DirecTV Now streaming tech endures rocky launch

AT&T's John Stankey speaks at the launch announcement of DirecTV Now on Nov. 28, 2016. Image: AT&T / YouTube
Wednesday's launch of AT&T’s much-anticipated virtual pay-TV service, DirecTV Now, generated numerous tech trouble reports on social media.

With AT&T’s much-anticipated virtual pay-TV service, DirecTV Now, launching Wednesday, there were numerous tech trouble reports on social media.

Of course, some issues with a new live-streaming service are to be expected. However, claiming to have counted “hundreds” of complaints on Twitter, Facebook and various message boards, Phillip Swan, who covers the satellite TV business via his TV Predictions website, called the launch a “total nightmare.”

“By nighttime,” Swan said, “hundreds of new DirecTV Now subscribers were complaining on Twitter, Facebook and other sites that they either couldn't log in or were getting error messages saying they were trying to watch the service on more than two devices when actually they were only using one. (DirecTV Now only allows a single subscriber to use his or her user name and password on two devices at the same time.)

“The streaming limit error was referred to on screen by DirecTV Now as 'Error 60,’” he added. 

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Analyst Dan Rayburn also weighed in on Twitter, noting, “If AT&T can't get these DirecTV Now sign up errors fixed, it's going to kill the service from the start.”

For its part, AT&T didn’t immediately respond to FierceCable’s inquiry for comment, but it does seem to be aggressively responding to individual user complaints via Twitter

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As for Rayburn’s assertion that early tech issues will “kill” DirecTV Now, it’s worth noting that the v-MVPD incumbent Sling TV has been plagued by technical issues since it launched 22 months ago, and it has reportedly managed to gather nearly 1 million subscribers nonetheless.