January 3, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    I had no problems with PS Vue during any of the big bowl games or Winter Classic. Did not use the WatchESPN app, but FoxSportsGo for a few hockey games and had no problems either. The Super Bowl is probably going to be a big test for all the OTT services.

  9. Elmer Phudd January 3, 2018 at 9:14 am #

    Have had few buffering issues with DirectTVNow over the past few days. It is annoying when trying to watch something live but hopefully this will be a short lived issue.

  10. NCAviator January 3, 2018 at 9:15 am #

    I watched using WatchESPN on Apple TV for the 3 mid-day bowl games. No buffering issues. The APP did crash once. Has done that before today also. Not sure why it does it. I then watched the two championship games using YouTube TV with no problems what so ever.

  11. Tung Diep January 3, 2018 at 9:30 am #

    I tried to switch from Sling to DirectTV Now because they were offering a free month to come back (save $40) but it wouldn’t work so I’m still with Sling.

  12. Greg Mann January 3, 2018 at 9:46 am #

    I subscribe to Playstation Vue for over a year now and not a single buffering pause or problem over holidays, and we enjoyed, thanks to the poor weather, a lot of TV over the past two weeks. I tried a trial of Directvnow and did get a lot of buffering and pauses and no DVR like Vue, so I’ll be keeping the Vue and just put up with no History Channel or AXStv. At least I get locals on my Vue too……So I saw no issues on Vue over holidays.

  13. Mike Thaler January 3, 2018 at 9:58 am #

    How does one determine whether buffering and other viewing problems are caused by the streaming provider and not being caused because your ISP is overloaded?
    We have never had a problem w. YTTV. BUT, then again, our ISP is a subsidiary of Google – 150+Mbps.

    • Rocksleeper January 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

      latency is more important than speed when it comes to streaming. Once you have 15+ Mbps, that should be enough for a couple of streams without issue. The problem is usually with latency.

      Where I live, we USED to have a cable company, and I used to have internet from them at 75 Mbps. Streams cut off all the time. It was because of latency. The connection to my ISP would cut out for about 2 seconds ever 10 minutes. This would be unnoticeable for downloads, web browsing, or even cached streaming services like Netflix. But on a LIVE stream..this caused major buffering.

      Switched to a DSL that gave me 20 Mbps (almost a quarter of the speed from the cable company), but doesn’t cut out at all. I usually get rock solid streams on my live service. When I don’t, it’s usually the live streaming provider.

      I always tell people to not be dazzled by how FAST their connection is…but how reliable it is (latency). 10-20 Mbps will usually be enough to do everything you want…anything beyond that is just bragging rights.

  14. Ron C. January 3, 2018 at 10:14 am #

    I didn’t notice any problems with Vue all weekend. Watched all the bad football games they were showing.

  15. Andrew Lindeman January 3, 2018 at 10:32 am #

    I’ve had issues over the weekend and even last night (Tuesday) with DTVN. Also had issues with Watch ESPN on my Apple TV over the weekend. For the last month or so, the Nickelodeon TV Everywhere app on my Apple TV has been having intermittent streaming problems. Nothing has been problematic enough to cause too much grumbling among my family thankfully. Between DTVN, the TV Everywhere apps, OTA via a HDHomeRun and lots of movies I serve via Plex, my family has a ton of options for content.

  16. Lovand TechJr January 3, 2018 at 10:40 am #

    I was at a friend’s house who has Sling TV on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop, and the experience was horrible. Live TV was 96 seconds late, and so we missed the ball drop in real time. I explained the situation to another colleague of mine who has Directv Now, and while his experience was not as bad, it was not much better either due to constant buffering. Those services really have a long way to go, and my hope is that they will be able to compete with the cable companies they are trying to replace soon as I can’t wait to ditch my cable company

  17. Lovand TechJr January 3, 2018 at 11:06 am #

    I was at a friend’s house who has Sling TV on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop, and the experience was horrible. Live TV was 96 seconds late, and so we missed the ball drop in real time. I explained the situation to another colleague of mine who has Directv Now, and while his experience was not as bad, it was not much better either due to constant buffering. Those services really have a long way to go, and my hope is that they will be able to compete with the cable companies they are trying to replace soon in terms of the quality of service as I can’t wait to ditch my cable company

  18. Robert Williams January 3, 2018 at 11:12 am #

    Have had major buffering problems this past weekend while using Directv Now. Will show some patience for now…but if my experience doesn’t improve…

    • BloodLust January 3, 2018 at 8:26 pm #

      Amen to that, Same here. Getting very sick of Directv Now.

  19. JonJ January 3, 2018 at 11:47 am #

    No problems with PS Vue for live bowl games. Hulu Live was mostly good, but a couple of buffering issues (long time Vue subsriber trying out Hulu Live to compare). Also tried switching to WatchESPN to compare and had more buffering issues (although better than in the past when WatchESPN was almost unwatchable).

  20. Terri Hurt January 3, 2018 at 11:54 am #

    I have Philo and it has been working good.

  21. bdavidk January 3, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

    I watched a ton of football this past week. I had almost all the NCAA football games on and never once did I get buffering or an outage. I use YouTube TV. Tried Hulu live and PlayStation Vue a few weeks ago and got buffering on both so tried the same channel on YouTube TV and it was perfect. Maybe just in my area but so far YouTube TV is a much more reliable service.

  22. Bob Loblaw January 3, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    I have had minor buffering issues with DTV Now this week. No worse than it was before. A second or two at a time sporadically. It’s a nuisance, but hasn’t made anything unwatchable.

  23. Bob Loblaw January 3, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    There are two things that make me stick DTV Now over the others. Channel selection is the best, and $5 HBO.

  24. JerYnkFan January 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

    The NBC sports app usually borders on unwatchable during SNF. It’s either constantly buffering or video quality is terrible. I don’t have any issues with any other apps trying to watch the NFL.

  25. BloodLust January 3, 2018 at 8:28 pm #

    I believe this is all a ploy by the cable companies. They are paying the networks to have these issues to drive people back to cable. I personally hate cable/sat, But considering you can’t watch anything for more then a few minutes at peak time without buffering issues with DTN, I’m almost to the point of going back and paying the $90-100/month just for stable viewing.

  26. gchasse January 3, 2018 at 11:37 pm #

    I am having issues with Vue as I write this, and this is not the first time. When I want to watch a basketball game on DVR, it loops and reloads constantly. Really frustrating. It is impossible to watch. My issues have been not with live tv but with the DVR. I have a Roku and don’t have an issue with anything else I watch on it, only Vue.

  27. Eggman13 January 4, 2018 at 12:19 am #

    A hack analyst predicted a decade ago that, while legitimate live pay-TV streaming services would be available around 2015, they would still not be able to support mass viewing events and thus fall short of more expensive legacy services. It’s 2018, and the technologies needed to deliver legacy-level consistency for virtual pay-TV services is at hand (has been for years). Difficult, yes, but perfectly within the realm of today’s video streaming technologies. The question, then, is which operators will step up and spend the extra money needed to ensure this level of reliability while selling skinny bundles at thin margins.

  28. dem816 January 4, 2018 at 7:53 am #

    Major issues streaming most anything WatchESPN about the time Oklahoma/Georgia was going into the second OT period. Have DTV and was streaming on TV in exercise room using Roku Ultra. Bummer but I’ll accept it as growing pains. LOVE all of the options we have now over traditional cable and satellite. Will be trialing Vue among others so I can drop DTV in the next 2-3 weeks.

  29. George Tvardy January 4, 2018 at 8:47 am #

    Tried to watch the bowl games with WatchESPN, and it was unbearable. Constant freezing, buffering and poor picture quality. Watched the exact same feeds through PlayStation Vue, and absolutely no problems whatsoever.

    I think a HUGE part of the problem was with ESPN. Especially the WatchESPN app. For their own app, they do not have the infrastructure to support large amounts of people streaming at once. Something is definitely amiss with the WatchESPN app.

    Of course, this is ESPN we are talking about, a business conglomerate that is bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars at this time due to poor management. Really doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    • dem816 January 4, 2018 at 9:10 am #

      Totally agree George. Love the avatar – with you there too. Hope all is well on your end. Still here in cold NE Ohio. DMay 😉

      • George Tvardy January 4, 2018 at 6:14 pm #

        Dave, great to hear from you! Hope you are doing well! I do not miss the cold… although it has crept down here the last week or so. Take care!

  30. Kevin S January 4, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    Trying out Youtube Tv again since I just got an Nvidia Shield. Love the app, and it performed flawlessly. I hope they get an app out for some other devices. Casting from the phone won’t work for the wife upstairs on her tv.

    Didn’t see too many issues with Vue either when I used it.

  31. Richard Canon January 4, 2018 at 9:33 am #

    Directv Now connected to My FireStick, but won’t connect to Roku. I can access Netflix and Amazon this morning 01/04/2018

  32. GersonT1000 January 4, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    This was probably just the internet companies getting ahead of themselves and slowing live tv streaming services now since net neutrality rules were voted to be finished. Thank you Mr. Ajit Pai, I would definitely not want to punch you in the face /s.

  33. Some Guy January 4, 2018 at 11:41 am #

    I dont give a flying crap about security. Fix your crap. Been doing it for months not just this one instance. Which is more important a pirate stream of few people use or keeping paying customers happy.

  34. Scott Willingham January 9, 2018 at 11:55 am #

    It has been multiple weeks now that Directv Now has experienced capacity and consistency issues particularly during prime time broadcast times that render the service practically unwatchable. It is to the point now that DTVN risks damaging their brand if this continues.